UPDATE (12th December 16:59 GMT): CoinJelly has announced via Twitter that customer accounts will remain open for a further seven days. The company said 98% of users had already withdrawn their bitcoin and confirmed that it had a "small fund" for those who miss the deadline.
Bitcoin exchange and wallet service CoinJelly has announced it is to close all user accounts within 24 hours.
CoinJelly's founder and director Ash King said the closures have come about because ownership of his company has changed hands. However, he declined to make further comment about this claimed acquisition, other than "we were not purchased for our customer base".
The Australia-based company, which launched earlier this year, emailed its customers today stating: "We will need you to remove your coin from your wallet within the next 24 hours."
The email revealed the CoinJelly site would be taken offline at 12:00pm (AEST) on December 12th. The email continues:
King told CoinDesk, however, that CoinJelly would not "take the wallet down" until the company has exhausted all avenues over the coming days to contact users.
He said that, already, 95% of the bitcoins owned by the company's users have been withdrawn, with no one wallet now containing more than 2 BTC.
"We have a small fund to cover any people who may be occupied this week or cannot access their email or phones," he added.
The CoinJelly website currently displays no information about the account closures on the home, FAQ or support pages.
One CoinJelly user told CoinDesk he was less than pleased with the way CoinJelly had handled the situation.
"24 hours warning 'or else lose your coins' is not really great. What if I didn't check my mailbox for 24 hours? As it happened I was able to transfer the coins, but not great," he said.
CoinJelly apologised to a user on Twitter for the short notice:
@maxycoin Apologies for the surprise news, and yes we have changed hands. You will need to move your coins as soon as possible.
— CoinJelly (@CoinJelly) December 11, 2014
CoinJelly marketed itself as "The world's first insured bitcoin wallet", but this has proven difficult to verify.
CoinDesk viewed a policy document detailing an insurance agreement between CoinJelly and Zurich Financial Services, but was unable to obtain a confirmation or verification from Zurich.
As well as offering a wallet and bitcoin storage service, the company enabled users to buy, sell and send bitcoins on its platform, with a flat fee of 1%.
King would not hint at what the future held for his company, which was founded in December 2013, but said he would be forthcoming with further details over the coming months.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.