Russian crypto exchange Livecoin claims that it has suffered a “carefully planned attack,” but some in the community suspect an exit scam.
Livecoin, a lesser-known Russian cryptocurrency exchange, has abruptly halted operations in the aftermath of an alleged hacker attack on Christmas day. According to Livecoin’s main page, the exchange has suffered a “carefully planned attack” causing the platform to lose control of all of its servers, backend and nodes.
The exchange urged its customers to stop using its services including deposits, trading and API. “We were not able to stop our service in time. Our news channels were compromised as well. At the moment, we partially control frontend, and so we’re able to place this announcement," Livecoin’s main page reads.
Livecoin said that it’s working hard to retrieve control of its servers, promising to provide a security update “in the next few days.” The exchange also claimed that it is cooperating with “local police authorities.”
According to some reports, the incident took place on the night between Dec. 23 and Dec. 24. Hackers have apparently managed to take over Livecoin’s infrastructure and modify the prices on the exchange to abnormally high values.
A co-founder of YellowBlock, a crypto educational website, known as "Cryptorangutang" said that Bitcoin (BTC) exceeded $320,000 per coin on the platform on Dec. 24. “Whatever is going on, I don’t recommend trying to make $ on this, very likely you will get your funds stuck,” he wrote on Twitter.
According to comments of exchange users on Livecoin’s unofficial Telegram group, the exchange is not operating at the time of publishing despite the exchange having briefly opened a login page. Some Reddit users also suggested that Livecoin's "hack" could be a classic exit scam.
Livecoin did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment. The exchange is apparently not actively running any official social media accounts on Twitter or Telegram.
At the time of publishing, Livecoin’s trading volumes are not available on major crypto tracking websites like CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap. As of Dec. 24, Livecoin was reportedly ranked 173 among crypto exchanges, with a daily trading volume of around $16 million.