Major crypto exchange OKEx, on October 16, 2020, suspended cryptocurrency withdrawals until further notice while one of its private key holders undergoes bureaucratic investigation. In a public statement, OKEx announced that it is currently cooperating with a public security bureau, and the suspension of services to serve their customers’ best interest. The crypto exchange also mentioned in its public statement that it will resume digital asset withdrawals immediately, once the key-holder is able to authorize the transaction.
Additionally, OKEx added that the security of its users’ assets will not be impacted by this turn of events.
Bitcoin and OKB Dive
In response to this news, Bitcoin has fallen nearly 3%, while OKB, OKEx’s native token has crashed by a steep 15%. Prior to this announcement by OKEx, Whale Alert, an on-chain transaction monitoring service reported several massive transactions between unknown wallets and OKEx.
Outgoing transfers of 1,180 Bitcoin amounting to almost $13.6 million, 50 million Tron worth $1.3 million, and a whopping 21,000 Ether took place in a span of six hours. This was accompanied by an incoming transaction worth $13.9 million in Tether.
According to Whale Alert’s feed, this chain of transfers took place in a similar time period to transfers of Bitfinex coin hack. However, they also clarified that this could be just a coincidence as a large number of transactions are carried out every day.
OKEx: Possible Money Laundering Links
Colin Wu, a Beijing based reporter who writes at WeChat’s public account @wublockchain, hinted that the ongoing OKEx investigation might be related to money laundering. Although OKEx is based out of Malta, it primarily targets Asian markets.
According to Wu, he allegedly discovered an “OTC merchant on OKEx had mistakenly received 500,000 CNY from the fraud group and was hunted by the police across the provinces.” However, Wu’s information is still unverified at this stage.
These OKEx events occur after a two day period that has witnessed at least 33 arrests, a consequence of different law enforcement operations that have been tackling global money-laundering operations in Oceania, Europe, and North America.