Proof-of-keys: The exchanges that failed

If you like what you read, feel free to share it:

Recently, in January 3rd, happened the annual proof of keys event. Created by Trace Mayer, it advises traders to withdraw all their Bitcoins to see the exchanges’ ability to provide solvency. Unfortunately, there were a few precedents which appear to have failed the annual occasion. 

The loudest case: Singapore based reports fire three days after the occurrence

On January 3rd, the exchange reported that their data centers experienced a fire during new years eve. Specifically, according to their announcement, the fire happened on January 1st.

They write:

“On January 1, 2019, a fire occurred in the data center where the exchange servers are located, as a result of which part of the data on the main and backup servers was destroyed.
All crypto coins wallets are safe, but we need time to restore the balance sheets and trading history of about 7% of traders from earlier backups.
We ask to fill in the form to the support service with the indication of your recent transactions and operations with wallets.
We apologize and ask to treat this situation with understanding.” provided no further evidence. In the meantime, many users complain about their account status as they neither can withdraw their funds nor access their accounts.

However, users can still create accounts at this time, and suspiciously enough, Bitcoin is trading at higher prices. According to CCN, this is a common exit-scam strategy. Even updated the status of the exchange saying: “We have received reports that user deposits are being withheld. Please be careful with your funds.”

We advise not to deposit any funds in this exchange while such confusion is in the air. We have sent reporters to Singapore to check out their headquarters for any evidence. More info is soon to come!

Many other exchanges report problems


Some crypto traders know that Poloniex freezes accounts, and locks withdrawals from time to time. This is the main reason why they don’t use that exchange anymore. This is no exception. During January 3rd, many people complained about their transactions taking even up to four days. People share no surprise with the exchanges ongoings.

On the other hand, Poloniex is one of the early bird exchanges in the crypto-sphere. It launched in 2014 and still is one of the largest and popular exchanges there is. Many traders start their trading days exclusively with Poloniex.

Bitfinex and Coinbase

Bitfinex is yet another exchange which reported issues on their platform exactly on January 3rd.

This tweet raised a lot of suspicion among traders. However, this was a very short issue. They resolved it in an hours time. So technically this does not apply as a failed Proof-of-keys issue. But weirdly enough, Coinbase also reported issues with BTC/USD trading pairs on their exchange Coinbase Pro. Tweeters started exchanging opinions about this weird coincidence. There was only a half hour between Bitfinex and Coinbase tweets. Go figure. All their services are back up and running now.


Trace Mayer’s proof of keys twitter thread became a place where people posted their observations about several exchanges failing Proof of keys. A Twitter user @ansalhar Ben Westgate posted a reply to Trace Mayer saying:

“@RobinhoodApp Failed Proof of Keys 2019 Promised and Did Not Deliver. “Coin Withdrawals At this time we don’t support coin withdrawals, though we plan to do so in the future.””

Moreover, Robinhood still is yet to answer to this accusation as their Twitter activity ends on January 2nd.

Although PurseIO is not an exchange, you can deposit Bitcoins within their platform. Purse allows users to buy things with Bitcoin via Amazon Prime. A Twitter user @crypto_senior posted that they have halted withdrawals “with no reasonable explanation”.

However, PurseIO’s support manager, with a Twitter username @Codiox quickly responded that everything within the site, including Bitcoin withdrawals, are working fine.


As we recently reported many complaints arose blaming HitBTC for freezing customers’ accounts. Lots of FUD were shared around the crypto-sphere, but now it looks like HitBTC is backing all these claims, and says they have responded to everyone in Reddit and Twitter as well. They blame Cointelegraph for creating articles in a biased manner, with a series of compiled quotes, saying: “We’re always in touch”.

HitBTC started replying to users on Twitter

Proof-of-work shakes up the crypto ecosystem.

All these precedents, except BiteBTC mysterious fire issues, are minor. All users’ funds are safe. But people have some thinking to do right now. You should ask yourself, whether you trust these exchanges. Because this year, you could say that Proof-of-keys was not that big of a movement. Trace Mayer is not that familiar within China-based traders and Asia in general. It could take time for this movement to reach that side of the world. But one thing is for sure – this movement will become larger and larger with every New Year approaching. Maybe this is the time when to switch to Decentralized Exchanges?

This subjective tweet sums this occasion up pretty well:


Photo by Luka Siemionov from Pexels

Coinbase’s range of assets – a bullish sign?

If you like what you read, feel free to share it:

Recently Coinbase came out with a blog post announcing a broad range exploration of assets. These assets include Cardano (ADA), Aeternity (AE), Aragon (ANT), Bread Wallet (BRD), Civic (CVC), Dai (DAI), district0x (DNT), EnjinCoin (ENJ), EOS (EOS), Golem Network (GNT), IOST (IOST), Kin (KIN), Kyber Network (KNC), ChainLink (LINK), Loom Network (LOOM), Loopring (LRC), Decentraland (MANA), Mainframe (MFT), Maker (MKR), NEO (NEO), OmiseGo (OMG), (POE), QuarkChain (QKC), Augur (REP), Request Network (REQ), Status (SNT), Storj (STORJ), Stellar (XLM), XRP (XRP), Tezos (XTZ), and Zilliqa (ZIL).

Not all will be available for everyone

Coinbase explained that not all assets would be available for everyone. That highly depends on the law of the specific jurisdiction. “Some of these assets may become available everywhere, while others may only be supported in specific jurisdictions,” they say in their blog post. They are working closely with local banks and regulators to add these assets in as many jurisdictions as possible. Also, some assets might be only available for hodling, they reveal in their post, saying that “our listing process may result in some of these assets being listed solely for customers to buy and sell, without the ability to send or receive using a local wallet.”

Why now?

This decision by Coinbase comes not precisely as a surprise, but it raises a specific question. Does Coinbase know something that we don’t know? Why explore the addition of these assets only now? Of course, “now” is a stretched term, and they already announced this in September, but all of these assets have lost more than 90% of their all-time high value. Is Coinbase discretely signaling of a bull market approaching?

“Over time, we intend to offer our customers access to greater than 90% of all compliant digital assets by market cap.”

Isn’t this a little late? Multiple services are offering this already, so what would set Coinbase aside from them? However, the motivation is bright for this, the market is getting larger, and people want to hold their assets in one place. On the other hand, this could have been a great feature last year, during the ICO craze.

As reported previously, Coinbase first added the support of Basic Attention Token (BAT). Then without notice, they added 0x (ZRX), and just recently, Coinbase added Zcash (ZEC) to their multiple platforms.


Basic Attention Token steps into Coinbase!

If you like what you read, feel free to share it:

On Friday, November 2, following an announcement from Coinbase, BAT (Basic Attention Token) is available on the Coinbase Pro trading platform. The first trading book to open will be the BAT/USDC trading pair. At the moment this is not available only for residents of the state of New York. 

The four stages

Coinbase carefully describes that this BAT implementation will go through four different stages. The first stage is only for depositing BAT. Users will not be able to trade it.

The second stage means that users will be able to put limit-orders, but no matches or completed orders are going to occur. “Order books will be in post-only mode for a minimum of one minute,” says in their announcement blog post.

In the third stage, the limit orders will start matching, but users will not be able to submit real market orders. This limit-only mode will be for a minimum of ten minutes.

So in the final fourth stage, full trading, limit, market, and stop orders will be active.

BAT to conquer Coinbase

Coinbase notes that at the moment BAT is not available at or on their iOS and Android apps. They are going to announce it later.

Previously Coinbase added the ZRX (0x) token, but that implementation went the other way around. They implemented it on all of their platforms –, iOS, and Andriod apps first. Only after that, they enabled it for open trading.

I believe the answer to this is that Coinbase considers BAT a small market. They’re doing the four-stage implementation to check if this addition can establish sufficient liquidity, only then they will fully activate the BAT/USDC trading pairs.

Basic Attention Token

Basic Attention Token radically improves the efficiency of digital advertising by creating a new token that can be exchanged between publishers, advertisers, and users.

BAT just recently released their new version (0.55) of the Brave desktop browser. The latest version of the browser is based on Chromium. The new version is 22% faster than the previous, and with that, it is the fastest browser they have ever made.

It looks like these past weeks have been very successful for BAT, and they are here to stay. They have been continuously upgrading their Brave browser and expanding their markets. Today BATs largest market by volume is on Binance (BAT/BTC) with $42 million volume in the last 24 hours. They are working on delivering the Brave version 1.0, which will feature an extensions store, private tabs instead of windows, tab previews and more UI customizations.

The Price

It is interesting to see an instant price change following news like this. The BAT price was doing fine, with no significant fluctuations, and then on November 2, 10 PM, the price just spiked from $0.26 to $0.31 in only about five minutes. At the moment it has leveled out at $0.29. This Coinbase addition is good for BATs adoption since Coinbase is the leader cryptocurrency wallet app for mobile users. Now it will become even more comfortable for them to purchase BAT.


Photo by (Quintin Gellar)