Bitcoin Exchange Bitstamp will Give Unverified Accounts to the Government

Journalist:
October 17, 2014

In a news bit posted by European Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp earlier today, the once-largest Bitcoin exchange promulgated their FINAL NOTICE TO UNVERIFIED ACCOUNT HOLDERS. Some thirteen months ago, Bitstamp updated its Verification Policy to  require verification in order to have access to bitcoin and bank transfers. It seems that despite a years time, there are still unverified accounts with positive balances of fiat or bitcoin belonging to individuals or organizations that have, for one reason or another, chosen not to undergo Bitstamp’s especially secure (read: stringent) AML/KYC verification process. Today, Bitstamp has informed these account holders that they have exactly four weeks to verify, or they will forfeit the contents of their accounts.

Also read: Bitstamp Provides Proof of Bitcoin Solvency

Bitstamp: Get Verified or Get Out

Bitstamp explained in their post:

Bitstamp cannot allow unverified accounts to trade or offer any other services, as doing so would violate our AML and KYC policies. Read our AML policy here. We kindly ask all unverified account holders with a balance to get verified within 28 days of this announcement. Failure to do so constitutes a breach of our Agreement and failure to remedy that breach. This will automatically result in the following: all unverified accounts holding a balance will be terminated, access rights will be removed, and the holders of these accounts will no longer be considered Bitstamp customers. Any remaining balances will be subject to immediate seizure by and forfeiture to regulatory authorities.

Bitstamp is based out of Slovenia but registered in the UK. Despite not formally falling under the jurisdiction of Slovenia’s AML and counterterrorist financial tracking obligations, Bitstamp has taken it upon themselves to lead the world’s Bitcoin exchanges in AML/KYC compliance. For some digital currency users that wish to stay anonymous, especially to the financial gateways under the scrutiny of established governments and the legacy financial system, Bitstamp is no longer the place to go. Bitstamp has also revealed that forfeited accounts and monies taken may then be subject to a government investigation.

What do you think about Bitstamp forfeiting unverified accounts to the government? Comment below!

Images from Shutterstock.

Last modified (UTC): October 17, 2014 05:40

Tags: bitstamp
Caleb Chen @bitxbitxbitcoin

Caleb is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he studied Economics, East Asian Studies, and Mathematics. He is currently pursuing his MSc in Digital Currency at the University of Nicosia.