Major cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has suspended withdrawals of cryptocurrencies, declaring that one of its key holders is “currently cooperating with a public safety agency” as part of an ongoing “investigation”.
Oslo Bowers indicated that he was “far from contacting” the key holder and preventing “binding delegation” from being executed. OKEx plans to resume digital asset withdrawals “immediately” when the key holder can “authorize the transaction”.
OKEx said it decided to stop withdrawals temporarily, but added that the incidents “will not affect” the security of clients’ assets.
Bitcoin (BTC) is down nearly 3% in response to the news, while OKB’s token OKB is down 15%.
Hours before the announcement, Whale Alert’s transaction monitoring service noticed several large transfers between OKEx and unknown wallets.
Outgoing remittances worth 1,180 BTC worth $ 13.6 million, 50 million Tron (TRX) worth $ 1.3 million, and 21,000 ETH (ETH) completed within six hours, along with an inbound transaction valued at approximately $ 13.9 million. American to Tether (USDT). The transfers took place in the same period as the Bitfinex hacks, according to Whale Alerts, but this may just be a coincidence given the large number of transactions that occur every day.
Beijing-based journalist Colin Wu who writes on the public WeChat wublockchain account has suggested that the OKEx investigation may be linked to money laundering.
“The Chinese government is fighting money laundering by using cryptocurrencies to fraud in telecommunications and central exchanges is in a very serious condition.”
OKEx targets the Asian markets, despite having its headquarters in Malta. Wu also stated that he discovered that “an OTC seller in OKEx had accidentally received 500,000 yuan from a fraudulent group and was pursued by police across the province.”
Wu’s information has not been confirmed at this early stage.
OKEx’s position arises after a 48-hour period in which at least 33 individual police agencies have been arrested in pursuing global money laundering operations in North America, Oceania and Europe.