OKEx has suspended all cryptocurrency withdrawals indefinitely, saying one of the exchange’s key holders has “been out of touch” with the exchange because they are “currently cooperating with a public security bureau in investigations.” OKEx’ CEO later said the investigation is due to the key holder’s “personal issue.”
Most of the top cryptocurrencies sold off on the news, with the price of bitcoin on OKEx dropping 3% in 30 minutes, touching $11,182 Friday morning, before starting to rebound to $11,300 at last check.
The key holder's being out of touch prevented withdrawal authorization from being completed, the exchange wrote in a notice published early Friday morning.
Hours before the announcement, significant withdrawals of ether, tron and bitcoin were completed from known OKEx-affiliated addresses, as picked up by on-chain transaction monitoring service Whale Alert.
The exchange did not immediately respond to CoinDesk's request for comment.
"OKEx’s other functions remain normal and stable and the security of your assets at OKEx will not affected," the notice read. "We will resume digital assets/cryptocurrencies withdrawals immediately once the concerned private key holder is able to authorize the transaction."
OKEx CEO Jay Hao claimed the key holder's cooperation with officials was due to a "personal issue" and the investigation would not affect the business, according to a Weibo post.
Taking to Twitter, Hao indicated that non-crypto withdrawals should still be processing, claiming that all non-crypto or digital asset operations were unaffected.
The Malta-based exchange is the second-largest cryptocurrency derivatives platform by 24-hour volume, according to Skew.