CEO Arthur Hayes appeared to describe the altcoin as a “turd” hours before traders saw the XRP price flash crash by more than half.
The crash, which occurred at 14.00 UTC on Feb. 13, saw XRP/USD fall 60% from $0.33 to just $0.13 — for two seconds.
XRP crashes on BitMEX
In that time, traders complain, measures designed to prevent liquidations of positions failed to activate, and BitMEX automatically erased their entire balances.
BitMEX is well known for offering trades with significant leverage. In the case of XRP, traders are able to leverage by up to 50 times.
Following the event, the company issued a statement defending its reaction, saying its platform was functioning as normal.
“We understand traders’ frustration when prices move quickly against their positions,” a tweet read.
XRP/USD 5-day price chart. Source: BitMEX
At press time, XRP/USD was back at $0.33, a seven-month high, having instantly rebounded after the sudden dip. Nonetheless, those affected had anything but recovered.
“Not getting back a penny. Outright criminal,” startup investor Marc de Koning wrote on Twitter.
“This ONLY occurred on Bitmex, nowhere else. All in a matter of seconds. No liquidity to back up the move.”
CEO: users are “trading a turd”
BitMEX launched a new XRP product earlier this month. At the time, CEO Arthur Hayes appeared to joke about the coin’s legitimacy.
“CRipple the shorts. Pro Tip: the Buy and Sell buttons are both equally profitable regardless of whether or not you are trading a turd.”
BitMEX’s insurance fund, which the company says is “not intended for use” in situations such as the XRP event, currently stands at 34,328 BTC ($352.2 million).