Poloniex hit by UK regulator, listed as ‘unauthorised’ exchange

abdelaziz Fathi

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has added the cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex to its warning list of non-authorized companies. Poloniex, which is based in Seychelles, has experienced four hacks in the last two months and is affiliated with entrepreneur Justin Sun.


The FCA’s warning, published on December 6, states that firms and individuals cannot promote financial services in the UK without the necessary authorization or approval. It also reminds the public that they cannot rely on financial law protection when dealing with unauthorized entities.

Poloniex suffered a $100 million hack on November 10, and the platform has been working on restoring its services. However, the FCA’s warning indicates that the exchange is operating without proper authorization.

This warning follows previous actions by the FCA, which added Justin Sun’s HTX and KuCoin to its warning list in October, along with 138 other cryptocurrency firms. The regulator has been vigilant in monitoring the cryptocurrency space and warning users about unregistered and unauthorized entities.

The breach prompted Poloniex to initiate different restoration procedures. The exchange has engaged a top-tier security auditing firm to bolster its security measures, adding that efforts are actively underway to strengthen the platform’s security.

The breach resulted in the draining of Poloniex’s hot wallets, with more $100 million worth of tokens sent from the exchange’s Ethereum and Tron wallets across various transactions, according to on-chain data.

Poloniex, established in 2013 and later acquired by Circle in 2018, had several investors including Justin Sun in 2019. Despite the breach, Poloniex maintains its position as a top exchange, having facilitated $821 million worth of trading volume over the last 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap data.

Justin Sun, also the founder of Tron, offered the hackers a 5% ‘white hat bounty’ with a seven-day deadline to return the stolen funds before involving law enforcement. He provided crypto wallet addresses for the hackers to return the stolen coins.

Justin Sun was also charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission with market manipulation, fraud, and other offenses. Additionally, eight celebrities, including actress Lindsay Lohan and rapper Soulja Boy, have been accused of unlawfully promoting Sun’s crypto assets.

Following Binance founder’s resolution with US regulators, Justin Sun showed unconventional behavior on social media. He has been posting AI-enhanced videos of himself that appear to be pre-recorded. This behavior has led some users to speculate that Sun might be involved in the hacks on his own exchanges, possibly as part of an exit strategy.

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