On the 19th of December, we announced that a relatively new centralized exchange called Bitfare had started supporting a suite of ZEN trading pairs.
In the hours following the announcement, we were made aware of numerous minor customer service and user experience issues which led us to pull the original announcement from all channels on the 20th of December. As of today, the 4th of January, the minor customer issues have escalated to wallet balances and deposit histories being reset without explanation.
Given the information available to us, we must now assume that Bitfare is a malicious entity looking to take advantage of trusting users.
We suggest that users do not send ZEN, or any other cryptocurrency, to Bitfare.io or attempt to utilize any other services it might offer.
Horizen cannot and should not be able to control which organizations provide support for ZEN, so we must remind the community to exercise extreme caution when sending ZEN to any custodial exchange or service provider. We do of course carry out due diligence prior to listing organizations on our website and prior to making announcements across our social channels however this due diligence cannot guarantee that any particular entity is 100% trustworthy.
In the future, we will only make announcements for well established custodial exchanges and services that have significant track records of success to limit the potential for malicious entities taking advantage of the Horizen community.
We still urge all users to do their own research prior to sending funds to centralized exchanges and other custodial service providers as even well-known organizations can be subject to external hacks, rogue employees, bankruptcy proceedings, etc.
The safest place to store your ZEN has been and always will be in a cold storage wallet that you own and have backed up to prevent accidental loss.
We want to thank the community members that came forward with their concerns and alerted us to potential problems with this exchange. Your reports allowed us to prevent many others from falling victim to this malicious attempt to take advantage of the Horizen community.