OKCoin has stated dozens of unidentified individuals forcibly broke into their offices in Beijing, smashing items, threatening staff, and forcefully pushing OKCoin employees down the stairs.
There was no serious injury or significant physical violence. OKCoin said according to a rough translation:
“At about 14 o’clock in the afternoon of October 23, more than a dozen unidentified personnel broke into the OKCoin Beijing office through violent means such as hitting the elevator and damaging the door.
They harassed and insulted our employees and smashed our office items, seriously threatening. The personal safety of the staff of the company affects the normal office order of our company.
Our company has already reported the police at the first time. At present, the police have taken all the relevant personnel away. Our company is cooperating with the police to investigate the vicious incident.”
In a longer follow up statement OKCoin alleged someone called Zhang Mouqing was paying people to stage a “rights defenders” protest.
OKCoin said on October 11th several people gathered outside their offices. They refused to identify themselves and could not show that they were OKCoin users.
OKCoin used to be one of the biggest crypto exchange in China, but that was shut down by authorities, with the company now continuing to operate legally. They say:
“Since its establishment, it has strictly abide by Chinese laws and has long been committed to the research and development of the underlying technology of the blockchain.”
An international arm, OKEx, has in the meantime risen in prominence. OKCoin says these “squatting rights defenders” are complaining about OKEx.
An individual called Li Moudong and the previously mentioned Mouqing “have come to our company several times after the losses occurred on the overseas trading platform,” OKCoin says, adding:
“After the trading platform freezes the account and retires its assets, the user requests to continue the transaction and does not agree to clear the assets.”
The asset in question probably concerns WFEECoin, a WeShare WiFi project of sorts that these investors allege has OKCoin’s founder, Star Xu, implicated.
Xu himself was encircled last month by seven to eight people with no physical violence occurring. At that time it was said that OK Blockchain Capital (OKBC), a venture capital company, had invested in WFEE. However, OKBC said:
“The rumor that OK Group founder Star Xu being a shareholder of WFEE is fake. Mr. Xu has no equity relationship with WFEE and its company.”
WFEE used to be listed on OKEx, with the coin seeing a huge price rise in June and a quick price fall in the same month, with it then continuing to slowly go down and down.
Then in August OKEx announced they are to delist WFEE. Thus those who bought prior to mid June and held until after July may have lost quite a bit of money.
“Investors are reminded that digital assets are innovative investment products with high price fluctuations and high investment risks,” OKCoin said. “We suggest that ordinary users should not participate in any high-risk investment activities of digital asset platforms.”
Some investors now appear to be staging a protest of sorts, seemingly refusing to withdraw the coins from OKEx while appearing to be asking for their losses to be covered.
This is the first instance, however, that a company’s premises have been broken into in the crypto space. Usually any dispute is simply taken to court, but with OKEx not based in China, investors in this case appear to be relying on public pressure.