Cryptopia

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Cryptopia Ltd.
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Founded 2014
Headquarters Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Key People Rob Dawson, co-founder; Adam Clark, co-founder
Employees 51-200
Products Cryptocurrency trading services
Twitter @Cryptopia_NZ
LinkedIn Profile
Website Cryptopia Exchange

Cryptopia was a cryptocurrency exchange based in Christchurch, Canterbury, in New Zealand. The exchange announced on May 15, 2019 that, due to a hacking attack early in 2019 that resulted in "significant" losses for the company, it had begun liquidating its assets.[1]

Overview

Cryptopia was founded in 2014 by Rob Dawson and Adam Clark.[2] On January 14, 2019, Cryptopia posted on Twitter that the exchange had suspended services after detecting a major hacking attack that resulted in "significant" losses. Earlier, the exchange had informed the public that it was engaged in unscheduled maintenance, though it had not disclosed that this was due to a security breach. Cryptopia notified New Zealand Police and High Tech Crimes Unit, who opened an investigation on the attack, classifying it as a major crime. At the time, Cryptopia listed over 800 digital assets for trading services. Several members of the crypto community accused Cryptopia of instigating an "exit scam," pointing to the bearish state of the crypto markets at the time as evidence that Cryptopia may have been struggling financially regardless of whether the attack was real or not.[3][4]

On February 27, 2019, Cryptopia announced that "worst case," approximately 9.4 percent of its total holdings had been stolen, and that it was working to assess the full impact of the January attack. Elementus, a blockchain data analytics firm, estimated that the losses may have been worth $16 million.[5] On March 20, the exchange announced that it had resumed trading services for 40 trade pairs that Cryptopia had "quantified as secure."[6]

Liquidation

On May 15, 2019, the exchange announced that it had halted trading and had begun liquidation. Its website was replaced with a single page displaying a press release announcing the news, which also specified David Ruscoe and Russell Moore of Grant Thornton New Zealand as its appointed liquidators. The notice said that the decision to liquidate was made "despite the efforts of management to reduce cost and return the business to profitability...for the benefit of all stakeholders." It also said that the investigation regarding the hacking attacks was expected to take an indeterminable number of months and that customers would be contacted within a few days to discuss the appointment of assets.[7][8][9]

References