OKB, the in-house token for leading crypto derivatives exchange OKEx, rallied more than 13% Wednesday on rumors that the firm’s founder, Mingxing “Star” Xu, had been released from police custody.
The exchange reported losing contact with Xu on Oct. 16 and was forced to suspend all trading account withdrawals, as CoinDesk reported at the time. Chinese media outlets reported Xu was in police custody but, speaking to CoinDesk, OKEx denied the investigation of Xu was related to money laundering.
Rumors started circulating on Twitter Wednesday (here, here and elsewhere) that Xu has been or will soon be released from police custody.
Reacting to these rumors, OKB surged more than 13% from its open of $4.80 at 0:00 UTC, changing hands around $5.48 at last check. The token has gained more than 17% this week.
The gains retrace part of the steep losses suffered after the token tumbled 30% following the mid-October suspension of withdrawals.
After more than a month of zero completed withdrawals, Xu's rumored release could mean a return to normal for the exchange. OKB's primary uses are for discounts on trading fees and collateral for margin trading at OKEx, so its utility (and to a large degree its value) depends on the exchange's viability.
Repeated calls to OKEx attempting to confirm the rumor were not immediately returned.