Bitstamp clients that fail to verify identity at risk of losing all their BTC

Last updated on March 17th, 2015 at 03:12 pm

BitStamp clients with unverified accounts have until 13th November to complete their ID verification requirement or they can face the ultimate “punishment”: lose all their Bitcoins. All cryptocurrency stored in accounts without proper identity verification will be seized by the United States government and additional penalties might be applicable.

The Slovenia-based exchange – one of the biggest in the world dealing with US dollars – published a new warning on 16th November, reminding “all unverified account holders with a balance to get verified within 28 days of this announcement”.

Despite being notified of change in our Verification Policy more than a year ago on 4th September 2013, some accounts remain unverified.

Bitstamp cannot allow unverified accounts to trade or offer any other services, as doing so would violate our AML and KYC policies.

The company is moving forward with the security measures, although it acknowledges that many customers will not be pleased with this decision. However, Bitstamp knows it needs to become fully compliant wit the regulation of the countries where it currently operates in order to grow.

“We believe it makes good sense for us to act in a conservative fashion and to do our best to safeguard the integrity of the system. Each day, each minute, each second, Bitstamp provides an online exchange in which we match buyers and sellers, and through these myriad transactions, help to set the real-time value of Bitcoin for use by merchants and customers around the world”, the company said when it announced the new policy.

According to Bitstamp, the accounts that will be affected are those with no ID verification and no activity for the last 12 months. The accounts that have been inactive for at least six months will be transferred to a “third party escrow”, CoinTelegraph quotes.

You can see below the letter recently received by Bitstamp’s clients.

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.

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 rights, 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: or contact our support at [email protected].

Maria Santos

Maria is an experienced journalist currently living in the UK. She has been writing about Bitcoin and the altcoin universe since 2013. She is also a member of the Lifeboat Foundation's New Money Systems Board and a big cryptocurrency supporter.

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