This bear market has been the longest one that the cryptocurrency market has experienced in its' decade long life and it is taking its' toll on the cryptocurrency market players. Called Gatecoin, this Hong Kong based exchange is admittedly one of the lesser known exchanges but was still an important player in that region. Gatecoin has suffered unrecoverable financial losses during this beak market (which some say was no fault of its' own) and has now closed up shop.

Users of Gatecoin were greeted with a notice on the front page of Gatecoin's website. Gatecoin was ordered by the courts to cease operations on March 13, 2019. Their website has been inaccessible since. Supposedly, all their users were notified prior and were able to get their funds off the exchange.

This has been a difficult road for Gatecoin. Back in 2016 Gatecoin was victim to a substantial hack. Digital thieves made off with roughly 185,000 Ethereum (ETH) and 250 Bitcoin (BTC), which at the time equated to 15% of Gatecoin's total crypto holdings. Attackers were able to exploit weak security in the platform and changed the target wallet addresses from Gatecoin's cold-storage wallets to other wallet addresses. 

Credit, where credit is due though - the exchange did raise half a million dollars to pay back their users who lost money - and upgraded their security infrastructure. This event however, left a large financial dent in the company. An event horizon from which there was no escape from after crossing. 

Gatecoin was then reportedly subject to sudden, random and unwarranted bank account seizures by several Asian banks, such as Hang Seng Bank, Fubon Bank & Alpen Baruch. This happened in September of 2017, right before the epic Bull-Run we saw at the end of that year.  That saga has dealt the fatal blow to Gatecoin, which has suffered unrecoverable losses from the fiasco. 

Reports said that Gatecoin officials planned legal action against those banks for damages caused by their account seizures but were later served a wind-down notice from a court and have since stopped operations completely. 

Reasons for the original account seizures are still not clear. Seems to me, like China, Hong Kong and many other countries in the region have been stomping out independently owned digital asset exchanges as pressure on regulators from banks increases. Banks have been late to the game when it comes to crypto and this may be their move to consolidate control over the cryptocurrency market in that region.