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Tawanda Kembo, the founder and CEO of the Zimbabwe-based crypto exchange Golix, is claiming that he has lost the private key to his company’s digital wallet. As a result, the customers of the cryptocurrency exchange are unable to access their funds.
The timing of the announcement hints at a sinister motive. Over the past few months, Kembo and his company have been embroiled in a legal battle against the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), who had ordered Golix to shutdown its services after the company was found violating the regulatory laws of the country. In the end, Golix lost the legal battle and was ordered to wrap up its business.
It was expected of the company to give full refunds of the stored Bitcoin(BTC)trade funds to its customers but one source who had previously worked at the company revealed that before any refunds could be made, Kembo “lost” the private key of the company’s wallet.
Two sources, who had previously worked at the company had confirmed the news. Local news outlets initially reported that Kembo was not available for commenting on the news. However, after a 24-hour period since the initial news had surfed, Kembo contacted the local news agency Iharare and offered his side of the story.
Tawanda Kembo’s Questionable Side
According to the CEO, he did indeed lose the private key to the company’s wallet but the only reason he did not pay back the customers and investors was that refunding would have left the company in an unstable financial condition.
Kembo spoke his mind on many other allegations but in general agreed that the company was going through a tough time. He admitted that the company was no longer profitable but claimed that it would go on to survive a couple of years more.
Golix was the first cryptocurrency exchange in Zimbabwe. It reined supreme in the country for some time before the RBZ locked its sight on Golix and dragged it down in legal battles. Over the past few months, Golix has stopped communicating with its customers and its Twitter account has almost been abandoned.
The company’s digital wallet had stored a total of 33 Bitcoins (BTC) which are currently valued at a little over $300,000, as most of the cryptocurrency funds belonged to the customers of Golix.
After the company lost the legal battle with the RBZ, many investors came forward to renounce their positions and demanded to be paid back. The conditions for the company are precarious and it remains to be seen whether the stakeholders will launch a legal offensive against Kembo who is neither benefiting from his investors’ confidence nor standing strong against the local media’s onslaught against him.