Hong Kong Crypto Exchange AAX Unlikely to Reopen, Former Communications Chief Says

The exchange shuttered on Nov. 13 after a reported hack.

AccessTimeIconNov 30, 2022 at 3:23 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 30, 2022 at 7:55 p.m. UTC
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Jack Schickler is a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

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Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.

Troubled Hong Kong crypto exchange AAX is now more likely to be unwound than to resume normal operations, its former head of communications, Ben Caselin, told CoinDesk TV on Wednesday in his first interview since he resigned earlier this week.

AAX shuttered its services on Nov. 13 following what it said was a malicious attack in which it was left unable to verify customer balances and allow people to withdraw their holdings, and Caselin seems unconvinced that it will ever fully reopen.

The company previously stated that it saw the chance of a return to normal operations. But Caselin said on Wednesday that this was “from November 19 and is definitely not my sentiment or observation now. I think that it is a much more likely scenario that the company moves to a more legal procedure of unfolding.”

Caselin said that things had “seemed fine” at the company until two weeks ago, but since then, he had lost his optimism, and his role as communications chief became untenable.

“The information flow was deteriorating very fast, decision making became more opaque” as talks with potential investors proceeded, he said. He announced his resignation in a tweet on Monday.

AAX didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE (Nov. 30, 16:32 UTC): Added lack of immediate response from AAX.

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Jack Schickler is a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.


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Jack Schickler is a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.