05 Feb 2020 Jane Whitmoore
Bitspark Closes Down As Hong Kong Gets Coronavirus And Massive Protests
Bitspark, a Hong Kong-based remittance company, announced operations shutdown due to “internal restructuring issues.” Bitspark’s CEO George Harrap announced the sudden news on the company’s website, noting that Bitstamp would seize all deposit and withdrawal operations on March 4, 2020.
As of February 3, all users will be able to withdraw their cryptos, and the platform will continue full operation until the shutdown date. After March 4, all accounts will be suspended for 90 days. However, customers will be able to withdraw their funds with the help of Bitspark’s customer support. It is still unclear what will happen with the funds, which are left uncollected after the 90-day suspension period.
Bitspark’s CEO further explained that the shutdown of the operation comes despite the “400 percent month-over-month gains and superb performance of the Cash Point service in 2019.” The second part of Harrap’s announcement is more emotional, with Bitspark’s CEO thanking everyone “that helped Bitspark’s vision of global crypto-based financial access.” Harrap mentioned that his company was the first to deploy end-to-end Bitcoin-based remittance, as well as being the first exchange to step in Asia and being the first insurance-covered (Bitgo) crypto exchange in the Asian continent.
The news about Bitspark closing down comes only a month after the company published its 2019 review, which indicates the exchange had 144 trading pairs in 12 currencies, and user base from over 30 countries.
On the other hand, crypto experts believe that the Bitspark COO and co-founder Maxine Ryan’s leaving brought the “internal restructuring issues”, which Harrap mentioned. The co-founder of Bitspark made a series of Tweets explaining that despite the growth, the inconsistency and unpredictability forced Ryan to quit. Bitspark’s ex-COO further noted that the Hong Kong business landscape amid the protests, and the Coronavirus outbreak led to company shareholders taking the tough decision to “pull the plug” on Bitspark.
“The decision is out of respect to Bitspark users, as well as to prevent integrity decay. The news would bring a big chance for interpretation, but we, as founders, lost our dreams. We, as a team, lost our future. The entire industry, however, is not in decline – it is stronger than ever, and great future lies ahead,” Ryan wrote on Twitter.
Bitspark’s history will remain with a $1.3 million ICO for the Zephyr reward token, which was used for paying transaction fees for international crypto payment services. Also, Bitspark successfully released its latest product – Cash Point, which enabled customers to sell and buy cryptocurrencies for cash in fiat currencies.