Don't use the HotBit exchange if you don't want to lose money

I don't remember when I created my account on HotBit, but I have been using it as an exchange for some low-cap projects.

It's not the best exchange in terms of UI/UX, but it allowed me to buy and trade tokens that were not available on other exchanges.

I bought PCL tokens at some point, and I sold them in April 2022. That's what an exchange is for, right?

Wrong answer.

A few days ago, I wanted to cancel my orders. It turned out that my account was "forbidden".

HotBit - account forbidden

I found an article on HotBit support center:

Recently, some users have deposited small-amount and the same kind tokens continuously to their Hotbit account in a short period of time, which triggers the risk control mechanism on Hotbit and leads to a result that the account will be banned for 48 hours. Therefore, Hotbit suggests you that you gather your small amounts of assets and then deposit it to Hotbit account, using blockchain wallet. If your account is disabled for triggering the risk control mechanism, please wait for 48 hours and the ban will be lifted soon. However, if you trigger this kind of issue for many times, the disabled time of your account will be prolonged. Hotbit is committed to provide you with a great trading environment, and we also hopes that you can use the given functions reasonably within the limits.

I didn't have any urgent trades to do, so I figured I'd wait.

After two days, it turns out that I still have a ban. I can't log in to the exchange.

I created a ticket in support and got a response in 4 (FOUR) minutes. Nice!

Hello, through verification, your PCL assets is not exchanged according to the correct rate (10 old PCL:1 new PCL) after PCL contract replacement is complete, and you have sold the extra PCL that doesn't belong to you, which triggered the risk control of system and your account is banned automatically. If you want to restore all restrictions on your account, please transfer the 16336 PCL to your HOTBIT account address, and then submit the transfer hash to us. After verification by relevant colleagues, the system will process it within 72 hours. After that, all functions of your account will be restored. Thank you for your cooperation!

HotBit - support response

WHAT?!

How can I sell tokens that do not belong to me?!

I asked multiple times for an explanation, but the support (or maybe a bot) sends me the same message every time.

I tried to use the Telegram channel, but my question was deleted in 10 seconds, and I got restricted from writing messages. I don't know why.

What's funny, they do not ban messages like this:

HotBit - Telegram

I tried to use the Discord channel. Still waiting for a response.

HotBit - Discord

What now? Good question.

I don't see any fault on my side. I bought tokens available on HotBit and sold them on HotBit. What's wrong with this? If they had any contracts migration, they should block the trading. Should I ask them for permission whenever I want to make an order? It looks like an issue with the HotBit exchange.

They want me to send 16336 PCL tokens worth ~$1800 at the time of writing this. It's more than my entire balance on HotBit. Do you know what's funny? Even if I want to send those tokens (I will not do that), I don't have access to my account, so I can't get my wallet address. Geniuses.

They sent me a link on the Discord channel to information about the suspension of PCL withdrawal (https://hotbit.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/6035956778135), but I didn't withdraw any PCL tokens. I sold them in April. How can they block my account weeks later because of their issues?

HotBit - PCL suspension

I haven't had access to my account for a week. My money is locked. I can't cancel orders, sell and withdraw tokens.

I'm losing money because I can't continue my trading plan.

Do you know what it is like when a token grows from $0.0004 to $0.0014, and you can't sell it (XEP)? I know. It sucks.

I regret creating an account on HotBit. I should have withdrawn all the tokens long ago. I have accounts on multiple exchanges, but HotBit is the only exchange I have problems with.

Do you know that they enable maintenance mode for hours, and people can't use the exchange? They have even a special page - https://www.hotbit.io/maintenance. Can you imagine that you want to make a trade and the exchange is down for several hours?

I really don't recommend using HotBit. Many exchanges work better, have better support, and do not ban accounts for their mistakes.

You can use my reflinks. 😉

I don't know if I can recover my account. It's not worth it for me to buy $1800 PCL tokens. I can use that money to buy more tokens than I have on HotBit. Not transferring more money to HotBit was a decision I am very happy about.

It's not only about money. It's about trust. If you lose access to your money and it is not your fault, then you cannot trust such a company.

I will advise anyone against using HotBit at every possible opportunity.

I will update this post if something changes.

Update 1 (2022-05-25)

It looks like the responses from the support are automatic. They answer the same in every ticket.

HotBit - Customer Service / Support - Bot

Update 2 (2022-05-27)

I tried to use Reddit to get some answers, but they stopped answering questions. That's not how support should work.

HotBit - Reddit

Something is wrong with this exchange. It seems people have a lot more problems than with other exchanges. Check the Reddit, Twitter, and other social media. People lose tokens and accounts and give up after unsuccessful contact attempts.

It would be good to do something with that. People should not lose money that way.

Update 3 (2022-05-29)

The support answered my questions. The conversation is very long, and most of the answers are the same, so I will only paste the most important ones.

HotBit - PCL contract upgrade

HotBit - ban without reason

HotBit - explanation

HotBit - extra PCL

HotBit - final response

HotBit - mistake

Support admitted that the fault was on their side. The migration of tokens on my account was unsuccessful, and I still had old tokens after migration. I didn't know about it and sold the tokens.

It's HotBit's fault. They admitted it but still want me to buy PCL tokens and transfer them to the address they provided.

I do not trust them. I do not know if they will unban my account when I transfer the tokens. I am not sure if this is my account address.

I'm not going to buy tokens for $1400 to get $1100 back.

I don't want to waste time to continue talking to the support.

I will not pay for their mistakes.

Before you say that I should use a cold wallet, I use Ledger. The tokens I had on HotBit were for trading, not a long-term investment. It was such a small amount that it was not worth paying a fee for their transfer. (HotBit has a much higher fee than other exchanges.)

The important thing is that HotBit did not perform the migration correctly and wants users to pay for their mistakes.

I don't think I can get my account back anymore. I will be sharing this article as often as possible so that everyone is aware of what might happen when they use HotBit. Should I report it somewhere?

Please share this post if you have the opportunity. The more people know, the better.