Fears As Executives of Nigeria Cryptocurrency Firm Disappear, Suspend Withdrawals, Staff Beaten by Customers

Fears As Executives of Nigeria Cryptocurrency Firm Disappear, Suspend Withdrawals, Staff Beaten by Customers

  • There is widespread fear in the cryptocurrency industry in Nigeria as a result of Atom Asset Exchange's (AAX) suspension of withdrawals
  • AAX s a crypto corporation located in Hong Kong but has offices worldwide, including Nigeria.
  • According to reports, angry consumers stormed the AAX Nigeria headquarters demanding their money while beaten-up staff watched helplessly

The impact of the global cryptocurrency meltdown is now very much close home for Nigerians.

Atom Asset Exchange (AAX) a global fintech company, on Saturday, November 12, 2022, announced it would be suspending crypto withdrawals over massive withdrawals.

Some of its customers in Nigeria who have invested millions did not take the news lightly as it was further revealed that it is very unlikely for the exchange to open again.

Cryptocurrency firm
Nigerian crypto investors beat staff as exchange block withdrawal Credit: Pius Utomi
Source: Facebook

In a desperate search for their funds, Nigerian customers stormed the AAX Lagos offices, demanding their money while beating up the staff available.

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Reacting to the actions of AAX customers, the Stakeholders in the Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN) appealed against the assault of AAX staff by angry Nigerians.

The group called for patience in a statement signed by its president, Senator Ihenyen.

The statement reads:

“We appeal to and discourage any dissatisfied or angry user or investor from harassing or victimizing the AAX Country Manager (Nigeria), other local staff members, and AAX ambassadors nationwide.
"These persons are also facing the same situation as disgruntled users and investors are. At the time of writing this notice, we are aware that communication between these persons and AAX headquarters has been equally strained at this time. We therefore appeal for understanding and patience from all Nigerian AAX users.

AAX affiliation with Nigeria

SIBAN says AAX was registered in Nigeria as a corporate member of SiBAN (Global Digital Asset Exchange category) in April 2022 as AAX Atom Asset Exchange, a private company limited by shares, with address at Trident Chambers, PO 1388, Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles.

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"This has rightly raised major concerns, panic, and distrust among AAX users, notably Nigerian users, the industry at large, and members of the general public.
"As a result, for many AAX users and members of the general public, the extended AAX system update until the time of drafting this notification has raised much more concerns than answers." And, contrary to its pledge to provide a daily update on the situation, AAX has so far disregarded or failed to preserve its users' faith and confidence."

Customers unable to withdraw

AAX posted a message to customers on November 12 announcing suspended withdrawals.

According to the company, this move is to avoid fraud and exploitation.

The company said.:

“AAX will continue our best efforts to resume regular operations for all users within 7-10 days to ensure the utmost accuracy.”

Today, Friday, 2 December 2022, makes it over two weeks since the promise, and no withdrawal is allowed.

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Ben Caselin, one of the company's senior executives, has already resigned and believes it is very unlikely for the exchange to reopen.

In an interview with Coindesk, he stated nothing was contrary to the hope given to customers at the time of its departure; the future looks grim.

Executives goes missing

FinancialTimes reports that users are looking for the exchange’s senior executives in an effort to recover their investment.

According to AAX users, the exchange has since failed to process customer withdrawals, and staff told the Financial Times they had been disconnected from the company’s email systems.

Dangote announces plan to employ 300,000 youths, link to submit CV emerge

Meanwhile, in another report, Dangote industries have announced plans to recruit over 300,00 Nigerians in a massive employment drive

A new job recruitment page has been launched for qualified candidates to upload their CVs.

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The job in its refinery in Lagos includes free accommodation for 20,000 employees.

Source: Legit.ng

Dave Ibemere avatar

Dave Ibemere (Senior Business Editor) Dave Ibemere is a senior business editor at Legit.ng. He is a financial journalist with over a decade of experience in print and online media. He also holds a Master's degree from the University of Lagos. He is a member of the African Academy for Open-Source Investigation (AAOSI), the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and other media think tank groups. He previously worked with The Guardian, BusinessDay, and headed the business desk at Ripples Nigeria. Email: dave.ibemere@corp.legit.ng.

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