The Open Exchange—designed as “a solution and home for those harmed by crypto crises”—is shutting down, the company announced in an email to customers today.
The OPNX pitch was rooted in the scandal- and failure-ridden cryptocurrency industry, where customers stranded by the crypto crash could trade their pending recovery claims or use them as collateral. Its cofounders were Su Zhu and Kyle Davies, who founded the now-defunct Three Arrows Capital investment firm.
“Founders who reach great heights and then fall learn the most important lessons and, therefore, have the most to contribute,” they declared at the time. “Our responsibility is to use the wisdom gained to build a more robust, open, and transparent financial world for everyone.”
The exchange was led by CEO Mark Lamb, previously of CoinFlex, and launched with its own token called FLEX. The firm subsequently converted from FLEX to the OX token, describing it as the “native fee paying, staking and governance token of OPNX.”
Last summer, OPNX added FTX bankruptcy claims to its marketplace, as regulators in Dubai claimed the exchange was not properly licensed. The company also made a failed bid to acquire collapsed crypto lender Hodlnaut. The most recent announcement from the company was in November 2023, when it secured a license to operate in Lithuania.
No reason for the sudden shutdown was provided, and OPNX has not yet responded to a request for comment from Decrypt.
According to an email addressed to the “OPNX Community,” the OPNX.com website “will officially cease operations and shut down in February 2024.”
“We are dedicated to ensuring an orderly closure for all users,” the email continued, providing a list of recommended actions for clients to take: settling pending positions by Feb. 7, and withdrawing funds and exporting data by Feb. 14.”
Members of an OX token Telegram group linked from the OPNX.com homepage were surprised by the news and discussed what will happen next—in the absence of any official announcement from the company.
“You’ve got to give them credit for quickly changing direction when they saw that OPNX wasn’t working as planned,” one wrote.
“The exchange may be gone but how many of us were here for that anyway,” wrote another.