There are many exchanges that have all kinds of weird policies. Some are rational while others are meant to scam users and investors. In the past few years, we’ve heard of many exchange hacks but in reality some of those were insider jobs.
This has continued to raise issues about the integrity of people behind some of these platforms. With millions of dollars lost to exchange hacks, other disturbing phenomena are the incidents of losses to exchanges in the most bizarre manner.
Some Exchange Scams
Not a few investors have complained in the past that they sent funds to an exchange and lost such funds not due to market forces or trading activities but because their funds were withheld or stolen by people connected with the platform.
In this Bitbay.net review, we are going to analyze why using this exchange may be risky especially if you are trading with substantial funds.
What is Bitbay?
Bitbay is a digital currency trading platform that prides itself as Europe’s premier platform. The company which claims over 800,000 users is registered in Malta although the location of its servers was not stated on the site. Information in public domain shows that BitBay is based in Poland.
The company established the exchange in 2014 but the numbers of tradable crypto assets are among the fewest in the industry despite 5 years of operation. As at the time of this report, the exchange trades 34 cryptocurrencies which mainly are the most popular coins in the market.
Fast Payments in Theory?
The platform boasts that it has one of the fastest payment systems even though there have been many complaint about its services. This is despite its claims of fast deposits and withdrawals.
BitBay has many options for making payments and receiving them. The available options include bank transfer. They also have an option of using 15,000 post office branches in Poland.
Perhaps there would have been no need to write this review if the only issue people had with BitBay was its speed, but there have been series of reports and accusation that Bitbay.net is a scam exchange.
Considering its size and the number of potential customers, it was important that we investigated the company in the bid to unravel some of the goings on and why there are scam accusations against Bitbay.
The accusations against BitBay.net usually border on locking out investors that have already made deposits to their exchange accounts. For instance, a user Merve Arslan made a deposit of 3000 euro from his German account and encountered a problem. His funds were locked without his knowledge.
According to Arslan’s version of the accusation which we have translated properly in English, he said,
“I registered with the site 2 weeks ago and everything went on easy and fast. I sent them 3000 Euro from my German bank account 1 week ago. They locked my funds after I bought without letting me know.
I found out after in a chat with their support. Strange … in my login history was written payment ” DONE” after I sent some BTC to me.”
According to him, the reason given by the exchange for suspending the account an locking (siezing) his funds was that the account may be compromised and a “precautionary measure against terror”.
Routine KYC Still…
In the quest to have his account unlocked, the exchange management asked him to go through KYC. He had to submit his ID and verify his account by submitting a selfie with a paper showing that the verification was for Bitbay.
Despite all these, the account remained locked. Apparently feeling harassed with his many queries and demands to have his funds back. The Bitbay support had him locked out effectively taking his funds and keeping him incommunicado.
Email Now His Only Access to BitBay
As at the time of filing this report, his only access to communicating with Bitbay is by email. Considering that these are people holding his funds no wonder the scam accusations on Bitbay piles up.
“I sent them every imaginable proof you could imagine. Every detailed proof of the bank transfer that I made, where you could see the exact amount, login from my online banking, the selfie, my front and backside ID.”
It appears that the support desk were helpless to help him because the policy (if that was a policy) is unconnected with their purview.
Arslan who is fed up with the behavior of the exchange wants them to send back his fund to his German bank account and wonders why anyone would doubt that he owns the money knowing that every banking transaction is traceable.
Enrichment Through A Covert Scam
He thinks that Bitbay intentionally withholds customers’ funds to enrich themselves. Perhaps the delay is to test the patience of the owner or even trade with the funds even after the owner proves that it is not a proceed of crime.
What we have found is that a platform like BitBay do not explicitly move to steal funds from its customers but there may be direct moves to acquire illicit funds legitimately and in that quest they inadvertently harass owners of clean funds.
7 ETH Lost To Thin Air?
For instance a digital asset trader announced that they sent 7 ETH to Bitbay after signing up but the fund instantly seemed to vanish despite 200 confirmations on the Ethereum network.
According to him,
“I deposit a few ETH to Bitbay.net but there is no sign of my deposit even after reaching 200 confirmations. When I go to my wallet it shows ETH balance as 0 and pending balance as 0 as well.
Etherscan is showing that the ETH has reached the wallet, however, when I log in to my account there is zero ETH balance, as well as zero under pending deposit. It’s almost 3 hours now.”
Police Threat and Quick ETH Release
We are happy to report that the trader was able to get his account credited but not before threatening to ask a friend in Poland to file a complaint with the Polish police.
Cryptoinfowatch reached the Bitbay support to understand why they arbitrarily lock customers’ funds with no clear evidence that the funds were proceeds of crime. The first response we got was:
“All steps taken by the Company are aimed at ensuring the safety of its users and their funds, therefore we hope for understanding and cooperation.
We assure you that all our activities are dictated by experience in counteracting fraud and are only meant to ensure the security of our community and their funds. We realize that this may cause inconvenience, but ensuring security is our main goal.”
Bitbay’s Bad Image
What is obvious from the reports that we have received so far is that the experience is not helping the company’s image. Although they have not shown that they are preventing fraud by freezing some customers’ funds.
What is clear from the mistakes is that the people behind Bitbay are taking shots in the dark with the hope of hitting a bull’s eye and so gain some criminal funds is the people behind such funds don’t react.
We wondered if the company is suspicious of all sizeable funds but the reply was:
“It is not about amount. It is about e.g. new moves on account. We have special security system. Every found after confirmation by user we will refund or realize transaction. We must act in accordance with AML procedure.”
It is a wonder how you enforce AML without any evidence that you are dealing with proceeds of crime.
An exchange such as BitBay seems not aware of the emotional torture the owners of these funds pass through. We are aware that the exchange may be enriching itself through this act especially when some of its victims give up and move on.
This is a reason to avoid trading with just any exchange and the reason we recommend reputable exchanges such as Binance. I personally invest with this company that helps me trade successfully.
Have you had experience with Bitbay.net? Please share in the comment box below.