Moon Dex: Here Last Night, Gone today. Hack or Exit Scam?

2년 전

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The internet can have a very short memory. For the benefit of history I would like to tell my version of the tale on one exchange MoonDex.

Having been active in the BitShares community for a while I noticed a new exchange pop up called MoonDex.io. Their explorer http://explorer.moondexcoin.org/network is still up, but I don’t expect it will be for long. I found the website, discord chat room and chatted with the founders who were shy of sharing much about their identity. (bad sign)

MoonDex was a new portal, into the BitShares ecosystem for MasterNode coins. Whatever Masternode is I am sure it is great, but I have not been fully able to appreciate its benefits, understand it or wrap my head around it. But there was a vibrant community there.

BitShares is a decentralized exchange and allows anyone to build a new gateway. Open Ledger, Crypto-Bridge, GDex, RuDex are a few of the gateways. MoonDex was a new gateway, and I had not heard much about it in the main BitShares Channels. (warning sign)

MoonDex was focused on their subcommunity. They promised a new exchange, promissory notes for BitCoins, and more. While they did not completely hide the fact they were built on the Bitshares platform, they certainly did not advertise it. They claimed they were building lots of new features and this was an interim step, in getting everything they wanted launched.

I joined the discord Channel, and inquired, sort of trying to see who they were and if someone in the regular BitShares community would vouch for them. I know enough people in the BitShares world were I or a friend I knew on telegram would be able to vouch for who they were. They did not offer any proof, obviously they had been in the BitShares Channels -Which mainly takes place on Telegram- but remained vague and for legal reasons did not wish to be publically know.

I saw the exchange up for several weeks, I think. Maybe longer August-November?
I can say how much activity was at the exchange.
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And some of these numbers, actually look lower than I recall.

Then all of sudden everything went quiet.

I think this was an exit scam. It may have been technical difficulties.

I was not there. I know the website was down though.

So we can see that they may have been 316 people who bought into the Moondex Exchange.

And we can get a feeling to the amount of assets that may have been deposited and the number of people.

There were rumors that someone else might have been trying to take over the project, there may have been a hack, there may have been an exit scam. I did not see activity taking place in the discord channel working with people to get their assets back. There was no, “Sorry guys this whole exchange is down, give us time or contact us via another channel -email or phone number- to get your assets back.” Because they built on a the BitShares platform it would have been very easy to sign and or verify a message with the MoonDex Keys at bitshares.org and then send a cryptographically signed message via a non secure channel -email- requesting payment to another address.

Since this has not happened; I think it is a here last night good today exit scam.

Edit: See follow up article -in comments- that was brought to my attention claiming a hack. Note: it is odd that this article was deleted by the author after 10 days? (Maybe that hack was an inside job, I don't know.)

Ironic, especially since the exchange was named Moon. Something that disappears every morning.

Moondex and there assets and all activity will forever be recorded on the BitShares blockchain. Anyone can go in and inspect every transaction getting all the details they want. I don’t really know too much more about what happened. However, thought it worthwhile to write a brief account for anyone wondering about this in the future.

-Cryptick1

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As this article is already deleted from Medium... I am going to take a screen shot of the cached version and paste it below. I will allow the reader to make their own determination on the truth of the matter.

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The end of MoonDEX — Goodbye
Go to the profile of MoonDEX
MoonDEX
Dec 10

Update 15th December 2018:

The MoonDEX services will be closed in a few hours. There will be no support after today.

If you still have coins on MoonDEX exchange, this is the last chance to withdraw. Please act now. Do not leave it to the last minute.

Thank you for your continuous support and all of the kind words sent to the team. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Update 13th December 2018:

There are still some coins and trades on MoonDEX. All of the MoonDEX services and support will stop after 23:59:59 15th December 2018 UTC.

Please act NOW to withdraw your coins and cancel your trades.

For RITO users, follow the guide to claim your compensation NOW. We are trying our best but certainly can not satisfy everyone.

Do not leave things to the last minute.

Update 12th December 2018:

For RITO users: Please notice we are running a liquidation service and compensation scheme as best as we can. We are not providing a normal withdraw service. Your account will be dealt with once ONLY. Please send ALL of your coins to moondex to claim your RITO back. Please stop using the loophole to sell the duplicated withdraws and claim them back… We are trying to compensate everyone but cannot guarantee that we can still do so if our funds are out. So please withdraw as soon as possible and stop putting new orders or depositing new coins.

Update 11th December 2018:

=IMPORTANT= For all users: Please stop depositing new coins to MoonDEX immediately. There is a chance that your new deposits will get lost.

We hate to say this but we have a very very bad news for you.

Last week, we had a bug with RITO coin, which you can find the details here. It resulted in more than 4 million RITO coins lost from our hot wallet. We have to use the BTC funds to compensate our RITO users for the lost coins.

We are very sorry to say this, but the bug leads us to decide to close down MoonDEX exchange, unfortunately. It is certainly not the only cause though. The falling BTC price is the major factor. Our current BTC income and funds are no longer viable for us to pay the bills in about a month time. We tried to make a taking-over deal to keep MoonDEX alive, but it was not successful. Crypto winter is hard for everyone. The RITO bug is the last straw which breaks the camel’s back…

So we will close MoonDEX exchange down on 16th December 2018.

During this closing down period, there will be email support only. Please send your support questions and quote your userId in English to dev@moondex.org . We aim to reply to your email in 24 hours. All the other communication channels will be closed.

For coins holders other than RITO:

All of your funds are safe. Please cancel your orders and withdraw your funds before 23:59:59 15th December 2018 UTC.

For RITO coins holders, we are very sorry that this will be more complex and we will try our best to compensate you.

We will refund the RITO coins holders in RITO first. Once we run out of the RITO to send back, we will send out BTC at 15 sats BTC per RITO(the latest price). This may not be the target sell price in your minds. But we hope you can understand that this is the best we can do…

Please follow the steps below to claim your RITO coins back:

Please have a check of your RITO wallets for the past withdraws first. Because there is a good chance that we have already overpaid RITO coins to you. It would help us and the RITO community greatly if you can send the extra RITO coins back to the address BCtcFKN7dk7F41z1jBRm7d9PQ2HbfMCz4W
SEND ALL of your RITO coins to the userId moondex on MoonDEX exchange, before 23:59:59 15th December 2018 UTC. Write your RITO AND BTC addresses in “MEMO/MESSAGE”. We will send the coins back to these accounts. Your addresses are private and can only be seen by the MoonDEX team.
Once we received your coins and your addresses, we will have a check of your withdraw history manually after 12th December 2018 and return the coins back to you only if you are not yet overpaid. Please be patient as this can take several days to complete. If you have a stuck withdraw before, this amount will be returned as well.
Check out the RITO sending image below for example:

Use the Send button, instead of withdraw for RITO.

All of your trade histories on MoonDEX are on the BitShares blockchain and can still be accessed through:

HomePage — Bitshares Blockchain Explorer

homepage of bitshares blockchain explorer. bitshares区块链浏览器首页
bts.ai
BitShares Block Explorer | cryptofresh

BitShares Blockchain Explorer, Analytics and API portal. Browse transactions, accounts, assets, and markets on the…
cryptofresh.com
Or any other BitShares blockchain explorers.

For MDEX coins holders, masternodes owners and investors, we want to say sorry and thank you for all of your support along the way. You must be furious and have every reason to be…

We had big plans for MoonDEX being fast, secure and more decentralized with masternodes technology. We apologize for not making the plans come true.

Oh, well, I guess this is the end. I thought MoonDEX can see the spring of crypto. But a major bug like this just kicked us out, in this deep winter…

Wow stuff happens fast. So it looks like someone else is taking over and launching a new exchange with the same branding... on a new platform.

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I understand people try things and move on but the speed is fast, complexity is great, and there is a lot going on. Now the Bitshares website, was a downloaded exchange in a box. Sort of surprised they "couldn't keep teh lights on" when BitShares provided the entire back end for free. They only had to maintain portals. Note: Obviously the portal security turned out to be an issue with a hack, so I guess I can understand why they moved on. None the less. Well I see they are trying something else.