On July 16, OKEx, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges by spot and derivatives trading volume, suspended withdrawals. The Chinese media quickly got flooded with rumors abot OKEx CEO arrest and investigation related to a large-scale money laundering scheme through OKEx accounts.
OKEx announced a sudden suspension of asset withdrawals. “All operations OKEx except digital asset/cryptocurrency withdrawals remain unaffected. All your funds and assets are safe,” Jay Hao, one of the OKEx executives, tweeted. According to the company, the problem is related to the inability of one of the key holders to authorize withdrawal operations, since he is cooperating with law enforcement agencies in the framework of some kind of investigation. "We will resume digital assets/cryptocurrencies withdrawals immediately once the concerned private key holder is able to authorize the transaction," OKEx says in a blog post.
According to CoinGecko, OKEx is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges by spo and derivatives trading volume.
On Friday, various rumors about the reasons for such a sudden withdrawal suspension began to appear in the media, mostly in Chinese ones. For example, the Chinese news agency Caixin reported that the Beijing police summoned OKEx executive director Mingxing Xu (Star Xu) for questioning. It also says that in addition to Star Xu, several key employees of the crypto exchange are cooperating with the investigation. Caixin also claims that Xu was detained a week ago, and the investigation may be related to the financial transactions of the Hong Kong-based OK Group. The information about Xu's detention was denied by the head of the OKEx press service Vivien Choi. According to her, OKEx has not been part of the OK Group since 2017 and works under the leadership of Jay Hao, not Star Xu. "We have nothing to do with Xu Star," OKEx customer service answered a question of a customer, whe later published a screenshot of this conversation in Twitter.
Red Li, co-founder of 8btc, revealed that the Chinese social media were flooded with rumors that "over 800 accs in "certain" exchange are involved with cross-border money laundering."
According to Chain.info, OKEx cold, hot and deposit wallets currently hold 276,184 BTC.