Coinbene you dodgy fuckers

November 29, 2021

I’ve mostly steered clear of crypto. Apart from a tiny bit of mining eight years ago, and a few years ago running a Smartcash node. Mostly because I in no way predicted this tulip-bubble demand for crypto assets.

But a few years ago, I did purchase a little bit of BTC in order to HODL some, and run a smartcash node with the rest (you had to stake a certain amount of smartcash in order to run a node, and it paid rewards out to people who ran full nodes). To do this, I had to pick an exchange that supported SMART, and Coinbene seemed to fit the bill.

SMART ended up going pretty much to zero. I think my initial stake is probably worth around $70 now, which is a LOT less than it used to be back in 2018. :)

But BTC is another matter. I had about 0.1661205 BTC on Coinbene, which today is around $13k. But last year, something weird happened.

Coinbene froze my account for being inactive, and made me jump through lots of hoops to get it reinstated. (Identity card, details of account, when registered, region, holdings etc..) I did all that, but shortly after doing so, there was a recovery attempt of my email account associated with that account from Taiwan. And they said they’d unfrozen the account, but I still couldn’t log into it. A few months of wrangling, I managed to log in, but that was all I did. I didn’t transfer anything out at the time.

And now it looks like they’re closed. No email or anything. And their main website just links to a zendesk page? In fact it is really hard to figure out anything, but I did find this article: https://thenewscrypto.com/crypto-exchange-coinbene-shuts-down/

Fortunately it was originally a play amount of money that I was happy to lose. But it shows how dodgy even some of these big exchanges can be, especially when there’s a ton of money on offer. They got ‘hacked’ a couple of years ago and ‘lost’ over $100Million (today probably $500M+).

Wouldn’t have been an issue with an offline wallet, good lesson for the future. Don’t trust custodial wallets as far as you can throw them.


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Written by Dave Beer