BT360's Clients Are Now Fearing an Exit Scam or Worse
BT360 was an Israeli cryptocurrency wallet and exchange of sorts which was popular with Israeli citizens. Many have purchased Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies via the platform. Additionally, they also offered chargeable cryptocurrency debit cards, cryptocurrency portfolio management, and cryptocurrency loans. However, the main focus of interest for BT360 was their cryptocurrency wallets.
Th group behind BT360 have also founded another cryptocurrency wallet as a separate entity known as banx. Banx's wallet seems to be operational as per now.
Unfortunately for many in the Israeli cryptocurrency community, BT360's website and social media accounts have been taken down for days. Clients have claimed that wallets created via BT360 cannot send funds out. The mobile wallet app seemingly loads up but then displays a 504-error message. This lead to many of BT360's clients to fear that BT360 might have conducted an exit scam of sorts.
While BT360's Facebook following wasn't the largest with 217 likes, the estimated damages are expected to be high. Each client is assumed to have invested thousands of shekels if not more than that leaving the estimated damages to be high. The damages are estimated around millions of shekels possibly reaching the equivalent of $1 million dollars potentially.
The CEO of BT360, Erez Fishler has been previously suspected of fraud and has a long history of court battles including bankruptcy filings. A Telegram group was created, titled "Victims of Erez Fishler" but was later removed for unknown reasons.
BT360'S CEO and Owner Pass the Buck
When we contacted Erez Fishler, he claimed to have been an employee who is no longer working for BT360. He recommended that we contact Eyal Sade, the founder and owner.
As per the Israeli financial publication Calcalist, Erez Fishler claimed: "I worked at this company as an employee and we had hundreds of customers who bought and sold through the company, usually in the sum of thousands of individual shekels. Recently, I had a confrontation with the company's owners after making problematic transactions in digital currencies and resigned. Like them, I had money there too, and I realized there were some who talked to the owner and he told them it would be arranged in a few days, I guess it had to do with the area being under the eyes of the authorities lately.
"I did not have access to the company's bank accounts and I was not authorized to sign. I did not know if the balances in the company account to which the funds were deposited were identical to the balances in the wallets. I do not know what is kosher and what is not, and did not suit me to continue the role in such a way. They also contacted me, but I haven't been there for a few weeks and I have no answers to give them. The company has affluent family owners and I suppose they will handle this matter. This business existed before and will exist after. It's not about me. It was a mistake to download the company's servers. "
BT360's owner Eyal Sade also responded to recent allegatons. Sade stated: "We are now under scrutiny that I cannot elaborate on, to see what Fishler did within the system. Our compliance officer and attorney are now investigating things and I hope we find the bug and address it. We decided to shut down the servers so there will be no further actions we can't follow. Once we get answers we can bring the system back up and the platform will continue to work. All customers talk to me directly and receive answers and they have to wait patiently and things will work out. "
Both the former CEO, Fishler and the owner Sade seem to agree that there was some form of mismanagement. The problem seems to be that they both seem to lay the blame at each other's feet.
Investigation & Possible Outcome for BT360
Our own investigation into BT360's led to their office in central Tel Aviv. The office appears to be a bit bleak and empty from personnel. Despite that it also somewhat operational, with lighting, equipment and even some talking heard within.
The Israeli publication Calacalist have contacted the Israeli Securities Authority regarding the case of BT360. They have responded by stating "The Securities Authority does not address investigative and intelligence matters". The Deputy Director, Lavi Avnat mentioned in a conference last month that the digital currency industry is currently in the authority's crosshairs.
It appears now with the authorities involved, there is a chance that the funds will be recovered by the Israeli authorities. This does add an extra layer of government bureaucracy, however as the authorities tend to take quite a lot of time. This could cause a drawn-out settlement for the victims, if they will see their funds returned at all.
Written by Jonathan Ganor
Writer & cryptocurrency aficionado