In 2015 the exchange's customers were hacked, losing about $400,000, and in 2016 about $73 million more was stolen from its customers' accounts. The exchange's access to U.S. dollar payments and withdrawals has been curtailed.
In October 2018, Bitfinex again had serious difficulties with its banking relationships. Its management stated "Bitfinex is not insolvent on October 7."
Research suggests that price manipulation of bitcoin on Bitfinex accounted for about half of the price increase for bitcoin in late 2017.
Bitfinex was founded in December 2012 as a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange, offering digital asset trading services to users around the world. Bitfinex initially started as a P2P margin lending platform for Bitcoin and later added support for more cryptocurrencies.
In May 2015, 1500 bitcoins were stolen during a hack. In 2016, Bitfinex was the subject of the Bitfinex hack. In it, $72 million in bitcoin was stolen from the company's customer's accounts. Immediately thereafter, bitcoin's trading price plunged by 20%. After learning of the breach, Bitfinex halted all bitcoin withdrawals and trading.
In that hack, the second-biggest breach of a Bitcoin exchange platform, 119,756 units of bitcoin, which was about $72 million at the time, were stolen. Bitfinex first announced the security breach on August 2, 2016. The bitcoin was taken from users' segregated wallets and Bitfinex said it was tracking down the hack.
Shortly after the Wells Fargo cutoff, Bitfinex stated all international wires had been cut off by its Taiwanese bank.
Since then, Bitfinex has moved between a series of banks in other countries, without disclosing to customers where the money is kept.
Noble Bank International of San Juan, Puerto Rico reportedly handled some dollar banking for the exchange in 2017 or 2018. The banking relationship was reportedly terminated in September 2018 as Nobel Bank encountered financial difficulties.
In March 2018, British Virgin Islands-based Bitfinex confirmed the exchange’s plans to relocate its business to Zug, Switzerland.
In May 2018, Bitfinex emailed its certain users, asking for some tax details which firm might share with the government.
Phil Potter, Chief Strategy Officer of Bitfinex left the exchange about June 22, 2018.
Tether is a cryptocurrency which Tether Limited claims is pegged to the US dollar. Tether is closely associated with Bitfinex, with whom they share common shareholders and management. Critics have raised questions about the relationship between Bitfinex and Tether.