After closing down for police investigation, Cryptopia cryptocurrency exchange is going to reopen, albeit as “read-only” website. The exchange is based in Christ-church and currently under investigation involving $23 million theft on its platform. The director of the exchange, Peter Dawson took to Twitter to announce that the website of Cryptopia is going live – though read-only – to help people check their amount and investments with the exchange. Dawson said that the objective behind this reopening is to let people check their account balance and the exchange is doing its best to secure the assets of the investors as quickly as possible. He refused to comment on the investigation which is currently underway and said that he could not divulge details on what the police are doing. Some of the recent tweets from Cryptopia announced that exchange would reopen on March 4; however, nothing of that sort happened.
Just so you know, the founder of Cryptopia, Rob Dawson is the son of Peter Dawson. Post the crisis, Peter Dawson was pressurized by other board members to step down from his role as a president till the time investigation is underway. Dawson said that he felt bad as his personal integrity was questioned despite his honest efforts to put the things back on track. Anonymous sources within the company confided that around 40 staff members had been retained by the exchange on full salaries during the 6-week long police probe. Having said that the company undertook restructuring exercise and various management roles were rethought to tackle the newly emerged precarious situation. Still, experts believe that the damage to the company – in terms of customer trust and loyalty – has already been done and it will be very difficult for the exchange to assure the investors that nothing of this sort would happen in the future again. Besides, the financial issues related to investors who have already lost money is a big concern for the organization. The police investigation is still underway and what kind of conclusion it comes with will also have a bearing on the exchange’s reputation and future working. In terms of trading volume, Cryptopia is the largest exchange for alternative digital currencies. Overall, Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency in terms of its market capitalization although it is also very high on volatility. The prices of Bitcoin nose-dived from the high of $20,000 to $3,700 within one year, leaving thousands of investors in the lurch.
Another sore point that investors complain is the sheer lack of communication from Cryptopia. There is no information whatsoever about our investment from the exchange, and this lack of communication is making the investor even jitterier. Take, for example, the case of Leonard Dodd, a punter from the US who has invested around $2,400 in Electroneum altcoin on Cryptopia exchange. Dodd is not able to access his account and not sure whether his money has been stolen or not. Expressing his disappointment, Dodd said that Cryptopia exchange has really messed it up and it is going to face a huge distrust in the future.
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has been contacted by the investigation agencies, and it has assured all the support and help to the police. Although FMA does not regulate cryptocurrency, it does keep a record of financial services related to cryptocurrencies. All the service providers need to register with the agency which could help the customers to seek independent probe and independent resolution of the dispute. Back in 2017, FMA published some guidelines related to cryptocurrencies while highlighting the issues related to the cybercrime. FMA said that it received complaints against Cryptopia in the past also and had forwarded the complaint to the resolution service. In some other cases, the agency explained to the complainants that the process needs to be followed while putting up a request to the resolution service. The agency further added that it closely coordinates with dispute settlement service and in many cases directly with Cryptopia to understand how complaints are being handled by them.