On Sunday morning, news broke that little-known Canadian crytocurrency exchange MapleChange had suffered a hack resulting in the theft of a large amount of Bitcoins and some other smaller currencies.
It was reported that almost $6 million worth of Bitcoin, Litecoin (LTC), Weycoin (WAE) and a number of other smaller currencies has been lost in the hack, with the exchange stating that it would begin a thorough investigation into the situation:
Due to a bug, some people have managed to withdraw all the funds from our exchange. We are in the process of a thorough investigation for this. We are extremely sorry that it has to come to end like this. Until the investigation is over, we cannot refund anything.
The exchange soon claimed that it would be unable to pay back its users, saying “the exchange has to close down, unfortunately. This includes all our social media.” The latter part of this statement, which does not seem to logically follow from the first, sent many users into a panic; rumours began to circulate that the supposed hack was in fact an exit scam designed to rob investors of their money.
In response to this scepticism, MapleChange this week reopened its social media channels to reassure its customers, saying:
We have not disappeared guys. We simply turned off our accounts temporarily to think this solution through. We cannot refund everyone all their funds, but we will be opening wallets to whatever we have left so people can (hopefully) withdraw their funds.
Since then, MapleChange have posted screenshots of the market usage to help convince users that the hack was indeed legitmate. They have since committed to returning whatever funds they can in the smaller currencies, but made a statement which will bring little relief to Bitcoin investors:
We CANNOT refund any BTC or LTC funds unfortunately. We will try our best to refund everything else.
Many industry experts have this week pointed to this situation as one of the many reasons that cryptocurrency investors should stick to larger, more established exchanges—although the huge hacks on some of the biggest exchanges in the last 12 months will do little to settle investor anxiety.