The company claimed that in September 2018 an update to its system threw errors. The startup denied that it will change its name.
Bitinka decided to do an audit after receiving notifications from users who would have detected problems in the creation and cancellation of orders through the APIs.
The cryptocurrency exchange house assured that an update to its platform, done in September 2018, caused problems that were allegedly exploited by “malicious users”.
Bitinka spokesperson Matt Álvarez explained that the startup had to adhere to its terms and conditions of use to protect the funds of affected users. Therefore, the claims of those assuring that their funds have been withheld and their accounts have been frozen.
Through an audit and reports from loyal users, the company detected problems in the creation and cancellation of orders through the APIs. They did an extensive audit of all the movements of the users involved.
The representative noted that some results showed that some malicious users harmed others or took advantage of bugs. Given the exponential growth of these events, they continued to observe the transactions on those dates.
The spokesperson reported that new features and improvements were added to the connection and there was a migration to a new hot wallet service to add new currencies.
Bitinka complaining users have demanded answers about the funds that they maintain in this exchange platform and cannot operate because their accounts are frozen. The company rejected the complaints, since users cannot claim goods that never were theirs.
Faced with the increase of claims in Argentina, the United States and Peru, among others, the company marked distance over the users’ arguments. Likewise, it put on the table the adoption and the alleged little knowledge of cryptocurrencies by users.
Álvarez said that their lack of knowledge on the subject, the adoption of cryptocurrencies and their technology was far from their control. There are users who make transfers to wrong addresses or make smart contracts without knowing their meaning.
Jurisdiction and International Law
Six months ago two Argentine operators filed a claim for USD 417,000 in Commercial Court 24 of Buenos Aires, demanding the reimbursement of their funds. Some days later, Bitinka said they had not been notified of the claim filed by Federico Gastón Bernini and Cristian Ezequiel Chagalj.
The company said that it keeps offices in the countries where it operates (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Spain, Italy, Panama, Peru and Portugal), but it is legally domiciled in Hong Kong, where it was constituted.
Regarding this, Bitinka noted that they do not suggest that users deal directly with Hong Kong. He underscores that if the claim is against Bitinka it must be notified to the legal domicile of the company, which is indicated in the terms and conditions accepted by the user since the creation of the platform in December 2014.
Regarding the terms and conditions of use, Bitinka said that changes are always made to optimize them, provide greater transparency and avoid misunderstandings among users. They must know and accept the terms and conditions to operate properly.
No Change in Name
Carlos Abuin, lawyer for the Argentine complainants, said in July 2019 that the company had to choose between paying the victims and changing their name to continue operating. The lawyer said Bitinka did the latter, to which the startup stressed that it was totally false.
The conflict between Bitinka and its users, now also related to judicial tribunals, looks increasingly turbulent. Both sides claim to be right, which could lead to an exit from the cryptocurrency ecosystem in Latin America.
By Willmen Blanco