Turkish crypto exchange, Vebitcoin, said in a brief statement on its website that it had ceased all activities after facing financial strain and that it would update clients on the situation as soon as possible. It is the second crypto exchange to cease activities after Thodex went offline, with its CEO reportedly leaving the country. Local media reports say Thodex founder Faruk Fatih Ozer flew to Albania, taking $2 billion of investors’ funds with him.
Authorities block Vebitcoin’s domestic bank accounts.
According to the Reuters report, Turkish authorities have blocked Vebitcoin’s domestic bank accounts and detained four people as part of a probe into the exchange. According to CoinGecko data, Vebitcoin had almost $60 million in daily trading volumes prior to its collapse. Some Turks have turned to crypto as a way to protect their savings from skyrocketing inflation and the weakening of the local currency, the lira. But there have been growing calls for regulation of the market due to concerns around fraudulent activity.
Turkey’s central bank has banned the use of digital assets for payments.
As reported earlier, Turkey’s central bank banned the use of digital assets for payments earlier this month. And Erdogan has called for swift regulation, warning of “pyramid schemes” emerging in the crypto markets. Crypto investors believe the industry has matured significantly in the last three years, with more institutional investors and corporate like Tesla warming up to the industry. Bitcoin’s price is up around 80% since the start of the year, even after a sharp plunge over the weekend that saw the entire crypto market shed more than $200 billion in a day. The leading cryptocurrency has witnessed a massive rally this year, crossing its all-time high several times.