When Golix’s tussle with the Reserve Bank began last year, one would have assumed that since the RBZ initially announced Golix would have a 60-day pardon to give the exchange an opportunity to move tokens stuck in the exchange and an opportunity to withdraw funds customers would no longer be complaining. Unfortunately, that’s not the case…
Shortly after the ban was announced, however, Golix said their bank accounts had been frozen and thus they could no longer process withdrawals. At the time many believed Golix but then things took a turn when people who had cryptos in the exchange started realising they couldn’t even remove those – a process not tied to the frozen bank accounts in any way.
Why couldn’t people take their cryptos out of the exchange? At the time Golix was pretty evasive with information regarding what was happening under the guise of the pending court case and would not comment in order to avoid affecting court proceedings.
The RBZ sent Golix a letter on the 15th of May 2018 but the company only saw this letter on the 17th – which sounds like serious incompetence considering how high the stakes were:
The RBZ issues a second circular that was addressed to Golix where they instructed Golix to cease all operations immediately. The letter was dated 15 May 2018 but we only saw it on the 17th.Golix email to customers explaining the timeline of events during the ban
In the same aforementioned email, Golix did acknowledge that they would update customers on whether or not they will be allowed to access their bank accounts in future. Those updates never came.
Around the same period, customers started complaining that reaching the company was becoming harder and harder – their WhatsApp line was inactive and customers weren’t getting responses on email either.
As far as we know, most of the customers who couldn’t withdraw last year still haven’t done so. At the end of July 2019, we reached out to Tawanda Kembo, the CEO & Founder of Golix and asked him a few questions regarding this issue. We asked for updates on whether Golix was still operating in Zimbabwe, and if people had finally managed to withdraw funds and move cryptos out of the exchange. The CEO said he did not feel comfortable sharing “a progress update with the press” because doing so would have regulatory implications. In addition, Mr Kembo said that they were still in court with a hearing to follow in August and his lawyers had advised him not to discuss such issues with the press.
After recently learning that Golix withdrew their court case and are now actually being taken to court by the RBZ to foot the costs of the prior case, we thought that maybe their CEO would finally be in a position to answer our questions, we reached out again close to a week ago expecting that the CEO would be willing to update users who were left stranded but unfortunately he is yet to respond.
The fact that Golix withdrew their court case earlier than July also raises eyebrows because it suggests that Mr Kembo sighted a court date that didn’t exist. Efforts to contact him and get clarity on this were also in vain. A week ago, Mr Kembo did not pick up the phone and instead sent a text claiming he would call back. He never did and we still can’t reach him.
We started reaching out to a number of sources who we felt would have reliable information on what really happened regarding this issue and the source informed us that whilst some users of the exchange got reimbursed most did not.
At my time of leaving Golix, some had reimbursed their money. I’m not sure of the percentage but it was mostly those who held crypto.
It was revealed that as of last year, a small number of users were reimbursed their cryptocurrency but unfortunately, the amount given to users was “minute” in comparison to what was owing.
Since Golix’s CEO would not respond or comment on the current standing we thought maybe, Golix’s social media pages would be a great place to gather some information but unfortunately, their Twitter last got updated back in February and they don’t have a Facebook page.
The sources we got in touch with acknowledged that at their time of leaving the issue was unresolved, whilst one refused to share any information.
Golix went on to have an ICO amidst all the drama and with a target to raise $32 million. One of our readers at the time raised reasonable concerns that we missed:
“The funds raised will see them opening exchanges in more African countries” Really? I doubt that very much. The nature of cryptocurrencies exchanges is that they are not limited by borders so this supposed reason for raising funds not adding up. Big exchanges like Coinbase, Bitstamp and Bitfinex don’t have multiple exchanges in different countries. They have one exchange in one country catering for global customers. Golix need to explain this empty statement.
Also with the founders/owners having such a large allocation and the token being traded on their own exchange only opens it to manipulation on a grand scale. What will stop them from pushing up the price through wash trading and then dumping on innocent investors who know no better? This is a scandal waiting to happen.
Such shenanigans are the reason crypto gets a bad reputation with forced regulation coming in very soon.
Techzim we expect better responsible reporting from you, especially when you are promoting a business that you are well known for having connections to. I assume you got the 10% allocation that is for “marketing/partnerSpoofy’s Brother commenting on the post “Despite Ban Of Bitcoin Trading By RBZ, Golix Launches Their Own Token: GLX Token“
Whilst we didn’t get a 10% we did miss something that was in plain sight – apologies for that.
The IPO didn’t manage to raise the $32 million but did raise $10 million. Did they ever launch in Kenya and Uganda? This was part of the questions we sent to Kembo and the same ones he refused to answer because of fear of regulatory implications. Apart from announcements claiming that Golix had launched in these territories, there isn’t much in the way of information as to what extent the company is actually present and how many clients they have.
With everything that has happened, Golix no longer seems like an organisation that’s trustworthy. Whilst they are still operational, one wonders how they could ever salvage their reputation and come back into the market with all that’s been said (or mostly not said) and done.
There are still too many questions that need answering, what happened to withdrawals? Where did the money from the ICO go? What is Golix presence in the countries they launched in? If people still couldn’t remove cryptos from the exchange does it mean the CEO moved these out or lost a key allowing for the movement of these? No one knows, except Tawanda Kembo and his team, and until they decide to offer clarity Golix is a black sheep that crypto enthusiasts want nothing to do with…