New Chelsea FC sponsor BingX accused of holding 215K USDT ‘hostage’

Premier League club Chelsea FC has announced a new sponsorship deal with a pro-Russia crypto exchange that has been accused of holding user funds “hostage” and “strongarming” them out of monthly bonuses.

As reported by The Telegraph, the multi-year deal will see BingX become the club’s new shirt sleeve sponsor for the remainder of the 2023/24 season and then its training kit sponsor from the end of the campaign.

However, at virtually the same time as Chelsea was announcing the new deal, BingX was the subject of an angry X (formerly Twitter) tirade that accused it of blocking a user’s account and seizing their funds.

X user and crypto trader Miz (@TradoorMiz) explained:

“BingX held 215,000 USDT of mine hostage and strongarmed me out of my 92,336 USDC monthly affiliate bonus.

“I was introduced to a BingX BD by a friend of mine who had worked with them for some time. I had dinner with the BD on 10/13 and we spoke about specifics, the future of our partnership, etc. All details were ironed out and I began trading under our said agreement thereafter.

“Over the first month, I ramped volume from 2/300 million to 5/600 million. No issues with the first month and processing commissions and bonuses. I had mentioned that I would ramp volume into 1 billion monthly volume and increase position sizes and both of us were aligned and pleased with the idea.”

Read more: Why do this obscure Russian exchange’s emails come from Binance?

However, according to Miz, shortly afterward, their API access was revoked and they were accused of HFT (high-frequency trading), which they vehemently denied.

“If anyone knows me, has followed how I trade in @Chroma_Trading, or watched me on Twitch, I no longer even scalp — I simply take around 5-10 directional intraday trades with about 5-10 mil position size,” said Miz. “As you can imagine, total volume adds up quickly. Essentially, their claims were baseless and had me confused.”

Miz then details how they tried and failed on multiple occasions to resolve the problem via BingX’s ‘Risk Team’ but without success. Eventually, the exchange informed the trader that it would not only be suspending their account but would also be seizing 40% of their 92,336 USDC bonus.

All of this, claims Miz, was done without providing any examples or explanation. The trader then went on to detail how BingX said it would allow them to sign in and withdraw their funds under a number of conditions. These included a promise that they would remove all assets within seven days, agree to no longer trade on the platform, agree to forfeit their November bonus, and agree to having their assets seized if they try to sign up again.

They clearly didn’t want to cough up the entire sum owed to me.

“I was strongarmed out of $92k that I rightfully earned. Is that money owed to me? Absolutely. Will BingX ever make it right? Probably not… it has been really eating at me that this company played the role of god and took what was mine.”

New Chelsea sponsor BingX doesn’t work in the UK

BingX, which is apparently not fully accessible in the UK, has offices in Europe, South America, Asia, and Oceania.

In November last year, the company ran an event as part of Moscow Tech Week during which it affirmed its “commitment to innovation and engagement within the Russian crypto community.”

Read more: Russian oligarch evaded sanctions in UK crypto firm share sell-off, report

This is in stark contrast to the large number of prominent companies that have ceased to do business in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

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