Nigerians Storm Crypto Firm Office In Lagos, Beat Staff As Executives Disappear
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.
In a desperate search for their funds, Nigerian customers stormed the AAX Lagos offices, demanding their money while beating up the staff available.
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.
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.
“This has understandably caused serious suspicions, panic, and distrust amongst AAX users, particularly Nigerian users, the industry at large, and the general members of the public.
“Consequently, for many AAX users and the members of the public, the prolonged AAX system upgrade till the time of writing this notice significantly raises more questions than answers. And AAX, contrary to its promise to maintain a daily update of the situation, has so far neglected or failed to maintain the trust and confidence of its users.”
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.
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.
Edujandon.com 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.
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