According to the information on its LinkedIn page and website, the centralized cryptocurrency exchange Exrates was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Göschenen, a village in the canton of Uri, Switzerland. Exrates’ website claims that the platform is operated by the DexTechnologies OÜ company, registered in the Republic of Estonia with company ID 14499374. A search within the local business registry shows that the company was founded in 2018, with a capital of $2 500. Before becoming DexTechnologies OÜ, the company had two previous names - RioTex OÜ and RioTex UÜ. According to the information in the local corporate registries, it is owned by a person named Gintas Lomsargis. However, at the time of this writing, there is no public information about the individual.
Exrates’ LinkedIn page reveals the identities of some of the staff members, most of which, at managing positions. Their background is mixed – some have experience working for other cryptocurrency- and blockchain-related startups, while others do not reveal anything about their professional path prior to Exrates. What all of them have in common though is their link to the DEX-Trade exchange, an equally intransparent cryptocurrency trading platform, based in Santiago, Chile. DEX-Trade is described by its own team as “the most technical equipped crypto exchange.” According to the information on the Exrates’ LinkedIn page, the COO of the exchange is Taras Podgorodetskyi, an entrepreneur from Ukraine. He is also the CEO of the Star Exchange Alliance, a company that sells white label cryptocurrency exchange software.
The Exrates’ team focuses specifically on promoting the exchange’s advantages and key features. According to the information on its website, the platform is easily distinguishable from the rest, thanks to “a processing speed of up to 10,000 trades every second and 1,000,000 TCP connections.” It also adds that the platform has a 24/7 support via web chat, social media, and other channels. Аlthough, all this sounds very promising on paper, the public opinion about the exchange’s service and customer support tells a different story. At the time of this writing, it is hard to find positive opinions of satisfied clients. Forums like Bitcointalk and Reddit, as well as review platforms like Trustpilot are full of disappointed users sharing various problems, such as excessively high withdrawal fees, unresponsive platform, orders pending for weeks, inability to withdraw funds, frozen accounts, lack of adequate support, price manipulation, fake emails from scammers and so on. The proclaimed 24/7 support hadn’t helped much in the case of improving the public opinion as many of the users’ claims remain unaddressed. When combined with the lack of information on the team behind the exchange and their security measures, it is safe to say that, at the time of this writing, the Exrates Exchange does not have a very trustworthy image.
Aside from all that, the exchange has another very uncommon feature, called “Prediction Lab”. It is described as a “high-tech alien technology” that spots price trends by “dates and time during the Earth calendar month, where Pump and Dump are rapid impulses of price changing.” Leaving this unclear explanation aside, it is worth noting that all the Prediction Lab does, in fact, is to generate recommendations about the future price of Bitcoin. According to Exrates’ team, the exchange users can use it to complement their research and trading strategy. However, at the time of this writing, there are no indications or official results about the performance of their prediction service.
Another thing to bear in mind about this exchange is that, while even the shadiest exchanges put a disclaimer about the high risk, associated with cryptocurrency trading, the Exrates’ Facebook page posts promotional messages, such as: “Remember that virtual currency is the best investment property which can turn you into a real crypto millionaire!”
Security on the platform is ensured through two-factor authentication, which is used in almost all cryptocurrency exchanges, as well as advanced encryption techniques that are not explained in detail. However, the exchange states that more than 95% of users’ funds are stored in cold wallets. It also mentions that it employs a WAF (Web Application Firewall) - a protective screen of a Web application that detects and blocks hacker attacks.
The exchange does not require strict adherence to KYC procedures. Providing personal information is voluntary. The platform points out that users who have doubts about the way their data is used, stored, or protected, can reach out to Exrates’ Data Protection Officer at a separate email.
At the time of this writing, there are no reports for hacker attacks or government investigations targeting the Exrates exchange.