Multiple NEO ecosystem projects are urging users to withdraw their funds from Bitpaction exchange after increasing red flags and no communication from the Bitpaction team leadership. Bitpaction currently lists multiple NEP-5 tokens, including: Master Contact Token (MCT), Bridge (TOLL), Orbis (OBT), Narrative (NRVE), Travala (AVA) and Loopring NEO tokens (LRN).
Splyse was among the first to raise concerns via the Master Contract Token Twitter on July 2nd, noting that the admins of the Bitpaction Telegram had not been active for a number of days and a lack of activity on its Twitter.
Not good – @bitpaction admins have been inactive for 3 days on Telegram and their Twitter has gone silent. Withdrawals reportedly only work for BTC. Looks like it's back to waiting on @SwitcheoNetwork to be able to list Python-based tokens and @AphelionToken to launch their DEX.
— MasterContractToken (@MCT_Token) July 2, 2018
Over the next few days, the situation appeared to grow more serious on the back of erratic changes.
All deposits to the Bitpaction exchange were suspended, with withdrawal fees experiencing wild swings.
The withdrawal fee on BTC was raised from 0.001 to 0.01 (over USD $65), and the withdrawal fees on ETH swung from 0.25 (over USD $120) to 0.0015 (around 70 cents).
The withdrawal fee for NEO, which is listed on the Bitpaction fees page as zero, is now at 0.5 (approx. USD $20) with Travala also hit hard, with fees rising rising from 20 AVA to 500 AVA.
In addition to rising fees, the withdrawal process appears to be unreliable. Users are reporting various levels of success withdrawing TOLL tokens, whilst MCT withdrawals appear to not work at all.
As of July 9th, projects and users of the platform alike are still reporting no communication from Bitpaction support or leadership. Many are concerned that Bitpaction may be trying to extract as much money from the exchange as possible before it closes down for good.
These concerns have led Bridge Protocol and Narrative to send out notices to their communities, urging them to remove any funds from the exchange as soon as possible.
In a Medium post, Bridge said: “After numerous attempts to contact their leadership, we have received no response. We urge the community to stop using Bitpaction immediately. If possible, you should withdraw your TOLL tokens from the exchange. Some users report being able to withdraw, others cannot.”
Narrative said the following: “Bitpaction is currently not accepting new deposits, and we have heard some complaints about the exchange. Because Bitpaction has not publicly addressed the issues raised by some of its customers, we recommend that users withdraw their NRVE tokens from that exchange. Hopefully, Bitpaction will address whatever issues they are currently experiencing, but until that time we urge extreme caution in dealing with that exchange.”
These issues illustrate the potential risks of centralized exchanges, and is a stark reminder for users to not store large amounts of tokens on such platforms.
Update – 07/09/2018, 4:47am GMT + 0
Travala have now also recommended users withdraw funds from Bitpaction: “We have been investigating the bitpaction issue by reaching out to their admin and until now we have had no response. We have had numerous complaints about the exchange and Bitpaction has not publicly addressed these issues raised by their users and based on this we recommend that any members of our community withdraw their AVA tokens from that exchange immediately.”
Orbis are also encouraging users to withdraw from Bitpaction via its Telegram pinned message: “If you have any funds on BitPaction we recommend you temporarily stop trading and withdraw. We’ve heard reports of questionable BitPaction activity from the MCT team.”