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Author Topic: Bitstamp  (Read 926 times)
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November 26, 2019, 05:16:04 PM
Merited by o_e_l_e_o (1)

Their fees are the least of their problems, really, plenty of people getting stuck in the KYC circle of hell.

There has recently been a very rapid and quite alarming increase in horror stories about Bitstamp freezing people's money indefinitely using impossible to answer KYC/AML questions. Check out the bitstamp trustpilot recent reviews and it's the same story over and over again. Using KYC/AML laws against customers in order to deprive them of their funds. It's not just a conspiracy theory anymore, there's way too much of this going on.

Other reputable exchanges operate KYC/AML but the difference is that Bitstamp will never complete the KYC/AML by simply freezing accounts with significant funds in, and never responding to answers, or taking literally weeks or months to respond to your answers, often with yet more questions. It just goes round and round and round in a circle. I suspect they are hoping a lot of people simply give up, which a lot of people sadly do, and this yields them huge profits if you think about just confiscating just a thousand or two accounts with mid five figures to low six figures.

There are also posts about this on the Bitstamp reddit, some with tens or even hundreds of replies describing similar experiences. Who knows what the actual total is. It's made even more sketchy by the fact that they're hiding somewhere in eastern Europe. I understand about secrecy for security's sake, but when there are so many accusations of theft of huge amounts of money, Bitstamp's unwillingness to say where they are actually located becomes suspicious. Their London and Luxembourg offices are just mailboxes.

I would be very curious to know the total amount held frozen by Bitstamp, money held illegally because if true crime is suspected upon good faith AML investigation, then that information would surely be turned over to law enforcement. But that's the minority of those with funds frozen, most are just regular traders who can't account for every single satoshi since the dawn of time, because for example they bought it in cash or so many years ago they forgot, or they mined it many years ago, and so on. In the case of these legitimate traders where no criminal activity can be ascertained, if Bitstamp is truly uncomfortable with doing business with such customers, then Bitstamp should simply close that customer's account and most importantly, return funds back to them. This is what regulated banks do if they close your account due to violation of terms and conditions, which Bitstamp legally has a right to create and enforce but this doesn't protect it from abiding by the law itself.

For all these people stuck in that so-called "Bitstamp KYC/AML circle of hell" closure of account and timely return of funds is what is done by regulated financial institutions operating legally, apart from in the minority of cases which genuinely warrant further investigation by law enforcement. I don't know whether Bitstamp is doing this as a very profitable side-gig to its dwindling market share after the emergence of far bigger exchanges such as binance and coinbase (they already doubled their fees to nearly 10x binance), or whether this is an indication of something yet more sinister such as a Mt gox like exit scam. Mt gox used such KYC/AML pretext to delay customers' withdrawals as long as possible before it all collapsed.

Even if Bitstamp has been good to you, there are so many exchanges out there that won't put you through this, that it's not worth the risk. If you're thinking about any kind of significant amount of funds, especially as a % of your net worth, it's definitely better to be cautious and avoid Bitstamp. And if you read this or other reviews like it and still deposit a load of coin with Bitstamp, then you can't say you haven't been warned. No one knows 100% what's going on until it unfolds, but it's very suspect at the moment. No FUD here, go and search about it for yourselves.

And for anyone already stuck with significant funds: lawyer up. Really. That's only when they take you seriously.
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