South African cryptocurrency exchange ICE3x has announced that it is going out of business due to insufficient Bitcoin (BTC) and Litcoin (LTC) balances to cover the amount deposited by users. ICE3x, founded in December 2013 by Gareth Gobler, was one of South Africa’s oldest crypto exchanges.
When the company’s issue began, its officials suspended the deposits, withdrawal, and trading of BTC and LTC on 16 March 2021 while other withdrawals were still being processed. Following the suspension, ICE3x started investigating the possible explanation for the inconsistency of the insufficient balances held on the platform.
The exchange mentioned that it employed additional accounting resources to speed up the process. It also collaborated with its partner Merkeleon.com and its subsidiary Coinspaid.com, but was not able “to reach a satisfactory conclusion (to the investigation).”
However, on 18 March, ICE3x reported its preliminary findings. The exchange wrote, “We have now collated all the data received to audit bitcoin and litecoin transactions – deposits, withdrawals & trades – with which we do not agree. Our preliminary findings indicate that we have a shortage for both bitcoin and litecoin and we are reviewing the trading, deposits, and withdrawals history as well as cold and hot wallet transaction reports.”
Following the decision to shut down the business, ICE3x enabled BTC and LTC withdrawals to allow users to move their funds from the exchange. Traders who have their BTC and LTC can make withdrawal requests to receive their coins. On March 31, the platform reported about 31 pending withdrawal requests for the two cryptocurrencies.
ICE3x also addressed clients on the status page, provided a help desk email address, and pleaded with them to be mindful of how they communicate with the service desk staff regardless of their feelings toward the predicament since they to deal with increased workload and pressure.
While the exchange is working on returning funds to its customers, no further information has been released to the public concerning the liquidation.
The liquidation of the South African cryptocurrency exchange happened some months after the First National Bank stopped providing services to crypto-related companies including ICE3X and Luno.
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