Major crypto exchange OKEx said it had to suspend cryptoasset withdrawals as one of their private key holders "is now cooperating with a public security bureau in investigations" and the company is "out of touch" with the holder.
The exchange noted that it has been "out of touch" with the key-holder, preventing the "associated authorization" from being completed.
The exchange pointed out the service agreement that allows it to take such drastic measures and stressed that the decision was made in the best interests of customers.
Hours before the announcement, on-chain transaction monitoring service Whale Alert noted several large transfers between OKEx and unknown wallets.
OKEx is headquartered in Malta but it mostly serves Chinese retail investors. The exchange is also the second-biggest crypto derivatives platform after BitMEX.
The news of the suspended withdrawals cranked the gears of the rumor mill on social media platforms, with some people speculating that OKEx exchange is in the crosshairs of law enforcement.
Beijing based reporter Colin Wu, who writes at WeChat public account @wublockchain suggested the OKEx investigation may be related to money laundering.
However, the CEO of OKEx Jay Hao was quick to clear the air. According to Hao's message, the issues did not affect the operations of the company and that user funds remained safe.
However, this stint was short-lived as Bitcoin recovered despite nearing a crucial level of support of $11,366.
While Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrencies flipped green again, the same can not be said for OKEx's native token OKB which registered a decline of over 15% in the last 24-hours.