71 Ayer Rajah Crescent #02-10, Singapore 139951
6816 8186, www.artemix.com.sg
October 13, 2019
Mr. Ravi Menon
Monetary Authority of Singapore
10 Shenton Way, MAS Building
Dear Mr. Ravi
Artemix is Singapore’s first and only cryptocurrency exchange platform. As the only operator in the industry, Artemix achieved many firsts and garnered praises from our 360,000 registered customers over 7 years of operations. To maintain the highest industry standards required by operators in this field necessitates that we inform MAS of key developments at Artemix.
Today, however, I bear sad news.
Artemix’s co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Mr Mehul Dutta, passed away last Saturday morning, barely 24 hours ago, from a brain haemorrhage. As we mourn the loss of a brilliant mind and dedicated father, key Artemix employees are working round the clock with the relevant authorities to ensure business continuity and restore operations as soon as possible. These are tough times for Artemix and its staff, but I believe we will all pull through.
I wish to assure MAS and our clients that we are doing everything possible to maintain normalcy and address all concerns. I will lay the bare facts as it is my duty to allay fears and inform the truth.
Dutta alone handles the banking and accounting operations of Artemix. The majority of cryptocurrencies held in cold wallets are stored on his laptop. In line with strong security practices, Dutta has also encrypted these wallets and uncoupled them from the online servers. As a result, there are no erroneous transactions till date. Dutta’s deep expertise in cryptocurrencies also enabled the continuous and smooth transactions that our users depend on.
It can be said that the bulk of Artemix’s operations lie on the shoulders of just one man. Thus, our topmost priority is for us to gain access to his laptop to commence the critical transfer of data. As Dutta’s laptop is password-protected and encrypted, we have begun sourcing for external consultants to hack the device in order to access the digital wallets. At the same time, we will need to decrypt the data while ensuring that the integrity and security of information are not compromised. Our technical and security teams will work with consultants on that and I will personally supervise these operations.
In the meantime, Artemix has taken our cryptocurrency platform offline. As a result, users are unable to perform any transactions until we gain access to the wallets on Dutta’s laptop. Presently, Artemix owes up to 115,000 users about $250 million in cryptocurrencies and tokens. Artemix also holds millions in bank drafts for which it is unable to deposit.
I understand that these may sound like very large amounts, and I know they are. However, rest assured that the digital nature of cryptocurrencies means that no transactional information will be lost. I expect to retrieve the outstanding list of transactions in their entirety over time.
Currently, the full inventory of cryptocurrency transactions is unavailable. Artemix is unable to transfer customer balances on deposit since we need access to the digital wallets that also store the keys needed to send and receive funds. Furthermore, transactions can only be completed after the funds are transferred from the offline storage platforms on Dutta’s laptop.
All these transactions have been placed on hold and will remain that way until we gain access to Dutta’s laptop. Withholding these actions also lets us preserve transactional integrity and avoid any potential loss or desynchronisation of critical information. I have instructed my technical teams to monitor any and all active and pending transactions not halted yet. Plans are already in place to ensure that the platforms containing data remain robust.
As I write this letter, Artemix is sourcing and will work with financial institutions to accept bank drafts currently held in escrow. Our board of directors have raised recommendations resulting in Artemix currently sourcing third-party contractors to manage payments and withdrawals. We will also explore and review the retrieval of cryptocurrency balances through the many digital platforms and Bitcoin.
This will allow us greater flexibility and build redundancy in ensuring that our operations never stop.
I trust that Artemix will come out of this event unscathed and that our customers will be able to carry out cryptocurrency transactions on our leading platforms. It has taken us years to build our reputation and faith among our customers, and I will see to it that the trust that our customers place in us will remain strong.
I know that Dutta would not have it any other way. For that, I seek the understanding of MAS in granting Artemix full autonomy to work while we restore operations once again.
Mr. Sunny Lim
Chief Executive Officer