HitBTC Freezes Clients’ Funds Before Proof-of-Keys

HitBTC in the bad light again as the exchange has frozen many customers’ withdrawals before the annual proof-of-eyes event, as per dozens of customer complaints on Twitter and Reddit.
One of the first open complaints was posted on Reddit on 31st December. The person with the username PEDXS accused the exchange of deliberately suspending his withdrawal request even after all KYC requirements were passed.
“Six months ago my account got suspended. After months of sending 40 plus emails, HITBTC finally unfroze my account. I immediately withdrew most of my funds but left a small amount to day trade. I did that because HITBTC promised that ‘no further automated restrictions will be applied’. Over the months, from day trading I have built back my balance up to a couple BTC. With the proof of key date approaching, I felt that HITBTC is the prime suspect for being insolvent, so I tried withdrawing my BTC. Guess what, they blocked the withdrawal and froze my account again,” PEDXS wrote on Reddit.
PEDXS is certainly not alone as soon another Redditor going by the username LOOKATMYIQ complained about something similar and bashed the exchange.
“I have been trading crypto for years on all kind of exchanges and never had my funds locked without warning like this. Support was fast to respond when asking for additional (over the top) information but since I have given them everything they have asked for they’ve just disappeared on me,” LOOKATMYIQ noted.
Trace Mayer, renowned Bitcoin investor and the initiator of the proof-of-keys campaign, jumped to the rescue of the affected users and voiced his concerns about HitBTC’s foul play.

Has failed ? I do not have an account. Asked a friend to initiate a withdrawal. BEWARE! 🚩

Result: “Withdrawals are temporarily disabled on your account.”

— Trace Mayer [Jan/3➞₿🔑∎] (@TraceMayer)

, a controversial crypto promoter and the former software entrepreneur, also joined Mayer against HitBTC and called the exchange a “corrupt company.”

I warned everyonw more than a dozen times. Don’t sign up. Don’t use it. Withdtaw your funds. I was trashed for calling out HitBT as a corrupt cimpany. Tough shit. You had six months warning from me to withdraw your funds. Do not ask me to help you now.

— John McAfee (@officialmcafee)

Proof-of-keys is a campaign launched by Trace Mayer that requests the crypto users to withdraw their funds from third-party controlled wallets like exchanges and store them somewhere where the users hold the private key on every 3rd January. The intention behind it is to check the legitimacy of the third-party controlled wallets and testing their solvency.
Foul Play?
Though HitBTC did not issue anything officially addressing the customers’ grievances, it is replying to the complaints on Twitter asking the customers to provide their complaint numbers or just copy-pasting the message “our team is currently working on it – kindly wait.”

Our team is currently working on it – kindly wait.

— HitBTC (@hitbtc)

Repeat Offender
This is not the first time HitBTC is back customers’ assets as in July 2018, Finance Magnates reported about a similar case.

Saying this is happening just before event makes for a nice headline, but in reality has been behind on withdrawals and indiscriminately freezing accounts for many months now.

But sure, if the narrative finally gets people upset enough, great!

— The Crypto Dog📈 (@TheCryptoDog)

Earlier, Pedxs has also invited other HitBTC users to join him in a against the exchange.

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