Users of a well-known, but small, Italian crypto exchange received emails on February 17 stating that The Rock Trading (TRT), was experiencing liquidity problems and is “interrupting its work”.
The email was reviewed by CoinDesk. It stated that “The company is conducting an internal audit to identify the cause of the problem” and “evaluating the adoption or any necessary initiatives to protect customers.” The email was reviewed by CoinDesk. Website It was a single page that contained the same message.
The exchange announced that it had halted operations on Tuesday, February 21st.
TRT’s troubles are another chapter in the story of crypto’s past year’s crashes and shutdowns. This includes Terraform Labs’ collapse, bankruptcy of Three Arrows Capital, crypto lenders Celsius Network and BlockFi. Voyager Digital, Core Scientific and Compute North miners and the dramatic downfall of U.S. crypto-exchange FTX.
Also read: CoinDesk wins a Polk Award for Explosive FX Coverage, one of journalism’s top prizes
“I owe an apology”
TRT made a new announcement Tuesday: Users could access their accounts in read-only mode. This means they could see their trends and view their balances, generate reports and trade, but not withdraw or trade.
Andrea Medri, Chief Financial Officer at TRT, was also present. Submitted There are approximately 2,370 members of the TRT Telegram group. They stated that the TRT Telegram team “has been working cohesively, non-stop since Friday to manage the crisis,” and promised additional information.
“Do you owe me an apology?” Yes. Yes, I can understand your fears and discomforts. My job is to help you get out of this storm. Medri stated that although I cannot answer all the questions that will arise, I can assure you that I will continue to work on the issues in progress.
Thursday was a busy day for journalists at RAI (the national public broadcasting agency of Italy). Could not find The official address of the company is the exchange team.
TRT was criticized by some users for not taking joint action, but there are still hopes that the exchange will be able to resolve the crisis. Italian traders have trusted TRT for over a decade. A user named Carlo said that while The Rock is a small exchange in Italy, it was trusted by most traders.
“I have been very happy to TRT for more than 6 years. I hope and believe that they will be able to resolve this situation and make it a stronger place. [at] Mt. Gox,” one user posted in the group chat.
Also read: Mt. Mt.
As Old as Mt. Gox
TRT was proudly founded in 2011. Calling itself TRT is “The First European Exchange” — TRT was among the very first cryptocurrency exchanges. It was established in the same year that Bitstamp, an early European exchange, was founded and one year before LocalBitcoins, which recently closed. Andrea Medri, Davide Barbieri and their co-founders started their first joint venture, a virtual reality insurance company called “Second Life,” back in 2007.
The two men repurposed the company to trade stocks and currencies in 2010. In the same year, they started a bitcoin exchange. The company was registered in Malta since 2013. TRT will be registering the company in Malta on September 13, 2020. raised 1.5 million euros in funding.
According to Italian media, TRT is often called the “Italian FTX”. The platform has about 34,000 registered users. However, Telegram group chat members believe that the number of active users was less than 5,000.
According to CoinGeckoTRT trading volumes have been very modest from 2022 to 2022. They barely exceed $1 million per day. In March, however, there was an unexpected surge in activity that saw the daily volume surpass $72 million in a single day. One user claims that Andrea Medri, the founder of the site back in March 2000, told investors that an anomaly was caused by a single trading robot that went berserk.
According to Il Fatto QuotidianoTRT has been in financial trouble since 2021 when its IT provider was compromised. 311ether (ETH) was also stolen from the exchange, which is worth approximately 900,000. According to the publication, TRT filled the gap in its bank accounts with its own funds. The account was closed by the Italian bank Banca Sella in January 2023. TRT then announced that it had switched to Modulr, Corriere della Sera, on February 8. Submitted.
It is difficult to estimate how much customer money was in TRT’s cryptocurrency wallets on February 17, when the company announced its liquidity problems.
According to Corriere dilla Sera, TRT users complained about lengthy withdrawal times for several months prior to the shutdown. Over a thousand TRT users are now discussing legal options to get their money back in a Telegram group. Some have also reported that they had already complained to Italy’s OAM register of financial agents.
Davide Barbieri, the chief tech officer at TRT, and Andrea Medri did not respond to CoinDesk’s request for comment via Telegram or LinkedIn at press time.
Elizabeth Napolitano also reports.