Cryptopia, the New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange, announced the appointment of Grant Thornton as its liquidators. This announcement was made hours after its customers raised concerns over a long unscheduled maintenance, resulting in some speculating another hack.
Notably, the firm chose to take the step of liquidation because of the hack that occurred earlier this year. In mid-January 2019, the exchange announced a security breach, leading to a massive loss of funds. The majority of the stolen funds belonged to its Ethereum wallets, with reports suggesting that the breach cost the exchange a whopping $16 million in ETH and ERC20 tokens.
However, the exchange soon fell victim to a second attack, which took place days after the first one. The second attack reportedly drained 17K wallets, resulting in the loss of $180K in Ethereum. This was soon followed by the exchange releasing a statement on the loss incurred due to the security breach, where the worst-case scenario was considered to be the loss of 9.4 percent of its total holdings. Following this, the exchange gradually re-opened its services in March 2019.
The latest announcement stated that two officials from Grant Thornton, David Ruscoe and Russell Moore, would be carrying out the liquidation process of the exchange.
David Ruscoe stated that the investigation process could take months instead of weeks, citing the “complexity” of the case. He further added,
“We realise Cryptopia’s customers will want to have this matter resolved as soon as possible. We will conduct a thorough investigation, working with several different stakeholders including management and shareholders, to find the solution that is in the best interests of customers and stakeholders”
@Donarito, a Twitter user, stated,
“So they give a partly possibility to withdraw funds, almost reopen exchange to show police that they are ok and them just start liquidation. I am far from NZ, but I will fight for my funds”