Tobiasza Niemira, co-owner of the recently-failed Bitmarket crypto exchange, has been found dead in a forest near his home town of Olsztyn in Poland, local media outlet Gazeta Wyborcza reports.
The apparent cause of death is a gunshot wound to the head.
Bitmarket went offline July 8th, and 400 customers have submitted claims that they lost an estimated 2300 Bitcoin (approximately $23 million USD) in the failure.
Niemira reportedly maintained that he did not steal the funds:
“I lost everything because somebody led to the collapse of the stock exchange. Now I’m losing face and good name for which I’ve worked my whole life. I am one of the victims.”
According to Gazeta Wyborcza:
“The structure of Bitmarket was complicated and spread across various jurisdictions. The Exchange was managed by Bitmarket Limited Global, registered in (the) Seychelles. The operator – responsible for clients’ bills and portfolios – was the British company Kvadratco Services Limited. On the other hand, the owner of the domain, trademark and software for the stock exchange was the company Gyptrade OU based in Tallinn (Estonia).”
A company called IQ Partners SA reportedly bought Gyptrade OU from Niemiro and partner Marcin Aszkiełowicz in 2018, but the takeover was never finalized.
Though Gazeta Wyborcza is reporting that Niemira, “probably committed suicide,” a business blogger named Adam Socha has written that Niemara sent him a long email stating that he had, “found himself in an environment of shady businessmen.”
The email reportedly named names, and Socha also says that Niemiro promised to forward substantiating materials.
The materials never arrived.
Socha says he and Niemira had a brief working relationship that started on July 15th when Socha reached out to Niemira regarding the Bitmarket failure.
According to Socha, Niemira said Socha’s interview with himself was, “the only honest text on the subject that appeared in the media.”
Socha said that Niemira claimed over the phone that, “he was a victim himself and that no one would believe him and he would have to live with it.”
At the end of the email, Socha says, Niemara stated, “The reason for my behavior is not bitmarket, I’ve been struggling with depression for years and I’m hiding it, I just do not have strength.”
Socha’s blog post also indicates that the killing shot came from Niemira’s own gun.
Adam Socha’s interview with Tobiasza Niemira (in Polish) can be found here.