The bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange OKEx announced on Thursday that it will reactivate withdrawals from its platform on November 27, or even earlier, according to a statement posted on its website. The exchange house indicated that there will be no restrictions on operations and that it will apply a reward plan to its users for loyalty.
OKEx suspended withdrawals from its system on October 16 after one of its executives, whose identity was not disclosed, was detained by law enforcement authorities to launch an investigation into the company’s operations. The freeze occurred because the manager is the owner of one of the company’s private keys.
“Throughout this investigation it was confirmed that OKEx had not been involved in any wrongdoing or illegal activity, and the holder of the private key has now returned to his normal business functions,” OKEx reported without identifying the executive who would have been detained about a month ago.
Prior to what will be the reactivation of its service, OKEx said that it will carry out strict security controls to guarantee the operation of its hot wallet system. OKEx admitted that it has not included in its contingency plan scenarios such as one of the private key holders “becoming unreachable due to unforeseen circumstances.”
OKEx mining pool collapse
Due to the situation with the OKEx executive, the processing power or hashrate of its bitcoin mining pool fell almost entirely, going from 9,000 PH / s to just 20 PH / s in a few days. The collapse of the group of miners was related to the arrest of the manager who has been identified as Mingxing “Star” Xu, founder of the OKEx exchange.
According to figures from btc.com, the pool remained operational, mining between 150 and 320 blocks per month until October 2020. However, statistics now show that during November the group has mined only 1 block, which represents a fall almost 100%.
The graph shows how mining activity in the OKEx pool fell sharply between October and November. Source: btc.com.
On October 16, the OKEx exchange was reported to have suspended withdrawals indefinitely amid a police investigation. The sudden disappearance of the executive and the suspension of withdrawals would have generated uncertainty among the miners who, faced with any new situation that could arise, decided to transfer the mining power to other pools.
“Although payments to its mining clients are not directly affected by OKEx’s suspension of withdrawals from business accounts, even the possibility of disbursement complications is reason enough for miners to switch pools,” he told Coindesk, Ethan Vera, co-founder of mining company Luxor Technology.
In the last month of operations, the pool has only extracted 12 blocks and the last one was registered on November 2. That is, the group has 17 continuous days without mining any blocks, according to The Block. An update on OKEx’s Twitter account, published on Tuesday, indicates that withdrawals remain suspended.
Reports on the release of the executive
From China, local media and reporters covering the bitcoiner source published Thursday that “Star” Xu had “gained some freedom.” Reporter @WuBlockchain reported on the release, but no clarified if it is a conditional release or if it is the end of the investigation being carried out.
«Star ‘Xu, director of OKEx, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in China, has gained some freedom. This may bring a bit of optimism in the research storm hitting the crypto industry in China, ”the communicator wrote on Twitter.
The information about the executive’s release sent the price of OKB, an ERC20 token on Ethereum that is backed by the exchange, skyrocketing. According to metrics from the Live Coin Watch service, the crypto asset shows a 15.2% rise in the last 24 hours trading, at the time of publishing this article, at $ 5.69 per unit.
CryptoNews reported on Oct. 31 that the mysterious disappearance of “Star” Xu was keeping around 200,000 bitcoin blocked on the exchange, according to a report by Glassnode.