Hotbit Suspends Trading, Withdrawals amid Criminal Investigation

Hotbit, a cryptocurrency trading platform based in Hong Kong, announced on Wednesday that it has suspended trading, deposit, withdrawal and funding functions because law-enforcement agencies have frozen some of the company’s funds during a criminal investigation involving a former employee.

Hotbit confirmed an employee in question worked for the company until April this year. The exchange further stated that last year, the employee was involved in an external project, contrary to the company’s guidelines, and is now suspected of violating criminal laws.

Hotbit did not disclose many details about the investigation or the employee’s identity. The firm did not even disclose which jurisdiction is the investigation being conducted.

Hotbit only stated that the person, a former management employee, is under investigation because of his involvement in an external project in 2021, which is alleged to violate criminal laws.

Since the start of last month, the company said that law enforcement authorities summoned several senior managers of Hotbit to assist in the investigation.

But Hotbit clarified that the company and other employees did not have knowledge about the matter and were not involved in the project in question.

In a statement in its blog post, Hotbit wrote: “Law enforcement has frozen some funds of Hotbit, which has prevented Hotbit from running normally. Hotbit will resume normal service as soon as the assets are unfrozen.” The firm further added that the assets and data of all users are safe and said it has sent its application to the law enforcement authorities to release the frozen funds.

Hotbit was established in 2018 and registered in Hong Kong and Estonia, with most of its workers coming from China, Taiwan, and the U.S. According to the company’s website, the exchange has over 1 million registered users from more than 170 countries.

As per its blog post, the exchange cancelled open orders during the suspension and liquidated all users’ leveraged exchange-traded fund (ETF) positions according to their values at 12:00 UTC on August 10 Wednesday to prevent losses.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Moma Protocol Trading Opens on Tuesday July 6, Followed by IDO on Bounce, WeStarter & IEO on HotBit

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Moma Protocol hosts its IDO on July 6.

Moma Protocol Prepares Token Launch

Moma Protocol, the project bringing fully customizable Lending Pools to solve DeFi assets’ liquidity and scalability problems, is conducting its Initial DEX Offering (IDO) on July 6. The IDO will run on the Bounce and WeStarter platforms. Simultaneously, there will be an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) on the HotBit platform.

Through its smart contract Factory, Moma Protocol provides a valuable service to the financial sector. Whether it is for DeFi purposes or asset management, creating and managing customizable Lending Pools is a big step forward. Through the Protocol’s Factory component, teams can meet the market’s lending needs and generate infinite liquidity for particular digital assets, through a closed-loop business cycle design consisting of fully customizable Launch Pools and Lending Pools. It also creates continuous growth and acceleration opportunities for long-tail digital assets, which are always appealing options for users trying to diversify their investment portfolio.

The best way to describe Moma Protocol’s business model is B2B2C. More specifically, the Protocol caters to the business clients first – the B2B aspect – and then extends its services through fully customizable Lending Pools to consumers. All participants in this equation receive a share of the interests generated by the incomes or transaction fees of the Liquidity pools.

Platform security and price-feeding accuracy will be safeguarded by a proprietary Whistleblower mechanism where users would get rewarded or penalized on a token level, based on the quality of the price-related information they submit.

As the team’s smart contract audit and product beta MVP launch have proven successful, Moma looks towards the future. A seed round and private fundraising have been completed, with a strategic round being wrapped up. Notable investors – including Fundamental Labs, SevenX Ventures, AU21, DFG Capital, MXC, Genesis Shards, Coins Group, Oasis Capital, and more than 10 others, including project NFT Stars – show a keen interest in this project. As a next step, Moma Protocol will offer its native token to the public through a multi-pronged approach.

The first order of business is organizing the Initial DEX Offering (IDO) on the WeStarter and Bounce platforms. These sales will commence on July 6 at 11:00 AM UTC and end at 12:00 Noon UTC. Coinciding with these IDOs is the Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) on HotBit, which starts and ends at the same time.

Trading of Moma’s native token will commence on Uniswap and Mdex on July 6 at 1:00 PM UTC; MXC and HotBit at 2:00 PM UTC. Those who participate in the IDO or IEO will have different token trading options at their disposal, should they wish to explore them.

As a solution to meet users’ demand for liquidity, scalability, and speculation needs in the DeFi lending markets, Moma Protocol produces, manages, accelerates, and aggregates the lending market through a proprietary smart contract factory, creating an ecosystem that can expand infinitely in lending liquidity and market diversity. The beta version of the product has currently been online and the official version of the product will be live in July 2021.

Ocean’s CEO holds a Master’s Degree at Fudan University. They are also a senior programmer, a serial entrepreneur in the blockchain industry with solid experience in initiating projects such as Gravity (300,000 users), Lichang (1 million users), TokenUp wallet (100,000 users), and respected veteran in the Chinese community.

Ocean’s CTO V.C holds a Master’s Degree at Fudan University. They are also a senior blockchain developer, independently led the development, testing, and deployment of two Ethereum-based DeFi projects, and was involved in the launch of the mainnet and application development of blockchain projects such as EOS, Platon, and Worbli.

Ocean’s CMO Virginia is the co-founder of Coins Group, a crypto fund based in Hong Kong, 12 years of experience in digital marketing and internet start-up building; 4 years of experience in blockchain investment and project incubation, invested in over 30 blockchain projects.

For more information, contact Virginia Lam at [email protected] or visit Moma Protocol’s social channels:



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Shanghai Man: VeChain on TV, DOGE flips BTC, Hotbit hack, blockchain dev $$$ …

This weekly roundup of news from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong attempts to curate the industry’s most important news, including influential projects, changes in the regulatory landscape, and enterprise blockchain integrations.

Will DOGEmania ever stop?

Dogecoin has officially flipped Bitcoin in a few categories here in China, with DOGE trading volume on leading Chinese exchange Huobi surpassing that of leading assets ETH and BTC. On May 6th, according to CoinGecko, DOGE volume made up more than 15% of total exchange volume, whereas BTC and ETH were around 8% each. Searches for ‘Dogecoin’ on WeChat surpassed searches for Bitcoin, with 2.3 million versus 1.7 million on May 5th. Dogecoin has become increasingly appealing to the Chinese retail community since earlier this year as many are attracted to the virality and get-rich-quick potential of the colorful DOGE community.

Hacking attempt fails, but causes a major ruckus

Centralized exchange Hotbit was the victim of a hacking attempt on April 30th. The good news was that assets appear to be safe on the platform. The bad news was that user data was compromised, leading to a corrupted database. Trading, deposits and withdrawals have all been paused while the exchange attempts to restore normality. The Chinese exchange has been communicating actively via Twitter, with the interrupted service lasting potentially another week. Hotbit is well known for listing a diverse range of assets, making it a popular spot among more risk averse investors.

Shenzhen-based HOO launches Smart Chain contender became yet another exchange to launch an Ethereum Virtual Machine, or EVM-based, smart chain, attempting to bridge their CeFi users into the DeFi space. The chain, currently in testnet, boasts low fees of just 0.001 USD per transaction and over 500+ transactions per second, as well as compatibility with Ethereum, BSC, and HECO. Since the start of the year, Hoo’s token has increased by over 350%. Other Chinese exchanges, including OKEx and Gate, have also launched smart chains. Smart chains are proving an attractive way to let users maximize yield while still letting the exchange capture value from the process.

VeChain on national TV

English-language and state-run business channel CGTN created a short expository video on blockchain’s growth post-COVID19. The video and article featured a close look at VeChain’s progress in developing business solutions, explaining how the technology could be applied to the food safety and infection control industry. The media company shot a short video inside the office and interviewed a few of the developers, indicating that the company has done well to comply with regulatory requirements in the tightly run country. It’s no secret that VeChain has a top position and close relationship with many government backed organizations, which is an enviable position for any enterprise Blockchain-as-a-Service provider.

Rising salaries for blockchain devs

The Beijing Human Resources and Social Security Bureau recently released the 2021 Beijing Human Resources Market Salary Survey Report (First Quarterly)”. According to the report, new and hot jobs, which included the tech space, had a median average monthly salary mainly in the $3,000 to $4,600 range. Blockchain engineers comfortably eclipsed that with a wage of $6,700 per month, showing the growing demand for the skills. By contrast, the average annual salary of a blockchain developer in the U.S. often exceeds $12,500 per month, according to recruitment firm, nearly double the going rate in Beijing.

Miners back up and running… away?

Mining appears to have resumed as normal following the outages after a deadly coal mine accident last month. The incident required rigorous inspections of mining facilities, forcing many ASIC miners to turn off their machines. Hashrates have currently recovered to near the rates they were prior to the incident in the middle of April. One interesting shift, however, is that the industry appears to be gradually shifting from China to North America. F2Pool founder Chun Wang noted that for the first time in 8 years, more than half the BTC hashing power was coming from outside of China. This may have been partially tied to the incident, but is a trend that many experts are following as mining regulations in China appear to be growing stricter.


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Hotbit crypto exchange shuts down for maintenance after attempted hack

Cryptocurrency exchange platform Hotbit has shut down all of its services after an attempted cyberattack on Thursday.

“Hotbit just suffered a serious cyber-attack starting around 08:00 PM UTC, April 29, 2021, which led to the paralyzation of a number of some basic services,” a notice on the platform’s website reads.

The hackers were reportedly unsuccessful in gaining access to Hotbit’s wallets but did manage to compromise the platform’s user database. Thus, the Hotbit team has advised customers to disregard any communication from entities claiming to be representatives of the exchange.

With all normal operations currently paused during the ongoing maintenance, Hotbit also revealed that pending trading orders are canceled to prevent losses. Also, the exchange promised to bear any losses stemming from exchange-traded funds listed on its platform during the duration of the maintenance.

According to the Hotbit announcement, the maintenance will last for at least seven days with reports that the investigation and system upgrade could take as long as two weeks.

Addressing users on the exchange’s Telegram group, Alex Zhou, chief security officer of Hotbit, revealed that user funds were unaffected by the attack, stating: “The attacker tried to break into the wallet server to steal funds but the action was identified and blocked successfully by Hotbit risk control system. All users’ funds are safe.”

“At the same time, Hotbit is in the process of transferring all funds in hot wallet to cold wallet, the details of the whole integration could be seen on the chain,” he said.

Source: Etherscan

Indeed, data from Ethereum transaction monitoring tool Etherscan shows multiple token outflows from one of Hotbit’s known wallets to another address that currently holds about $14 million in several altcoins.

However, the length of time given for the maintenance is causing significant unrest among Hotbit users judging by comments on social media and in the platform’s Telegram channel.

Fears over the incident being an exit scam by the Hotbit team are palpable. Earlier in April, two major exchanges in Turkey went offline, with their executives fleeing with millions of dollars in user funds. Both incidents have led to sweeping arrests by law enforcement agencies as well as plans by the government to establish a central custodian bank for cryptocurrency exchanges in Turkey.