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Second Turkish Crpypto Exchange Shuts down, Locks Up Customers’ Funds

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Another Turkish cryptocurrency exchange, Vebitcoin, has abruptly shut down its operation, citing financial difficulties.  

Vebitcoin Crypto Exchange Shutdown

Vebitcoin’s shutdown is the second to occur in Turkey following the earlier closure of the Thodex crypto exchange.

Information on the Vebitcoin website reveals that the crypto exchange decided to shut its activities since transactions have become more expensive than expected. 

Although the information remains unclear, customers using the cryptocurrency exchange no longer have access to their digital assets. 

Vebitcoin said it regrets the inconveniences caused, adding that customers will be provided with comprehensive information as soon as possible. 

Last week, Thodex shuttered Wednesday. The exchange tweeted that halting trading activities is inevitable due to outside investment and cyberattacks. 

Vebitcoin is one of the smaller crypto exchanges in Turkey. The exchange’s trading volume was $60 million on the last day of trading, according to CoinMarketCap.

Following Vebitcoin’s sudden closure, the Turkish financial crimes watchdog MASAK has frozen all bank accounts connected with Vebitcoin. And an investigation is currently ongoing. 

Authorities Go Tough On Vebitcoin, Thodex

The abrupt shutdown of the Vebitcoin cryptocurrency exchange has attracted the attention of Turkish authorities, leading to the arrest of no fewer than four people in connection to the crypto platform. 

Reuters report captures Mehmet Nadir Yagci’s statement, a prosecutor in the south-western city of Mugla, that the four people arrested and detained are personnel of the crypto trading platform. 

Last week, it was reported that Turkish authorities had issued an international arrest warrant for Faruk Fatih Ozer, the founder of Thodex, having allegedly fled to Albania with around $2bn belonging to investors.

In the same vein, the authorities have also arrested 62 people known to have connections with the Thodex cryptocurrency exchange. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Ozer tweeted that the allegation leveled against him is baseless, stressing that he was in Albania for some official meetings. 

Last week Wednesday, Thodex informed users of the trading platform that it needed five days to address an undisclosed outside investment before suspending trading activities. 

Recently, the Turkish central bank announced that cryptocurrency holders would be prohibited from using their digital assets for payment starting from April 30. 

While all payment providers are banned from offering fiat-to-crypto onramps for crypto exchanges, the authorities still provide room for crypto traders to deposit Turkish Lira through wire transfers.

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