OKex, one of the biggest crypto exchange has suspended withdrawals because they have lost touch with one of the private key holders, the exchange said at 1PM Shanghai time this Friday.
No further detail is provided with the exchange saying “the associated authorization could not be completed.”
They promise to resume withdrawals “once the concerned private key holder is able to authorize the transaction.”
The exchange further says: “Other functions are up and running. Your funds and assets are safe and not affected.”
In short, it appears they have lost contact with one of the multisig holders so they can’t refill or resume withdrawals.
The question of course is why they have lost contact. Our guess would be because the person concerned is probably in China where a crackdown on bitcoin Over the Counter (OTC) traders has continued intensifying.
Investigations are continuous there with numerous bank account closures in what can be described as the most hostile environment in the world where cryptos are concerned.
OKex is no longer based in China, but they facilitate OTC trading in yuan primarily for USDT which is then converted on numerous exchanges, including decentralized ones on ethereum, for all sorts of cryptos or exotic tokens.
Huobi does the same, but recently they opened headquarters in China which suggests their relations with authorities there might be better.
Whether Chinese authorities have their eyes on OKex however remains unclear, with the exchange promising further updates.