Panic has erupted among thousands of investors in Turkey following the suspension of the local Thodex cryptocurrency trading platform with 390.000 active users and the rumoured flight abroad of its CEO.
With the platform’s website accessible, Thodex customers, who fear losing their investments, have begun complaining to authorities, and the prosecutor’s office in Constantinople has announced an investigation, urging company employees to help by providing information. At the same time, the financial authorities blocked all the accounts.
The Turks have recently bought record amounts of cryptocurrencies, trying to offset the losses in their savings from the fall of the lira and the spike in inflation to 16%.
Thodex has 400.000 users, of which 390.000 are active, according to lawyer Abdullah Jeran, who has filed a lawsuit against Fatiz founder and CEO Farouk Ozer for “distinguished fraud”.
The company, which was founded in 2017, announced yesterday via Twitter that it is closing its trading platform for 4-5 days, to discuss a cooperation proposal accepted from a world-renowned bank and fund management companies. Customers should not worry – the announcement said – they will be informed in a timely manner and will “ignore the negative comments circulating on the Internet.”
According to lawyer Oguz Kilic, who represents an unspecified number of plaintiffs, the assets invested by Thodex customers at the moment cannot be recovered, while the founder of the company left the country by flight from Constantinople, on April 21st, in the afternoon.
A Reuters analysis showed that Bitcoin transactions in Turkey from the beginning of February to March 24th reached 218 billion liras (about $19 billion) from 7 billion liras in the corresponding period of 2020.