Bitfinex restarts fiat deposits via ‘improved’ system

Embattled cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has reinstated fiat deposits, claiming its new system is much “improved” following significant user problems at the exchange in recent times.

The development follows on from the firm’s decision to suspend fiat deposits last week, which the exchange attributed to unspecified “processing complications.” At the time, the decision caused some panic amongst Bitfinex users, fearful the exchange could be the next to unexpectedly hit the rocks.

While Tuesday’s announcement will be comfort to those affected, including the more vocal complaints on social media, it remains to be seen whether Bitfinex has done enough to calm the nerves of their customers.

According to the crypto exchange, the new depositing process will be limited to customers who have been through the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process, offering deposits across several international fiat currencies: USD, GBP, EUR and JPY, respectively.

Customers can deposit fiat currency to their account by firstly initiating a deposit request, which is then reviewed before being executed by Bitfinex on a case by case basis.

In a blog post introducing the new measures, Bitfinex described its depositing system as more “resilient,” with almost conspiratorial suggestions of an organised campaign against their business over the issue.

“We believe this system to be significantly more durable in the face of sustained attacks by our competition and their supporters. Ongoing campaigns against us will only result in our company becoming stronger and better,” according to the crypto exchange.

Under the new system, deposits will be processed in 6-10 days, and must be of a minimum amount of $10,000. Bitfinex will manually approve accounts, and the service is only available to verified, KYC-compliant users. In all cases, a fee of 0.1000% applies to each deposit.

Thanking their customers for their patience, Bitfinex praised their “continued understanding throughout the entirety of this situation.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Bitfinex now makes it easier for users to track their activities

The Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange has come under fire for a lot of issues lately. Last week, it was accused of being insolvent, which it vehemently denied, and was the target of a cyber-attack this past June. Perhaps in an effort to appease customers, the exchange is introducing new tools designed to give users more control, as well as greater activity insight, over their trades.

Hong Kong-based Bitfinex announced the new tools via a blog post published last week. The tools will allow greater flexibility in reviewing account data and users will now be able to “instantly compile an overview of necessary account information stemming as far back as account history goes.”

Bitfinex explains, “As institutions and professional traders enter the digital asset trading space, Bitfinex remains committed to creating the tools required to thoroughly meet their needs. We are of the belief that our suite of tools work to accelerate the rate of global adoption and help facilitate an increasingly mature market.”

Users of the platform can now work offline, facilitated by local storage of their databases. The new system is, according to the announcement, going to be converted to an open-source solution that will allow for the development of customized tools that can better serve individual needs.

The new reporting platform also contains a wallet that is added to end-point ledgers. This provides users with the ability to see which wallets are involved in transactions. End-point currencies have also been added. The announcement further states, “End-points ‘accountTrades’, ‘orderHistory’, ‘fundingOfferHistory’, ‘fundingLoanHistory’ and ‘fundingCreditHistory’ were modified, adding the option to return all the data without filtering by pair/coin when no pair/coin is sent.”

The introduction of the tools coincides with a global effort on the part of regulators to try and prevent tax evasion through cryptocurrencies. More financial authorities around the world are putting pressure on exchanges to have them play a larger role in controlling the cryptocurrency ecosystem. This has resulted in more exchanges, and even some cryptocurrency wallets, adopting policies requiring that their users adhere to Know Your Customer and anti-money laundering regulations.

On October 11, Bitfinex suspended deposits amidst a massive cryptocurrency selloff. As of this writing, deposits are still offline, but withdrawals are reportedly active.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Bitfinex pulls fiat deposits amid latest crypto price freefall

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has suspended fiat deposits, apparently on a temporary basis, amid the latest significant sell-off in the BTC markets.

The exchange, which operates from Hong Kong, was reported to have pulled the plug on wire deposits in GBP, USD, EUR and JPY, according to The Block. Unverified social media posts from customers at Bitfinex noted the situation is expected to be resolved within a week.

The suspension raises further questions about goings on at the exchange, after it was suggested Bitfinex may have been holding funds in Puerto Rico’s struggling Noble Bank. It was subsequently revealed that the firm had reached a banking relationship with HSBC.

However, it has since been reported that HSBC may not have been aware it was handling banking for Bitfinex, which had been operating through a subsidiary. This has led some analysts to consider whether the withdrawal of deposit services came as a result of this relationship being pulled by the bank.

On Thursday, BTC was trading at a premium on Bitfinex over other exchanges, a factor some have attributed to the ongoing uncertainty swirling around the exchange. The latest developments come after weeks of rumours around the financial health of the exchange, with critics pointing to the exchange’s ties to struggling stablecoin Tether (USDT).

In a post published by the exchange this week, they rubbished the claims about their financial health, saying, “How any rational party can claim insolvency when the opposite is there for all to see is interesting and, once again, perhaps indicative of a targeted campaign based on nothing but fiction.”

According to Bitfinex, “Complications continue to exist for us in the domain of fiat transactions, as they do for most cryptocurrency-related organisations. However, we continue to do our utmost to minimise any waiting times associated with fiat deposits and withdrawals.”

Questions are now being asked of the sustainability of withdrawals on the platform, which have to date been unaffected by these events.

However, with this perhaps only the latest chapter in Bitfinex’s now farcical search for a banking partner, it remains to be seen whether the Hong Kong-operated exchange can continue to carry the confidence of its customers.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Bitfinex denies insolvency allegations

With the financial troubles of Puerto Rico-based Noble Bank, where dollar reserves of stablecoin Tether are supposedly located, cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has felt the need to dismiss claims of insolvency.

“Bitfinex is not insolvent, and a constant stream of Medium articles claiming otherwise is not going to change this,” the exchange said in a blog post. To support its argument, Bitfinex showed several cryptocurrency wallets it holds for clients. Presented were $980 million worth of BTC, $394 million worth of ETH, and $203 million worth of EOS.

“How any rational party can claim insolvency when the opposite is there for all to see is interesting and, once again, perhaps indicative of a targeted campaign based on nothing but fiction,” Bitfinex said. However, it neglected to shows its balances in fiat currencies, and in Tether, which is supposedly 100% backed by the U.S. dollar.

Bitfinex’s post was a reaction to articles such as one by Medium writer ProofofResearch, who warned Bitfinex users to “remove your money now.” The article cited reports of customers unable to withdraw their fiat balances, of not being able to contact customer service, and of Bitfinex subreddits being deleted where customers claim not having received funds. “[I]t is simply unsafe for anyone to use the Bitfinex exchange or Tether since Tether is directly attached to Bitfinex,” ProofofResearch said.

Tether Limited, which issues Tether, has been linked to Bitfinex due to the same people listed in their articles of incorporation.  After reports of Bitfinex and Tether Limited no longer being clients of Noble Bank, and of the bank being badly in need of funds, Tether’s stability has been once more called into question.

But Bitfinex brushed off such concerns, stating, “Stories and allegations currently circulating mentioning an entity called Noble Bank have no impact on our operations, survivability, or solvency.”

It also noted that its fiat and cryptocurrency withdrawal services were “functioning as normal,” although “[c]omplications continue to exist for us in the domain of fiat transactions, as they do for most cryptocurrency-related organisations.”

Tether Limited has remained dodgy about being subject to an audit, though it procured the services of law firm Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan LLP (FSS), that said, “FSS is confident that Tether’s unencumbered assets exceed the balance of fully-backed USD Tethers in circulation as of June 1st, 2018.” The same report by FSS also made the qualification that “the above confirmation of bank and Tether balances should not be construed as the results of an audit and were not conducted in accordance with Generally Accepted Auditing Standards.”

Bitfinex had been accused in 2017 of helping pump up the price of BTC to its record high of near $20,000 a coin. BTC is currently trading at about a third of its peak.

The exchange has been hacked several times. An August 2016 hack led to 120,000 BTC, worth about $70 million at the time, being stolen. Tether Limited has also been victim to a hack, with $31 million stolen from the Tether Treasury Wallet last November.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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