The Bitcoin poker site Seals with Clubs suddenly ended operations early Friday, and urged all players to withdraw funds as soon as possible.
Seals With Clubs — which had been the most popular eCurrency poker site on the internet — had been offline since February 11. The status of the site had been the topic of speculation for the past week. SWC’s Twitter account had been posting updates, but nothing of much substance was revealed until today’s lengthy message was posted on its website.
The message to SWC visitors and players said that operations were ceasing immediately, but SWC would be allowing players to withdraw funds for a “limited period of time.” SealsWithClubs insisted that it is indeed solvent and player funds are intact, but how much longer that is the case is apparently an open question.
SWC was cryptic when describing the events that led to the shutdown:
On approximately February 11th, 2015, several events occurred related to operational security that we consider to indicate SealsWithClubs now operates in a perpetual state of jeopardy. We will not divulge details publically, but they may come to light if any team member chooses to come forward of their own volition at a later date. All player funds and data remain intact and the issue was not software related. We do not believe any of our Bitcoin wallets used in operations to be compromised or lost. However, this event has made the majority vote of the ownership and team agree that shutting down operations is the best move for safety and security purposes.
Much of the rest of the message deals with the future of SWC, presented in an equally confusing and cryptic manner, with little explanation. SealsWithClubs Chairman Bryan Micon will try to reopen the site without the help of “majority ownership,” according to the SWC message:
SealsWithClubs Chairman, Bryan Micon, would like to carry forward the business with his own team (currently settling in Antigua) but the majority ownership cannot guarantee the future security, solvency, and integrity of that operation because there will be no administrative oversight carried over from SealsWithClubs. Members of the SealsWithClubs team and ownership are not ones to lightly endorse anything, not even our own longstanding trustworthy team members, which is why nobody ever makes a sole decision. This dynamic has saved the business several times throughout the years. With Micon operating on his own with his own team, the checks and balances we have kept in place against one another internally for 3+ years will have been removed.
Nothing has come from Micon’s Twitter account since the announcement.
This is not the first major incident for Seals With Clubs. Back in 2013, SWC was hacked and their password database was leaked.