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Author Topic: Angry threat from BitStamp. Put myself in danger or they'll steel my money.  (Read 13477 times)
alan2here
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October 16, 2014, 08:18:15 PM
Last edit: October 19, 2014, 09:25:15 AM by alan2here
 #1

I have a small holding, but I am still angry. I'm in England.

As someone who is quite pro ID, I don't even mind concepts such as ID cards.

But I'm furious at this companies extreme arrogance and clear shortsightedness, if not clearly criminal intent, the tone as much as the content. It doesn't say "our hands are tied", but instead "your clearly up to no good, how dare you", how dare they.

Quote
Dear Bitstamp customer,

This is your Final Notice. We have determined that despite you being notified of our change in Bitstamp's Verification Policy more than a year ago on 4th September 2013 and despite our repeated entreaties and warnings to you, you have not yet verified your Bistamp account, resulting in our having to suspend your activity.

Please be advised: We cannot allow unverified customers to trade or do any business whatsoever at Bitstamp, as doing so would violate our AML and KYC policies. See: https://www.bitstamp.net/aml-policy/

As you are holding a balance with Bitstamp, we kindly ask you to verify your account within 28 days of receiving this notification.

If you do not do so, you will have breached our Agreement and failed to remedy your breach. This will automatically result in the following: your account will be terminated, you will lose access rig hts, and you will no longer be considered a Bitstamp customer.

Any remaining balance in your account will be subject to immediate seizure by and forfeiture to regulatory authorities.

Please take these simple verification steps immediately. You can verify your Bitstamp account here: https://www.bitstamp.net/account/verify/ or contact our support at support@bitstamp.net

Best regards,

Bitstamp Team

Quote
I will not send BitStamp authenticating, and/or legal documents, by post or other means, who will have the opportunity regardless of policy to copy, sell, store or lose these documents.

It should be obvious that Bitcoin Exchanges tend to disappear abruptly, become the victims of theft internally, bankrupt themselves inexplicably while making large profits, or similar, and that I cannot trust BitStamp, regardless of the differences to other companies.

I have never been offered any less dangerous means of identifying myself.

I consider, regardless of the legal position, effectively abruptly freezing my account when I was unable to move my coins to another exchange and now threatening loss of my coins if I do not perform this clearly dangerous act, to be an unreasonable threat and theft of my property, and take particular offence at the tone of this email given that I have wished to take my custom elsewhere for a significant amount of time and would have done so immediately on BitStamps abrupt change of policy if BitStamp had not prevented me doing so.

I feel forced to make a complaint officially, regardless of it I can report this as an incident to the authorities.

Edit: I have not been able to withdraw my funds for some time before this notice.

Also, it is not just a matter of pride, all the companies in this industry, as I've described above, are so criminal that sending copies of authenticating documents puts me in an unacceptable level of identity theft, likely costing much more to deal with then the value in the account in stress.

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October 17, 2014, 07:55:22 AM
 #2

At least you're not being singled out: https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/bitcoin-exchange-bitstamp-will-give-unverified-accounts-government/

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October 17, 2014, 08:49:08 AM
 #3

I have a small holding, but I am still angry. I'm in England.

This is not the place to make a principled stand.  Discretion is the better part of valor here.  If you're that concerned about your privacy, just find a trusted friend or relative who is not, and give BitStamp their information.  Since there are no tax implications, at the moment, I don't see the real harm. Then withdraw your money, go elsewhere, and likely BitStamp, as per their normal business procedures, will delete their records in due time and nobody will ever know you were a customer there.

By contrast, escalating this will only draw attention to yourself, the exact opposite of what you seem to want.

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October 17, 2014, 09:00:31 AM
 #4

Then withdraw your money, go elsewhere, and likely BitStamp, as per their normal business procedures, will delete their records in due time and nobody will ever know you were a customer there.

The due time is at least 5 years according to the agreement. I understand that exchanges want to comply with the law but it's plain wrong to allow people to deposit without verification and then forfeit funds because they didn't verify.
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October 17, 2014, 08:54:42 PM
 #5

Attention is fine, I'm not trying to dodge tax, I don't care about most privacy issues.

If I give them copies of a great deal of official paperwork, and they turn out to be as dodgy and incompetent as MT Gox was by the end, and Bitcoinica, and Bets of Bitcoin, and Bitscalper, etc.... Then the identity theft by someone else that will occur in a few years as a result will be hard to deal with.

I'm not giving them a friends identity.

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October 17, 2014, 09:07:35 PM
 #6

Then withdraw your money, go elsewhere, and likely BitStamp, as per their normal business procedures, will delete their records in due time and nobody will ever know you were a customer there.

The due time is at least 5 years according to the agreement. I understand that exchanges want to comply with the law but it's plain wrong to allow people to deposit without verification and then forfeit funds because they didn't verify.

It is, avoid doing businesses with anyone that operates like this, they shouldn't allow unverified accounts in the first place if they want to do business honestly, in fact, from what I've seen a lot of LocalBitcoin operators use this policy with first time customers. It has actually gotten to a point now where there are businesses who will deliberately avoid the U.S because of how ridiculous U.S regulations are.
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October 17, 2014, 10:19:30 PM
 #7

They can't change their terms unilaterally and seize your coins - that's outright theft.   Angry

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October 17, 2014, 11:16:02 PM
 #8

It's sad because I thought Bitstamp was originally one of the trustworthy ones, but it looks like the U.S has finally caught up with them and started making demands.
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October 18, 2014, 02:19:47 AM
 #9

They can't change their terms unilaterally and seize your coins - that's outright theft.   Angry
Did they though? I don't know what their terms originally were, but I guarantee they had a clause stating they could require verification at any time for any reason, and keep the customer's assets until they comply. This is why you're supposed to scroll all the way to bottom before clicking "agree".

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October 18, 2014, 04:53:04 AM
 #10

Bitstamp's public statement regarding verification was unsettling. Are they trying to chase business away?

Being verified does not secure your funds. They can revoke verification anytime they like for whatever reason. It's their sandbox. I've danced this dance elsewhere.

I feel for the OP. Its a case of "swallow pride" or lose money I guess.

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October 18, 2014, 02:43:32 PM
 #11

The other big exchange is dodgy, but at least they have better rates.

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October 18, 2014, 06:56:13 PM
 #12

They can't change their terms unilaterally and seize your coins - that's outright theft.   Angry
The terms of almost every business is that the business can change the terms by providing your notice of the change and your continued use of their service is acceptance of the change in terms.

The only recourse the OP has is it withdraw his money from BitStamp and trade "locally"

The OP would not be giving any information that is not available to any financial institution that he does business with

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October 18, 2014, 07:49:43 PM
 #13

They can't change their terms unilaterally and seize your coins - that's outright theft.   Angry
The terms of almost every business is that the business can change the terms by providing your notice of the change and your continued use of their service is acceptance of the change in terms.

The only recourse the OP has is it withdraw his money from BitStamp and trade "locally"

Thought OP said the terms changed so he can't even do that.

Saying that you don't trust someone because of their behavior is completely valid.
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October 18, 2014, 11:10:11 PM
 #14

I have a small holding, but I am still angry. I'm in England.

As someone who is quite pro ID, I don't even mind concepts such as ID cards.

But I'm furious at this companies extreme arrogance and clear shortsightedness, if not clearly criminal intent, the tone as much as the content. It doesn't say "our hands are tied", but instead "your clearly up to no good, how dare you", how dare they.

Quote
Dear Bitstamp customer,

This is your Final Notice. We have determined that despite you being notified of our change in Bitstamp's Verification Policy more than a year ago on 4th September 2013 and despite our repeated entreaties and warnings to you, you have not yet verified your Bistamp account, resulting in our having to suspend your activity.

Please be advised: We cannot allow unverified customers to trade or do any business whatsoever at Bitstamp, as doing so would violate our AML and KYC policies. See: https://www.bitstamp.net/aml-policy/

As you are holding a balance with Bitstamp, we kindly ask you to verify your account within 28 days of receiving this notification.

If you do not do so, you will have breached our Agreement and failed to remedy your breach. This will automatically result in the following: your account will be terminated, you will lose access rig hts, and you will no longer be considered a Bitstamp customer.

Any remaining balance in your account will be subject to immediate seizure by and forfeiture to regulatory authorities.

Please take these simple verification steps immediately. You can verify your Bitstamp account here: https://www.bitstamp.net/account/verify/ or contact our support at support@bitstamp.net

Best regards,

Bitstamp Team

Quote
I will not send BitStamp authenticating, and/or legal documents, by post or other means, who will have the opportunity regardless of policy to copy, sell, store or lose these documents.

It should be obvious that Bitcoin Exchanges tend to disappear abruptly, become the victims of theft internally, bankrupt themselves inexplicably while making large profits, or similar, and that I cannot trust BitStamp, regardless of the differences to other companies.

I have never been offered any less dangerous means of identifying myself.

I consider, regardless of the legal position, effectively abruptly freezing my account when I was unable to move my coins to another exchange and now threatening loss of my coins if I do not perform this clearly dangerous act, to be an unreasonable threat and theft of my property, and take particular offence at the tone of this email given that I have wished to take my custom elsewhere for a significant amount of time and would have done so immediately on BitStamps abrupt change of policy if BitStamp had not prevented me doing so.

I feel forced to make a complaint officially, regardless of it I can report this as an incident to the authorities.

This is the reason I always recommend P2P exchanges like LocalBitcoins over real time exchanges like BitStamp/BTC-e.

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October 18, 2014, 11:30:06 PM
 #15

Coinbase is pretty much the same, they monitor transactions and will ban accounts if you send coins to a gambling website (or any address owned by a website considered illegal in the USA). At least they allow baned costumers to withdraw all their funds before permanently closing their account.

Innovation and strict regulation are two things that can't go together, especially in the case of bitcoin. It's pretty sad that the inovation bitcoin can offer isn't appreciated enough by USA authorities to create more loose policies. The amount of entrepreneurship that could emerge through bitcoin in the USA is incredible. They have so much to offer to the rest of the world, and it's a pitty to see things like this happening. To mee it feels like such regulations are pushing innovation away from the US, therefore making bitcoin's growth and spread slower.


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October 19, 2014, 01:39:23 AM
 #16

They can't change their terms unilaterally and seize your coins - that's outright theft.   Angry
The terms of almost every business is that the business can change the terms by providing your notice of the change and your continued use of their service is acceptance of the change in terms.

The only recourse the OP has is it withdraw his money from BitStamp and trade "locally"

Thought OP said the terms changed so he can't even do that.
I don't see any mention of the OP not being able to withdraw any balance until then. All the email from stamp says is that the OP has 28 days to provide identification or all the funds in the account will be forfeited. Since it does not say anything to the contrary I would assume that they would allow you to continue to trade, deposit and withdraw until then (IDK why anyone would want to trade or deposit).

The email also says that the OP was given multiple warnings prior to this message
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October 19, 2014, 06:05:27 AM
 #17



I don't see any mention of the OP not being able to withdraw any balance until then. All the email from stamp says is that the OP has 28 days to provide identification or all the funds in the account will be forfeited. Since it does not say anything to the contrary I would assume that they would allow you to continue to trade, deposit and withdraw until then (IDK why anyone would want to trade or deposit).

The email also says that the OP was given multiple warnings prior to this message

Quite right.  And in the real world, in a foreign bank I had the same thing happen.  The bank said that due to recent money-laundering laws, I had to provide more ID for myself or I could not withdraw my money, which I had placed there with little ID years before.  I tried to fight them but in the end I had to provide the ID.

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October 19, 2014, 06:10:17 AM
 #18

It's sad because I thought Bitstamp was originally one of the trustworthy ones, but it looks like the U.S has finally caught up with them and started making demands.
BitStamp were great, till last year and their disgusting KYC/AML. Since then I have not used them.

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October 19, 2014, 06:18:40 AM
 #19

It's sad because I thought Bitstamp was originally one of the trustworthy ones, but it looks like the U.S has finally caught up with them and started making demands.
BitStamp were great, till last year and their disgusting KYC/AML. Since then I have not used them.

You do realize that KYC (Know Your Customer, where a bank will --secretly if it wants--report you to the Feds in Detroit if they suspect you may be laundering money) does not have to be disclosed to the customer by the bank?  Meaning if it wants to, a bank can make a secret report about you to the Feds? (I have read the regulations)  So BitStamp did you a favor by telling you up front they were going to comply with KYC, giving you time to withdraw.  In fact in the real world several times I realized my bank was asking me questions--at a different branch where I normally bank--for KYC purposes, without of course telling me why.  It's similar to the reason the airport security guard sometimes engages you in light-hearted "banter":  they are not trying to be friendly or waste your time, but are trying to see if your responses sound normal or if you seem nervous.

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October 19, 2014, 09:25:59 AM
 #20

See my update to the original post.

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