Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Einstein has closed its doors, reportedly owing customers more than 16 million Canadian dollars (~US$12.4 million).
The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) announced on Monday that it had recently been told by a lawyer representing Einstein that the exchange planned to shut down within 30 to 60 days due to a lack of profit. Einstein’s website is currently inaccessible.
In a separate affidavit filing dated Nov. 1, BCSC lead investigator Sammy Wu said that he believes "Einstein improperly used their customers' assets" and that it owes customers millions in cash and cryptocurrencies.
Source: The affidavit filing
Wu further said that he went to the Einstein Exchange office on Nov. 1 and "discovered that the elevator is locked for all floors.”
"I called Gokturk's [Einstein Exchange founder Michael Ongun Gokturk] phone number listed on their website and the recording said all their agents are not available. I called Gokturk and his voice mail said that he is unavailable and to send a text message since he does not check voice mail. I sent him a text message," Wu added.
The BCSC is investigating the case and said that the Supreme Court of British Columbia has appointed Grant Thornton as an interim receiver to take possession over any of Einstein’s properties and assets.
“The BCSC has not authorized any crypto-asset trading platforms to operate as an exchange,” it said, adding that Canadians should exercise caution when buying or selling any cryptocurrencies due to various risks.