New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has published on its website a warning against Igot bitcoin exchange.
According to the notice in the section “Businesses to be wary of”, the regulator has received complaints from New Zealand based clients of Igot operated by the company 13th Pty Ltd. that it has failed to repay them in accordance with their instructions. “Igot is not registered or required to be registered to provide financial services in New Zealand,” the FMA notes.
On its website igot.com, the exchange claims to be founded in Australia in 2013 and offers trading and transfers of Bitcoin in 40 countries in Asia, Europe and the UAE and across more than 100 banks.
It seems, however, that Igot has had withdrawal problems for over a year now. In the summer of 2015 the CoinDesk news portal published an interview with the founder of the exchange Rick Day, in which he refuted allegations that Igot was a scam. Day explained that the delayed withdrawals in fiat currencies were caused by the banks who found that some of Igot’s clients were using stolen bank account details to fund their Bitcoin wallets and withdraw Bitcoin.
Another problem back then, according to Rick Day, were distributed-denial-of-service (DdoS) hacker attacks, which crippled Igot’s operations. Earlier withdrawal problems were explained with “major upgrades” of Igot.
Those excuses, however, did not seem to placate the angry users, who took it to the social networks and the forums to complain and warn other users to be wary of Igot.
Obviously, the problems of the exchange continue to this day. This spring Australian media reported Igot was near collapse and owes its clients hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the Australian Digital Currency Commerce Association (ADCCA) issued a statement it was working on a code of conduct. At the same time, the exchange published on its Facebook page a notice denying the reports it was on the verge of insolvency and promised to repay its customers by the end of this May. It obviously did not keep its promise, as clients continue to demand their money back. According to some posts, people have been waiting for withdrawals for many months.
It appears that cryptocurrency scams are gaining popularity. In the last several weeks various regulators have started publishing warning against allegedly fraudulent exchanges.