An exit scam is when an exchange builds up a reserve of users crypto, and then claims the funds were stolen, when in reality the founders have taken control of the coins.
On October 28th, MapleChange’s markets were manipulated with users coins being forced converted into BTC. The exchange’s official twitter account then released the following tweets:
In a since deleted tweet, MapleChange preposterously claimed that due to the hack, the exchange will be closing down, not paying anyone back and closing down its social media accounts.
“Because we have no more funds to pay anyone back, the exchange has to close down unfortunately. This includes all of our social media.”
MapleChange has reactivated its twitter account in an effort to defend itself and claim some of the smaller alt-coins have been returned to developers leading those projects. Although this claim has been refuted, as one of the alts they supposedly returned tweeted this:
While the Edmonton-based exchange has no public team on their website, the good folks on the internet decided to investigate, and managed to track down the founders. The two brothers, Glad and Flavius Poenaru, have scrubbed their Linkedin and social media pages, but a few links remain.
A twitter account that goes by the name @maplechang’ed in ode to the infamous Bitfinex/Tether sleuth Bitfinex’ed, has been leading the charge in exposing MapleChange as an exit scam. If you’re interested or were personally affected by the hack, check their account for updates.
Small crypto exchanges are 100% focused on maximizing profitability over security, as they often face no regulatory oversight. In contrast to this, Japanese exchanges Zaif and Coincheck both worked with local authorities after they were hacked to help recover stolen funds.
Current evidence indicates that MapleChange was a scam, but even if this is just a poorly communicated hack, similar lessons apply: