On April 12, 2018 a notice on one of India’s oldest exchange showed up. The highlight – The Chief Scientific Officer of Coinsecure may have siphoned about 438 BTC which at the time of this writing are worth Rs. 22 Crore approximately.
Here’s a timeline of What happened:
April 10, 2018 – Coinsecure asks users to Stop Depositing BTC
In an email and website announcement, the exchange asked the users to stop depositing Bitcoin due to “Backend Updates”
In continuation of our backend updates, we request all users to stop depositing BTC into Coinsecure’s addresses with immediate effect until further notice.
We are currently working on a solution and will keep you updated when we are ready.
Please be patient with us. Thank you for your understanding.
If you read further below, you will notice that the FIR was lodged on April 10, 2018 as well.
April 12, 2018 – Twitter reports Servers Down
On the morning of April 12, users on twitter started reporting unavailability of the site. Users were receiving ‘temporarily down’ error messages.
— CoinSutra (@CoinSutra) April 12, 2018
April 12, 2018 – CoinSecure releases Statement
Coinsecure soon had a new homepage announcing the loss of 438 BTC. The first statement that came out claimed that the Bitcoins were siphoned out of the exchange to an address that is not under Coinsecure’s control. In other words, “We’ve lost them”.
The exchange pointed finger at Dr. Amitabh Saxena who is the CSO of the company, as he was the one who was trying to extract Bitcoin Gold for the customers.
Along with the notice, there was a copy of the FIR (First information Report) lodged at the Delhi Cyber Crime cell against the now missing Dr. Amitabh Saxena.
April 13, 2018 – More Information Shared by Community
This is exclusive: The transactions going out of the Coinsecure wallet were identified from this IP address: 18.104.22.168.
Coin Crunch cannot independently confirm if the IP is correct, it was discovered by Prashant Singh, the co-founder of Bitbns exchange and shared with us. We have forwarded the same to Mohit Kalra of Coinsecure for further investigation.
We also received the address where the 438 BTC were transferred and the funds are now moving out. At the time of this writing the balance left is 139 BTC.
The Bitcoin Wallet Address is: 1BaEJquitskdXcTj53Uy6PuUtJ5a8ETWpA
The address has also been sent to Coinsecure.
April 14: Coinsecure announces 10% Bounty for community who can help track down the funds.
Looks like Coinsecure is looking for a hacker and not Dr. Saxena.
Who is Amitabh Saxena?
Dr. Amitabh Saxena was appointed at the Chief Scientific Officer at Coinsecure in September of 2017. Prior to taking up this role, doc had spent 3 years with Coinsecure helping them “realize their vision for the Indian crypto ecosystem”.
His Linkedin Profile is not available anymore and the original Coinsecure blog has to say this about him
Doc has had tremendous experience in the past including a stint as a professor of Computer Science in Australia for several years. He has also worked with giants such as Hewlett Packard and Accenture.
Among the few early adopters in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, Doc has also contributed scientific articles based on his research in the Blockchain space.
Interestingly we did not find any articles written by Amitabh Saxena in a quick google search with various combination.
If Dr. Amitabh Saxena were to run out of the country, it might be hard to locate him for prosecution. We hope that Coinsecure is able to recover the funds so that it can operate at its original glory.
What do you think happened? Let us know in the comments below