OKEx Denies Manipulation Claims After Bitcoin Futures Rollback

Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has pushed back against allegations that it manipulated its bitcoin futures market last week.

OKEx rolled back futures trades due to what it called an "irregular" sell-off on Friday. At the time, futures prices sharply diverged from the underlying price of bitcoin, leading to a series of liquidations and the eventual rollback, which was initiated that afternoon. At one point, the futures price dropped to as low as $4,755 after an earlier fall to around $5,200.

Yet the developments also sparked widespread criticism across social media, which included allegations that OKEx played a role in manipulating the market. In a statement published Tuesday, OKEx rebutted the claims, stating that "we are not directly involved in the trades" and that it undertook the rollback in an effort to protect its customers.

"We, as a trading platform, do not make profit from the price volatility, but generate income from trading fees. We have no reason to, and have never and will not, manipulate the prices of any of our market."

In the blog, the exchange highlighted several images circulated via social media that it claimed were fake. The images, OKEx said, were used in an effort to make it seem like the exchange was engaging in manipulation.

OKEx also clarified that it put new rules in place to prevent a similar sell-off from occurring, which went into effect on March 30.

"In light of this problem, new 'price limit rules' were immediately launched to prevent similar incidents from occurring," OKEx said. "We deeply apologize for the inconvenience caused."