A
cryptocurrency exchange in New Zealand is suspected of having performed an exit
scam after bluntly announcing an immediate halt due to an alleged hack.

The
first signs of trouble emerged on the afternoon of January 14, when Cryptopia
announced on its Twitter page that the exchange was going through unscheduled
maintenance.

“We
are currently experiencing an unscheduled maintenance, we are working to resume
services as soon as possible. We will keep you updated,” the exchange said.

The exchange later announced it was hacked, generating an immediate wave of speculation (mostly from its own customers) that it was, in fact, an exit scam. The fears wouldn’t be entirely unfounded, given the numerous precedents involving other exchanges and the lack of details about the situation. The full notice is here:

As
reported by blockt.com, some users claim
their Ethereum wallets were drained right before the shutdown.

Cryptopia
has not disclosed the amount of digital currency stolen, nor if it will use its
own funds (if any remain) to reimburse customers affected by the hack. We’ll
update this story with any new developments.