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Coingather, a tiny cryptocurrency exchange, has disappeared from the web, alarming customers who fear their funds are gone. The Coingather.com domain has been offline since Wednesday November 22, and with no word on Twitter from customer support, there are fears the site’s operators have pulled an exit scam.
What’s the Matter With Coingather?
Few cryptocurrency traders will have heard of Coingather; it’s an obscure exchange even by the standard of obscure exchanges. It’s not so small as to be able to disappear from the web unnoticed however, and the site’s disgruntled users have wasted no time in voicing their concerns. Coingather might be one of the world’s smallest exchanges, but it’s nevertheless listed on Coinmarketcapcomplete with 92 trading pairs that are matched with BTC, LTC, DOGE, and HTML5. The site’s admin, who goes by the name of Rapta on the Bitcointalk forum, has been offline for a week.
Most of the coins the exchange features are what many traders would call shitcoins. Coinmarketcap lists Coingather’s 24-hour trade volume as being just 11.32 BTC, or around $93,000 – but those figures were last updated days ago, before the site disappeared. The majority of the most recently traded coins on the site comprise Infinity Economics, HTLMCOIN, Ethereum, and LevoPlus. It is hard to assess the total amount of funds that were held on Coingather, but judging by the volume of complaints that have been tweeted over the last few days, the losses could be substantial.
“I️ will find you guys, that’s a lot of people’s money you ran off with you got 24 hours!” raged one customer.
Fear and Loathing
Coingather, which was founded in 2014, appears to have soldiered on, attracting little attention for the first couple of years of its existence. The only cause for complaint until recently was the site’s exorbitant withdrawal fees, which were as much as 10x higher than other exchanges. In summer of this year however the first signs that something was amiss surfaced in posts on the Bitcointalk forum. One user wrote: “Just wanted to thank everybody for the heads up about Coingather. sigh and the search for an exchange that isn’t being run by drug addicts or gangsters continues.”
A month later, another forum user labeled the site a scam which permitted deposits but not withdrawals. Upon trying to retrieve their holdings, they’d been greeted by a “process error” message and found that their coins were gone. The individual, who lost 5 million Sprouts (SPRTS) coins, added:
the support don’t help and just make jokes by sending pictures of sprouts
In the absence of any tangible news to go on, fear, uncertainty, and doubt has set in, with Coingather’s customers fearing the worst. Given the size of the exchange, it’s possible it may have been a one-man operation, in which case anything from illness to arrest could have caused the current timeout. As the hours turn into days however, it’s hard to shake the feeling that Coingather is gone for good. Whatever the outcome, it’s another nail in the coffin for centralized exchanges and another footnote in a week full of heists, hacks, and scams.
Do you trust cryptocurrency exchanges to look after your coins? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.