There's a new posting on the news page at WBX, presumably from Andre:
Dear Clients, Again we would like to apologize to all our clients for the delayed customer support provided over the past weeks, Effective immediately 15th March World Bitcoin Exchange (WBX) will be shutting down trading / deposits and returning all client funds. Due to increasing fraudulent transactions on our accounts, WBX cannot operate in its current capacity. Combined with multiple bank account closures, we have deemed the best course of action is to halt trading and return funds
As of the 20th of March we will start returning all clients BTC, we currently hold the majority of our BTC off line, which is managed by Chris Moore our Technical lead, you will be required to logon to your account and request a BTC Withdraw to your personal wallets.
The withdraw of AUD is on hold until we have a clear indication when FUNDS are returned by our bank.
We appreciate your patience. WBX Team
I have a few comments:
1. I've never been appointed any position at WBX. This is the first I heard about being their "Technical lead". I set up the exchange for Andre originally, using the open source Intersango code, and made improvements as requested, and also agreed to hold Bitcoins offsite for Andre rather than leaving the whole wallet on the shared hosting server that WBX runs from. I don't think that makes me "Technical lead".
2. I am still holding 1768 Bitcoins for WBX. Until recently I have been depositing them back to the exchange on an as-needed basis, to keep the number of coins actually in the wallet on the exchange server to a minimum. I used to try to keep between 200 and 300 coins on the server to allow for day to day withdrawals, but since the Linode incident I've been keeping the exchange wallet pretty much empty. Here's a link to the address the coins are held at, so anyone can verify that I have them still: http://blockchain.info/address/1KnAveDXHDSdXmsNdE5itum459dkNp2pnW
. Actually, doesn't prove much, just that 1768 coins are owned by someone. So around this time tomorrow I'll move them all to 1DodGYjF5LFoKg186jANZV9U8znXjagSzS. Perhaps someone could quote this bit before I do so.
3. On March 15th I noticed that I could no longer log in to the WBX web host. I don't know if Andre has changed the password, or if it's a technical problem of some kind. Each time I attempt to log in, I see:
"Received disconnect from [IP Address]: 2: Too many authentication failures for [username]".
I immediately emailed Andre asking for clarification, but have received no response so far.
4. Also on March 15th I received an email from Andre asking me to send him the 1768.0540 BTC he thinks I am holding so that he can start returning them to the exchange users. I suspect the 0.0540 discrepancy is due to network transaction fees. I replied saying that I have been returning the coins as and when they are requested for withdrawal by the exchange users, but that the most recent withdrawal request looked suspicious, and that I was awaiting his decision about what to do about that withdrawal request before returning funds to the exchange that would allow it to go through. I received no reply to that so far.
5. Although my login to the web host is no longer working, my login on the exchange is still an administrator account. This is confusing; if Andre was trying to lock me out of the exchange then leaving me an account with admin privileges seems like an oversight. Using the admin account I am able to see that nobody has attempted to withdraw any Bitcoins since before my login stopped working until just a few minutes ago. Now another user is attempting to withdraw Bitcoins, but again it looks suspicious. If Andre was reachable I'd recommend that he try to get further ID from the user, since PDF mobile phone bills are pretty easy to edit and so aren't much good as a proof of ID.
I don't want to be holding these Bitcoins any more, but I do want them to go back to their rightful owners. This leaves me not knowing what to do for the best. Does anyone have any words of wisdom?