Sweden’s largest Bitcoin exchange Kapiton.se MIA; users complain of missing funds
Scenes at Sweden’s largest Bitcoin exchange Kapiton have been chaotic since November last year and users of the exchange have been filed official police complaints with the police about missing funds.
The exchange, which is believed to be owned by a 23-year old Sebastian Manitski, quickly managed to make a place for itself as the top Bitcoin exchanges in Sweden with a reported annual turnover of over 70 million Kronor (~£6.5 million). Troubles started as early as November last year when users started reporting of missing money.
According to a blog post on November 6, several largely unrelated events were causing problems with sites transactions. The exchange claimed full responsibility of the delay in transactions and assured that the team was working round the clock to resolve the issues.
In a new blog post on November 9, just three days after the first update, Kapiton suspended all new deposits from November 11 to 17 in a bid to get a grip over the ongoing issues. The exchange revealed that those who have made the deposits need not worry and they will be treated as normal.
Eight days after the November 9 update, came another update wherein the Bitcoin exchange revealed that they had performed a software update and some internal reorganization. The exchange didn’t provide any real information as to the real problems it was facing this time as well leaving its users in the dark.
On November 28, Manitski himself posted a message on Kapiton hinting at possible causes of the issue. He revealed that the issue was related to a hard drive crash and the issues were “exacerbated by a pretty sudden, huge increase in demand for Bitcoin.” Manitski also hinted at possibility of hacking attempts, but did mention that hackers were not successful and its users’ money is not at risk and is safe. The 28-year old said that Kapiton will be hiring new staff to handle the support requests and will be up and running by December 8.
December 30 brought a new update wherein Kapiton revealed that there were issues with Bitcoin socket and Bitcoin transactions as a result of some communication issues between the exchange’s web app and Bitcoin wallet. December 8 deadline came and the exchange revealed that technical issues still persisted.
There has been no official communication from Kapiton or Manitski since then; however, the exchange ceased all operations on December 9 according to Bitcoinchart.com trade statistics. Kapiton reopened on December 22 without any prior intimation and trade in tune of a whopping million dollars happened on that day. In the period between December 23 and January 17 there have been sporadic exchanges of very low values, but any official statements from the exchange or the owner are missing.
According to Computer Sweden, a user has filed an official complaint with the police and Consumer Complaints Board that a deposit of SEK 10000 hasn’t showed up in the Kapiton account since November 25. A Reddit thread has also come up discussing the same thing.