Turkish Exchange Thodex Goes Dark as CEO Leaves Country

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  • Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex has gone dark with billions on its platform
  • Thordex said that it is investigating potential investment which has necessitated a 4-5 day closure
  • The platform has 391,000 active users and billions of dollars’ worth of funds in its care

Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex has worried its 391,000 customers by shutting down unexpectedly as police confirmed that its CEO has left the country, leaving billions in user funds locked on the platform. The only explanation offered for the halt to services came via a note put on the exchange’s Twitter account which referenced a potential new business partner whose proposal apparently requires an evaluation period of 4-5 days. The halt in operations comes just days after Thodex ran a signup campaign that rewarded new registrants with 150 DOGE coins that they now can’t sell.

Thodex Problems Known for Weeks

Thodex is a popular exchange in Turkey that has been running since 2017, and so the perceived impropriety comes as something of a surprise. The first sign that something was amiss came on Tuesday when exchange announced that maintenance would take it offline for around six hours, which in itself is nothing new in the crypto world.

However, the responses to the tweet (translated from Turkish) were suggestive, with some users claiming that “since April 16, you have annoyed me with stress, it did not work at all” while another said that “obviously there is a malfunction”. These concerns appear to have been valid as Thordex then went offline yesterday, since when Turkish police have confirmed that CEO Faruk Fatih Özer has left the country, throwing the fate of the exchange and its users’ funds into serious doubt. How much the exchange holds has not yet emerged, but it is thought to be in the billions of dollars.

Turkey Crypto Ban Behind Closure?

The reason for Özer’s abandoning of Thordex may have been fueled by the Turkish government’s announcement last week that cryptocurrency transactions will be banned in Turkey from April 30, which, if followed through, effectively wipes out the exchange’s viability in one fell swoop.