Thodex, which is one of Turkey’s top cryptocurrency exchanges, has abruptly halted trading services and also withdrawals. The CEO of the platform is missing and has reportedly fled the country with $2 billion in cryptocurrencies.
In an official announcement posted on Twitter on Thursday, the exchange informed its users that the services only went offline for 4-5 days to evaluate a partnership deal with “world-renowned banks and funding companies.”
— THODEX (@thodexofficial) April 21, 2021
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Though the exchange highlighted that: “users will be informed regularly,” its clients are getting anxious as the exchange even shut its customer support line, and its executives are deactivating social media platforms.
Thodex has around 400,000 clients, out of which 390,000 were actively trading cryptocurrencies. Before going offline, the exchange was handling crypto trading volumes of more than $585 million, according to CoinMarketCap.com data.
The anomalies started during the recent Dogecoin rally as traders noticed that the meme-based digital currency was trading at a heavy discount on the exchange on the night before its services were shut. 53 percent of the exchange’s volumes were coming from Dogecoin trading.
The suspicion regarding the exit scam pulled by the exchange was fueled by the reports that Thodex Founder and CEO, Faruk Fatih Özer, fled the country on Tuesday for Thailand with customer funds. He also deleted his Twitter account.
The Turkish authorities have now launched a criminal investigation on the local cryptocurrency exchange and reportedly raided the office promises.
Turkey has a huge cryptocurrency investor base as the people usually protect their savings from the skyrocketing inflation the country is currently witnessing with digital currency investments. Meanwhile, the country recently banned payments with cryptocurrencies, but all trading activities are allowed.