I have been a customer of bitstamp for three years. This month they held back my transfer demanding additional KYC procedures.
These procedures require the customer to
- submit salary slips
- submit annual tax revenue statements
- provide data clarifying the purpose of crypto withdrawals
- submit signed wallet addresses to which crypto has been withdrawn
- submit information about which other exchanges are being used
- include identifying information with any of the documents submitted
- elaborate on the bitstamp account usage in greater detail
- elaborate on the destination of crypto withdrawals to various crypto addresses supplying supporting documentation for all the statements
However in bitstamp's "Terms and Conditions", no mention is made about this additional KYC. Yet bitstamp is using this as an excuse to justify its behaviour in withholding customers funds.
As I am typing this in the terms and conditions they only claim to collect the following information:
"A. Personal Information We Collect
We collect the Personal Data which you provide directly to us or which we generate when you open a Bitstamp Account, perform any transactions on the Bitstamp Platform, or use other Bitstamp Services or our website. This may include:
Contact information, such as name, home address and email address;
Account information, such as username, password, Account settings and preferences;
Financial information, such as bank account numbers, bank statement and trading information;
Identity verification information, such as images of your government-issued ID, passport, national ID card or driving licence. Note: US residents may be asked to provide their social security numbers;
Residence verification information, such as utility bill details or similar information;
Information regarding the way in which you use our Services, such as when you used our Services, and the specific Services used; and
Information relating to communications with us, whether through the Bitstamp website or via e-mail, over the phone or via any other medium."
I have screenshots to prove that today 04/11/2020 this is precisely what it says on their website.
Bitstamp moved our accounts from Bitstamp Ltd (their UK office) to Bitstamp SA in Luxembourg
In the beginning of August this year.
As a result their compliance criteria probably changed. Yet they decided not to inform their customers knowing very well that very few customers would be happy to provide the information listed above for the "additional KYC procedure".
In the email I received on the 4th of August, (An update regarding your Bitstamp account) bitstamp said:
"The services we offer you will not be affected and you do not need to take any action at this time."
The links to those two documents are the links I supplied above. And they contained no information about any additional KYC requirements.
In addition, they said:"No action is required!"
The lack of any information regarding the new KYC requirements suggest that bitstamp was purposefully misleading its customers about the change of compliance conditions resulting from moving the accounts and is now blackmailing its customers by withholding funds until the required information has been supplied.
Any comment by bitstamp pointing out their terms and conditions can be easily refuted. There is nothing about the additonal KYC demands in their terms and conditions at the time I am writing this.
Bitstamp conduct is not acceptable and is probably in direct contravention of the laws of most European countries. Changes in Terms and conditions need to made known.
And people need to be warned to stay away from bitstamp.