- Russian exchange Livecoin has announced that it has had to close following a purported hack in December
- Livecoin did not reveal how much was taken or what funds remain, but it has opened a claims portal
- The hack could be cover for an exit scam following tightening regulations in Russia
Livecoin, the Russian cryptocurrency exchange that was allegedly hacked in December has announced that it has been forced to close. Livecoin says that it fell victim to a “carefully planned attack” around Christmas day, and following attempts to revive the operation in the days since it has “no way to continue operative business in these conditions”, forcing it to close. With Russian authorities clamping down hard on crypto services in recent months however, the hack story could be cover for an exit scam.
Livecoin ‘Hacked’ But Doesn’t Reveal Stolen Amount
Livecoin informed users of the hack on Christmas day, telling users through a notice on its website that it had lost control of its servers and backend services as well as its news channels, although it was still able to post the notification on its site. Something was certainly amiss at the time, with the price of Bitcoin reaching $320,000 on December 24, with Twitter users warning others off the site for the time being:
Livecoin’s update informing users of its dissolution says that it has taken the “hard decision to close the business” due to being “damaged hard in (a) technical and financial way”. They have promised to pay the “remaining funds to clients” but have not stated how much was stolen and so how much remains.
Claims Portal Opens
Users are being asked to send their name and registration date to [email protected] in order to receive their cut of whatever remains, although given that Livecoin claims to have lost control of large swathes of its backend it is not yet clear if this is a genuine claims portal. The official Twitter account asks customers to follow the advice given on the page however, adding to its authenticity.
While a hack is of course a viable possibility, it is strange that Livecoin has not said how much money was taken or offered any further evidence of the hack. It also comes at a time when the Russian government is cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges and users, so this could simply be a way to exit scam with a portion of the funds.