Canada-based bitcoin exchange Cointrader announced earlier this week that it was shutting down following what it claimed was a debilitating hack.
According to a notice posted to the service's website, the exchange has "closed its doors effective immediately". Unconfirmed emails sent to users and shared on social media claim that an internal audit showed “a deficiency of bitcoin" in company wallets that was causing a delay in withdrawals.
The email explained:
"This issue is currently under investigation and it is our intention to have the balance of your account settled as soon as possible. We sincerely apologize for this unfortunate inconvenience and will keep you posted on the progress of this issue. In the meantime, we have halted deposits, withdrawals and trading activity until this matter has been resolved."
The closure follows months of low volume trading on the website, according to data published by market information provider Bitcoin Charts. Data shows the exchange had seen just 81.43 BTC (about $33,600) in trading volume over the past six months.
The incident wasn't the exchange's first run-in with trouble, as in early 2014, Cointrader had its customer and corporate bank accounts shut down by the Bank of Montreal, its former banking partner.
At the time, the move was blamed on a restrictive policy toward digital currency businesses on the part of the Canadian government. The Bank of Montreal has since gone on to support work on financial blockchain applications through the R3CEV-led banking consortium.
Cointrader and its parent company, Newnote Financial, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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