Gate.IO – Do Not Trust – they took half my account (2022 review)

I don’t normally review non-coding, tech items on this site, but I’m making an exception for a case where I was cheated by a crypto broker. For those that don’t trade they might find this to be normal behavior, but I’ve never had a problem with the big US brokers. What happened to me was with an off-shore brokerage that everyone was raving about a few years back: Gate.io.

Gate.io offered the ability to trade crypto currencies not traded in the large brokerages. Everything was fine, I had invested a small amount of money, because I didn’t fully trust the brokerage and I didn’t fully trust the alt coins. If, however, you are current trader of Gate.IO I would recommend you read my story and consider withdrawing your funds as soon as possible.

Thankfully I only lost an account with a few hundred dollars, but imagine if it was thousands of dollars (like other traders have with Gate.io?) I am accustomed to loosing due to market changes, but up to now I’ve never lost an account because of the brokerage underselling it.

2022 – Gate.IO Locking Accounts

With investments I tend to prefer to buy and forget about them. If I sit on my investments and watch the day to day changes, I tend to panic sell. This is what I did with my Gate.IO account. I never had any emails warning me of changes to their customer base, and they were happy to accept me as a US customer.

I logged in around mid August 2022, to check on my accounts, and I saw that Gate.IO had a cryptic warning. My IP was flagged as a territory they do not support. After logging in, I was unable to trade any of my alt coins. I reached out to support on August 15 and they told me that due to US regulation changes I was not allowed to make any trades on my coins and I had withdraw all value from my account by end of Sept.

If I can’t trade these small alt coins, how could I withdraw all value from my account?

Gate.IO’s Offer

Most of the coins I was trading didn’t have formal wallets and converting the coins was tricky or dicey at best. Considering this, I asked them what I should do. Gate.IO offers to sell any coins I can’t withdraw, at market price. I’m not happy with this, but with a looming deadline and a lack of wallets – transferable locations for these coins – I accept the offer. I should at least have my account balance converted to USDT, with at most a minor loss.

Gate.IO Stops Responding

Gate.IO tells me that they will inform me with their expert team finishes trading my coins. Weeks go by and no response, so I reach out on Aug. 26 and ask what the ETA is on this. They tell me to keep waiting. I wait another few weeks, still no emails, no alerts from their team, I email again on Sept. 20, asking for an update.

Account Balance is Less Than Half

At this point Gate.IO no longer replies to me, so I log in to the account (which is a PITA). After getting in I see my account balance is less than half! I verify they have liquidated all my assets, and conveniently left no history of their actions. There’s no indication in my account of the transactions themselves.

They only thing I can pull up is a graph showing my account balance the day they sold off. Although I had invested $600+ market conditions lowered my balance over the past year $250 – I expected to leave with ~$250 USDT. However, what was left was $89.

My account being undersold by Gate.IO

Wile crypto is a volatile market, you can see the history of the 6 alt coins I had moving up and down over the past 3 months, then there’s this massive drop off – that’s the day they sell all the alt coins on my account. While the market was having just another regular old day, they sold my assets for less than half!

All Sell Transactions Wiped from Account

I went through my account looking for a history of the trades they did – there’s no history, no long – NOTHING. They sold my assets in a mysterious black hole. I can’t see who bought, at what price, and so on. All data is missing. My account looks like it hasn’t had any activity in months. This makes me even more concerned.

My Complaint and Gate.IO’s Response

Gate.IO had stopped all communication with me, so I didn’t expect a response but I did reach out and tell them one parting frustrating email to their support. I said I never wanted them to undersell my account. I wanted it sold at market value. Had they just let me make the trade I would have left with (at most) a meager loss. Not a loss of 60% of my account.

Surprisingly they replied to me:

Dear user ,

 

So sorry for all inconvenience . As token price changes every time , and it’s beyond our control .

So sorry for letting you have such bad feelings .

 

Feel free to contact us if you have any further issues.

Good day !

 

Best Regards   

Gate.IO’s response to me

Is Gate.IO telling the Truth?

Did all Coins drop their value this drastically the same hour they happened to sell the account?

None of the alt coins in my account show any uncharacteristic drop on 8/28 worthy of a 60% drop of value. I pulled this data from coinmarketcap.com

This response was the most infuriating of all. It was a complete dismissal of the unethical trades they performed.

In the market screenshots from https://coinmarketcap.com, there is simply no indication of a massive (uncharacteristic) drop during the period they sold (8/28-8/29). Simply put, the explanation the coins lost that much value in the same hour they sold is not justified.

I’m left with so many questions. Did they purposely undersell my account? Did they undersell to their own private accounts? How else do you explain this?

I’m also left with other concerns. Will this offshore brokerage use my data against me? They have a variety of personal information, which I’ve asked them to delete, but of course no one can verify this. A company that hides the trades they did to liquidate an account 60% below market value, who knows what they’ll do with personal account information.

If you have a Gate.IO account and you’re able to trade with them currently, consider what would happen if you found yourself in my situation. If you are locked out, and can withdraw only, you’ll need to make sure you can get a wallet to transfer to. If you can’t easily transfer or convert the coins, you’re left to the same problem I suffered. But perhaps the most concerning for any trader with Gate.IO, is trust. Can any client trust a brokerage that does this to a customer, and then blames the market conditions?

While Coinbase, Goldman Sachs, etc. and other brokerages have limited trading potential, these are simply the safest places to trade. Yes, people complain and yes Coinbase has had its own share of issues – but the US regulatory aspect can keep these brokerages from stealing accounts. Lawsuits can get money returned. But what do you do when the culprit is offshore? I’m thankful I never put a lot of money into Gate.IO, but I’m also concerned for others who do. Maybe in time we’ll find others who have also lost their accounts due to similar under-market value trading practices by the brokerage and perhaps that will prevent them from opening Gate.us (for US customers) and get more oversight onto their actions.

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