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Author Topic: www.BITSTAMP.net Bitcoin exchange site for USD/BTC  (Read 206130 times)
mmitech
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January 23, 2015, 02:12:06 PM
 #1541

A full blown audit needs to be done on bitstamp.

Wouldn't use it otherwise.

Which ties in with my own request from a few days ago...

When can we expect the next financial audit of Bitstamp's customer deposits?

The last one was almost a year ago (March 2014). Back then, the plan was to do them quarter yearly. That didn't happen unfortunately.

In my opinion, after the recent hot wallet hack, it would seem like an extremely good idea to announce, and then undergo another audit of your exchange, to reassure your customers, and the crypto market in general.


As a long-term customer of Bitstamp, I'd really appreciate an answer from someone in charge to this simple question:

Do you have an ETA for the next financial audit? (That were once promised to be held quarter yearly).

I would also like to know if they are still solvent (by performing an audit from a trusted third party and publishing the results), I don't have any funds in the exchange for now, but I wont send any funds if an audit is not performed ASAP...at this point I personally think that the risk of leaving funds or trading at Bitstamp has become equal or even higher than trading at BTC-e.


Edit: once before the hack happened, the CEO (Nejc kodrič) said that they have a reserve fund to cover the whole hot wallet funds in case they had a problem with it (hackd, lost, technical issues...), but I personally don't think that they had 19000 BTC sitting around just in case... I can imagine 500-3000 BTC but not 19000 BTC
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pawel7777
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January 23, 2015, 02:23:53 PM
 #1542

...
Edit: once before the hack happened, the CEO (Nejc kodrič) said that they have a reserve fund to cover the whole hot wallet funds in case they had a problem with it (hackd, lost, technical issues...), but I personally don't think that they had 19000 BTC sitting around just in case... I can imagine 500-3000 BTC but not 19000 BTC


Out of curiosity, when did he say that? Do you have any link/more details?

mmitech
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January 23, 2015, 02:30:32 PM
 #1543

...
Edit: once before the hack happened, the CEO (Nejc kodrič) said that they have a reserve fund to cover the whole hot wallet funds in case they had a problem with it (hackd, lost, technical issues...), but I personally don't think that they had 19000 BTC sitting around just in case... I can imagine 500-3000 BTC but not 19000 BTC


Out of curiosity, when did he say that? Do you have any link/more details?

not long before the hack, I think maybe 2-3 months ago !!!  I don't have a link because he told us (me and a couple other guys) this in a Bitcoin meeting here in the technological park in Kranj, Slovenia. (orgenized by Bitstamp)
erre
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January 23, 2015, 04:15:29 PM
 #1544

Time for a bank run, that would be a great way to force an audit  Smiley

pawel7777
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January 23, 2015, 08:01:42 PM
 #1545

...
Edit: once before the hack happened, the CEO (Nejc kodrič) said that they have a reserve fund to cover the whole hot wallet funds in case they had a problem with it (hackd, lost, technical issues...), but I personally don't think that they had 19000 BTC sitting around just in case... I can imagine 500-3000 BTC but not 19000 BTC


Out of curiosity, when did he say that? Do you have any link/more details?

not long before the hack, I think maybe 2-3 months ago !!!  I don't have a link because he told us (me and a couple other guys) this in a Bitcoin meeting here in the technological park in Kranj, Slovenia. (orgenized by Bitstamp)

Oh OK. Thanks for replying.

It would be unlikely for any company to just sit on such amount of fiat/BTC. But then again, they did get some VC funding from Pantera some time ago (~$10m), so it could be possible (depending on the terms of that funding).

But I really do hope their next financial statement will be audited.

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January 25, 2015, 01:01:04 AM
 #1546

Still no response...it has been 2+ weeks since the hack and no comment on an audit to take place.

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dreamspark
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January 25, 2015, 05:25:22 PM
 #1547

Still no response...it has been 2+ weeks since the hack and no comment on an audit to take place.

Perhaps because they haven't re-bought the coins they need to show solvency ?
bernard75
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January 26, 2015, 08:24:47 PM
 #1548

Guys, that would go a long way...unless you have something to hide...
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January 27, 2015, 03:10:09 PM
 #1549

Please do an audit, some people strongly belive that you are running in fractional reserve and so fucking up bitcoin Smiley

A little explanation on how fractional reserve works:


It is important to recognize the difference between Currency Supply and Money Supply. The currency supply of bitcoins is limited to 21 million. Money supply is higher because it includes demand deposits. Let us take an example: Suppose that there are only 100 Bitcoins on Earth all owned by Satoshi. He puts all 100 in Bank Alpha. Bank Alpha puts 20 of the bitcoins (20%) in a special account and leaves them there. They then lend out 80 bitcoins to Gavin. Bank Alpha tells Satoshi on his account page that his account has 100 bitcoins in it. The total money supply of Bitcoins at this point is 180. You can see that there is no magic required. Now, Gavin buys some LolCat comics from Cameron for 80 bitcoins. Cameron puts his 80 bitcoins in his bank, Bank Beta. Bank Beta puts 20% in reserve (16 bitcoins) and has 64 to lend out. They lend those 64 bitcoins to someone else. Cameron's account page on Bank Beta's website says he has 80 bitcoins in his account. The money supply of bitcoin is now 100+80+64 = 244 bitcoins. Supposing all banks put 20% in reserves for safe keeping, and suppose everyone uses banks (as opposed to keeping them in a wallet on their computer) then the money supply of bitcoin will max out at 500 bitcoins. Obviously because some people will hold their own bitcoins and because they will be used out in the world for transactions, the money supply wouldn't reach 500 bitcoins, but it can easily exceed 100.
An obvious response is 'Well what happens when Gavin takes his bitcoins out of the bank!?' The answer is that that is what the reserves are for. Although not reflected in this example, the actual reserves held by a bank would be vastly greater than the amount held in any individual customer's account.
And that is how Fractional Reserve Banking works.


https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Talk:Myths#Fractional_reserve_banking_with_Bitcoin_is_fundamentally_different

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=932052.0

solex
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January 27, 2015, 06:47:52 PM
 #1550

Bitstamp, please consider moving all your customer's fiat out of this sick dog of a bank!

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-20/raiffeisen-junior-debt-signaling-distress-as-currency-woes-mount.html

Quote
Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI)’s junior bonds slumped to levels typically viewed as distressed after gains in the Swiss franc added to woes triggered by the tumble in the Russian and Ukrainian currencies.

Subordinated bonds sold by the Vienna-based lender slid as low as 63.4 cents on the euro, with yields of as much as 10 percent, after trading at 91 cents at the start of December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“When bonds get to 60, 70 cents it’s fair to say it’s a sign of distress,” said Robert Montague, who helps oversee about $8 billion as a senior credit analyst at ECM Asset Management in London.


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January 30, 2015, 01:49:54 PM
 #1551

BE AWARE: Bitstamp's Withdrawal Fees Effectively Increased Since Hack

Today I gave up trying to resolve two problems with Bitstamp's so-called customer service post-hack:

While I have no reason to believe that they are dishonest, they appear to be either incredibly stupid or simply callous. It makes one wonder how long they intend to stay in business. Perhaps this has something to do with Bitstamp's financial problems; I don't know.

What to watch out for since the hack:

(1) When you withdraw funds in USD from Bitstamp, expect bank fees + withdrawal fees to now exceed 0.3%. Bitstamp refuses to "investigate" these outrageously high fees, or to state any position whatsoever. In fact, if you ask any questions, they want to CHARGE you €30 before they will do anything. This happened twice in a row for me, so this is obviously not a one-time thing.

(2) Do not expect to get your money quickly - my two recent withdrawals took 9 days on average. And if your money is missing, don't expect them to do anything about it quickly. In fact, over the past two years I have yet to see them do anything at all, ever.
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January 30, 2015, 02:02:13 PM
 #1552

As long as they're unable to verify their reserves on the blockchain stay away. Don't trust any service that claims to have coins and can't use the most basic of Bitcoins functions to prove it, they could be another Gox.

It's certainly possible, but at a minimum their customer service is behaving very strangely. There must be a reason for this.
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January 30, 2015, 02:28:01 PM
 #1553

...
What to watch out for since the hack:

(1) When you withdraw funds in USD from Bitstamp, expect bank fees + withdrawal fees to now exceed 0.3%. Bitstamp refuses to "investigate" these outrageously high fees, or to state any position whatsoever. In fact, if you ask any questions, they want to CHARGE you €30 before they will do anything. This happened twice in a row for me, so this is obviously not a one-time thing.
...

? They tried to charge you €30 just for answering question? I don't use BitStamp, don't have much sympathy for them, but I find it hard to believe.

And what do you mean they refused to investigate their own fees. The fees may be high, but if they charge them as agreed, there's nothing to investigate.

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January 30, 2015, 04:51:41 PM
 #1554

...
What to watch out for since the hack:

(1) When you withdraw funds in USD from Bitstamp, expect bank fees + withdrawal fees to now exceed 0.3%. Bitstamp refuses to "investigate" these outrageously high fees, or to state any position whatsoever. In fact, if you ask any questions, they want to CHARGE you €30 before they will do anything. This happened twice in a row for me, so this is obviously not a one-time thing.
...

? They tried to charge you €30 just for answering question? I don't use BitStamp, don't have much sympathy for them, but I find it hard to believe.

And what do you mean they refused to investigate their own fees. The fees may be high, but if they charge them as agreed, there's nothing to investigate.

The official withdrawal fee is 0.09%, and in theory the intermediary bank in the US might charge a fixed fee, of, say $20 plus perhaps an additional 0.05%. Including Bitstamp's fee, in my case I was charged $373 to withdraw $120K. Such high fees do not occur in normal banking transactions. But Bitstamp's customer service said that I would have to agree to pay another €30 (their "bank charge") before they would ask the bank to justify this charge. When I asked them if they considered this bank charge to be reasonable, Marko in customer service refused to answer the question.
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January 30, 2015, 05:20:33 PM
 #1555

...
What to watch out for since the hack:

(1) When you withdraw funds in USD from Bitstamp, expect bank fees + withdrawal fees to now exceed 0.3%. Bitstamp refuses to "investigate" these outrageously high fees, or to state any position whatsoever. In fact, if you ask any questions, they want to CHARGE you €30 before they will do anything. This happened twice in a row for me, so this is obviously not a one-time thing.
...

? They tried to charge you €30 just for answering question? I don't use BitStamp, don't have much sympathy for them, but I find it hard to believe.

And what do you mean they refused to investigate their own fees. The fees may be high, but if they charge them as agreed, there's nothing to investigate.

The official withdrawal fee is 0.09%, and in theory the intermediary bank in the US might charge a fixed fee, of, say $20 plus perhaps an additional 0.05%. Including Bitstamp's fee, in my case I was charged $373 to withdraw $120K. Such high fees do not occur in normal banking transactions. But Bitstamp's customer service said that I would have to agree to pay another €30 (their "bank charge") before they would ask the bank to justify this charge. When I asked them if they considered this bank charge to be reasonable, Marko in customer service refused to answer the question.

From the FAQ on their website:

Quote
Not regarding to withdrawal method, a fee will be displayed before executing the withdrawal and deducted from amount. SEPA withdrawals are charged with fixed 0.90€ fee once your funds are converted to EUR. Minimum amount for SEPA withdrawal is $10.00. International withdrawals are charged with 0.09% fee, minimum fee is $15.00. Minimum amount for international withdrawal is $50.00.

So you've definitely been overcharged.
You can pay and then threat them with legal dispute. They're UK registered and by UK law they need to properly inform you about any fees.

BTW do they provide any receipts with all the fees shown?

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February 02, 2015, 08:29:14 AM
 #1556

Quote
From the FAQ on their website:

Quote
Not regarding to withdrawal method, a fee will be displayed before executing the withdrawal and deducted from amount. SEPA withdrawals are charged with fixed 0.90€ fee once your funds are converted to EUR. Minimum amount for SEPA withdrawal is $10.00. International withdrawals are charged with 0.09% fee, minimum fee is $15.00. Minimum amount for international withdrawal is $50.00.

So you've definitely been overcharged.
You can pay and then threat them with legal dispute. They're UK registered and by UK law they need to properly inform you about any fees.

BTW do they provide any receipts with all the fees shown?

No receipts provided. If I want to obtain any information about who took the money, I have to pay 2x€30, i.e. €60. But since Bitstamp has no standards for acceptable bank changes, it is useless to pay these €60. I would simply be out $70 more than before, i.e. a total of over $400.

No doubt you're right that one could sue them in theory. But it would not be worth it for $400. What remains is to let others know about their hefty withdrawal fees and strange customer service attitude. [I use the term "strange" because it is hard to understand why Bitstamp would be trying to prevent investigation of theft of customer funds by banks.]

Update: Their manager did offer me a month-long 10% rebate off of trading fees to compensate for this. That was a nice gesture, but kind of meaningless, since I would have to buy/sell almost 6000 bitcoins to recoup the loss.

So what is going on here? Is Bitstamp artificially padding the bank transfer fees to help make up for recent losses due to the hack? Or is it having banking problems, so that it has to tolerate its banks essentially robbing its customers? Or is its management simply too lazy to work out a deal with their bank(s) regarding fees?
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February 02, 2015, 10:11:29 AM
 #1557


No doubt you're right that one could sue them in theory. But it would not be worth it for $400. What remains is to let others know about their hefty withdrawal fees and strange customer service attitude. [I use the term "strange" because it is hard to understand why Bitstamp would be trying to prevent investigation of theft of customer funds by banks.]

Update: Their manager did offer me a month-long 10% rebate off of trading fees to compensate for this. That was a nice gesture, but kind of meaningless, since I would have to buy/sell almost 6000 bitcoins to recoup the loss.


If you're UK resident then you could just use the Small Claims process to get the overcharged amount back. It's not that expensive, and if you win, you can get all the costs back: fees, interest, or even cost of your time you've spent on making the claim.

Not sure is that an option for non UK residents, but you can still write them a formal letter requesting either money back or proper breakdown of the fees they charged. If they don't reply, you can make a complain:

https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-a-limited-company

http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/action/how-to-complain-to-a-company

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February 03, 2015, 07:23:01 AM
 #1558

I appreciate the advice, but since I'm not a UK resident I'll think I'll have to leave it at that and let them get away with it.

While I still have no particular reason to consider Bitstamp to be fraudulent, they certainly seem unlikely to win any customer service prizes. But I guess that's nothing new.
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February 09, 2015, 04:18:53 PM
 #1559

Quick question: how are Bitstamp's fiat withdrawals working lately? I always had no problem with them, but after the hack I never requested any withdrawal, and I may need to request a bigger one in the next couple of months.

Any experiences with that? Withdrawals as smooth as usual?

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February 09, 2015, 09:15:40 PM
 #1560

Quick question: how are Bitstamp's fiat withdrawals working lately? I always had no problem with them, but after the hack I never requested any withdrawal, and I may need to request a bigger one in the next couple of months.

Any experiences with that? Withdrawals as smooth as usual?
I need to know that too! anyone ?

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