Trace Mayer and John McAfee are among critics claiming the exchange is limiting withdrawals in the run-up to the Proof of Keys event.
This, he argues, will educate them about holding reserves themselves and not relying on middlemen, contributing to the spirit of Bitcoin (BTC) and furthering adoption.
“Has (HitBTC) failed (Proof of Keys)?” he asked on Twitter, writing:
“I do not have an account. Asked a friend to initiate a withdrawal. BEWARE!... Result: ‘Withdrawals are temporarily disabled on your account.’”
At press time on Wednesday, HitBTC had not addressed Mayer’s query publicly, while others added to the controversy surrounding the exchange on social media.
McAfee, who in September announced a concerted effort to counter what he called corruption at HitBTC, appeared unsurprised by the events.
“I warned everyonw [sic] more than a dozen times. Don't sign up. Don't use it,” he tweeted, adding:
“Withdtaw (sic) your funds. I was trashed for calling out HitBT [sic] as a corrupt cimpany [sic]. Tough sh*t. You had six months warning from me to withdraw your funds. Do not ask me to help you now.”
Reddit user pedxs described on Jan. 1 how his withdrawals had been blocked after reportedly completing Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements. The user stated that after HitBITC had written in an email that “No further automated restrictions will be applied,” the exchange has allegedly blocked his BTC withdrawals and frozen his account.
Another Reddit user posted about his locked funds after submitting KYC requirements, leading to a purported HitBTC support person, user paola_balzano, to comment asking for a support ticket number to provide a follow up. The original poster declined, underlining that her or she wanted to go through the official support channels.
HitBTC has been approached for comment through their media email, but has not responded as of press time.