The new Bitstamp's KYC (Know Your Customer) questionnaire is intrusive and out of control

They asked:

"What is the purpose and destination of your bitcoins withdrawals made from your Bitstamp account?

I replied:

"To my personal wallet for storage"

Then they send this follow up question:

"Would it be possible to clarify which bitcoin address do you use for cold storage and possibly provide us with some screenshots of your wallet/address where most of your bitcoins are currently being stored?" zantafio

If you have corporate account or plan to open such, read this: Bitstamp pretends I never verified my corporate account and my account is personal.

Another user got this:

We kindly ask you to send us a signed message of your personal, most used wallet so we can establish the veracity of your statements.

The "Sign Message" feature is an advanced functionality of the Bitcoin client which allows you to sign arbitrary messages to prove to somebody that you are (were) in control of the funds of some Bitcoin address.

I have suspicion that their next question would be "Would you provide us private key to your cold storage?".

This is unacceptable for most of the bitcoiners.

Our privacy and freedom ends the moment we try to connect Bitcoin to fiat. If we stick to Bitcoin, nobody can request anything. Bitcoin is permission-less - you don't have to ask permission from some authority to use it. I wouldn't be surprised if this is caused by regulation, made on purpose - to discourage people from using Bitcoin. But this is of course pure speculation from my part.

When I want to open a bank account in my country all I have to do is provide only my ID card. Other countries require ID document and utility bill. And that's it, no intrusive questions. Nowadays bitcoin exchanges has tighter AML/KYC policy than many mainstream banks in the same country!

Recently leaked two versions of their AML/KYC questionnaire:

1. What is your current occupation?

2. What is the purpose of your Bitstamp account? Describe in as much detail as possible how you are using your trading account.

3. Are you using your Bitstamp account in connection with any business/commercial related activities? If yes, please describe how?

4. Do you have an established relationship with any other bitcoin related service/exchange? If yes, which?

5. What is the source of the funds deposited to your Bitstamp account? Please provide any financial documentation which can confirm how the funds sent to your Bitstamp account are being acquired.

6. Which bank account(s) do you intend to use with your Bitstamp account for fiat deposits/withdrawals? Provide complete account number, account owner information, bank address and SWIFT/BIC codes.

7. What is the estimated amount you intend to deposit/withdraw to/from your Bitstamp account per month (in USD/BTC)?

8. Do you have or had a dual-citizenship? If yes, which second citizenship do/did you have?

1. How did you learn about Bitcoin?

2. What is the purpose of your trading on Bitstamp? Please describe in as much detail as possible how you intend >to use your trading account.

3. Which banks do you intend to use? Please provide the complete addresses and SWIFT codes.

4. Estimated amount that you would be depositing/withdrawing to/from your Bitstamp account per month (in >USD and BTC)?

5. What type of trading will you conduct? Buying/selling/both? Estimated trade volume per month?

6. What are your future plans and activities planned on our exchange?

7. What is the source of the funds which you have so far deposited to your Bitstamp account?

8. Are you using your Bitstamp account in connection with a business activity?

There are other methods to buy Bitcoin online (like this - you can wire funds via wire transfer, buy/sell bitcoin and e-currencies, withdraw with "anonymous" or named debit card at any ATM, withdraw at your own Visa/MasterCard, they even issue debit cards with your logo [Advertisement]), you don't want to use Bitstamp or other "big" and "regulated" exchanges. However, Bitstamp offer good liquidity and are good exchange for people that don't respect their privacy much (willing to buy security with privacy and freedom).

They are targeting customers that look for "regulated" exchange and don't want to use shady exchanges that use Mongolian bank account (looking at BTC-E/xBTC-E). When you want "regulated" exchange - you get "regulated" exchange...

Bitcoin is useful because you don't need anyone's permission to make transactions or to "verify" your Bitcoin account. However, if you want to use some interface between the legacy system and the new system, you need to follow the rules of the old system...

Exchange Bitcoin, e-currencies; withdraw to your Visa/MasterCard (issued by your local bank) or get "anonymous" or named debit card, custom logo available [Advertisement].

Other versions of the KYC questions:

We kindly ask you to answer the following KYC questionnaire:

1. How did you learn about Bitcoin?

2. The purpose of trading on Bitstamp?

3. What is the origin of the deposited Bitcoins? If mining, please specify your hardware specifications and submit a receipt or an invoice for your mining equipment.

4. When and how did you obtain your Bitcoins?

5. What is the reason for your activity - depositing BTC, selling, withdrawing?

6. What are your future plans and activities planned on our exchange?

7. Do you plan more of such withdrawals in the future? If yes, how many and why?

8. Which bank are you using? Please provide the complete address and SWIFT code.

We kindly ask you to submit your answers and documents in a reply to this ticket

Dear xxx,

We received your deposit transfer. However, as it meets some of our volume and frequency thresholds, we kindly ask you to please help us better understand the nature of your relationship with Bitstamp.

In order to do so, we are starting this additional KYC (know your customer) procedure which we must successfully complete before we can proceed with the processing of your transfer.

We kindly ask you to please send us a high resolution double page image of your international passport and answer the following KYC questionnaire:

1. How did you learn about Bitcoin?

2. What is the purpose of your trading on Bitstamp? Please describe in as much detail as possible how you intend to use your trading account.

3. Which banks do you intend to use? Please provide the complete addresses and SWIFT codes.

4. Estimated amount that you would be depositing/withdrawing to/from your Bitstamp account per month (in USD and BTC)?

5. What type of trading will you conduct? Buying/selling/both? Estimated trade volume per month?

6. What is the source of the funds which you have so far deposited to your Bitstamp account? Please provide any financial documentation which can confirm how the funds sent to your Bitstamp account were acquired.

Dear XXXXX,

we received your deposit transfer. However, as it meets some of our volume and frequency thresholds, we kindly ask you to please help us better understand the nature of your relationship with Bitstamp.

In order to do so, we are starting this additional KYC (know your customer) procedure which we must successfully complete before we can proceed with the processing of your transfer.

We kindly ask you to please send us an image of additional identification document (drivers license or national ID) and answer the following KYC questionnaire:

1. How did you learn about Bitcoin?

2. What is the purpose of your trading on Bitstamp? Please describe in as much detail as possible how you intend to use your trading account.

3. Which banks do you intend to use? Please provide the complete addresses and SWIFT codes.

4. Estimated amount that you would be depositing/withdrawing to/from your Bitstamp account per month (in USD and BTC)?

5. What type of trading will you conduct? Buying/selling/both? Estimated trade volume per month?

6. What are your future plans and activities planned on our exchange?

If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to ask.

Best regards,

We have received your withdrawal request. As your withdrawal request met some of our volume and frequency thresholds, we will have to kindly ask you to help us better understand the nature of your relationship with Bitstamp.

In order to do so, we require that an additional KYC (know your customer) procedure is completed before we can proceed with the processing of your transfer.

We kindly ask you to send us a high resolution image of both pages of your international passport and answer the following KYC questionnaire: 1. How did you learn about Bitcoin? 2. The purpose of trading on Bitstamp? Please describe in as much detail as possible how you intend to use your trading account. 3. What is the origin of the deposited Bitcoins? If mining, please specify your hardware specifications and submit a receipt or an invoice for your mining equipment. 4. What are your future plans and activities planned on our exchange? 5. Do you plan more withdrawals in the future? 6. Which bank do you intend to use? Please provide the complete address and SWIFT code. 7. Estimated amount that you would be depositing/withdrawing to/from your Bitstamp account per month (in USD and BTC)?

Thank you for your reply.

Please note that the provided information is for only 5 BTC while you have deposited to and sold on Bitstamp more than xxx bitcoins.

We kindly ask you to send us a signed message of your personal, most used wallet so we can establish the veracity of your statements.

The "Sign Message" feature is an advanced functionality of the Bitcoin client which allows you to sign arbitrary messages to prove to somebody that you are (were) in control of the funds of some Bitcoin address.

Since the exact way how to send a signed message differs between different wallet provider we advise you to try to find the information on your wallet provider's site.

If you are using blockchain here is a shot tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S88ciN9DsRk

Thank you for your cooperation.

We look forward to your reply.

We kindly ask you to answer the following KYC questionnaire:

1. How did you learn about Bitcoin?

2. The purpose of trading on Bitstamp?

3. What is the origin of the deposited Bitcoins? If mining, please specify your hardware specifications and submit a receipt or an invoice for your mining equipment.

4. When and how did you obtain your Bitcoins?

5. What is the reason for your activity - depositing BTC, selling, withdrawing?

6. What are your future plans and activities planned on our exchange?

7. Do you plan more of such withdrawals in the future? If yes, how many and why?

8. Which bank are you using? Please provide the complete address and SWIFT code.

We kindly ask you to submit your answers and documents in a reply to this ticket

Comments

  1. This is what it actually meant when they became "first nationally licensed BTC exchange"...

    The Bitcoin community should be more focused on actually using Bitcoin as a currency instead of something just to trade and make USD with. Buy and sell goods with Bitcoin and the state doesn't have to know.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If the people who like Bitcoin, are only interested in how to trade it for fiat or dollar values to get more dollars. They are going to perpetuate the legacy financial system.

    Now of they start a business, grind, and accept Bitcoin for their products and services and hodl without cashing out for fiat currencies and only spending at other merchant that hodl a portion or all of a transaction in Bitcoin, we will see legacy financial system destroyed.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Bitstamp new Credit Card feature is awesome and INSTANT!!!

    This is the best exchange to buy bitcoins if you are new or seasoned. Way better then coinbase (horrible people and company) which has the worst customer service and policies and will just close for account for no reason. Bitstamp is quick.

    The verification took my 4 days which didn't bother me because after that, everything runs really smooth and their security features are the best with no equal. Buying bitcoins online is one of the crappiest experiences since more exchanges and people make it beyond difficult, especially for Americans, but Bitstamp has given me 0 problems.

    Can't say enough good about a company that does what it says it does which is make it possible for you to buy Bitcoin without the bullshit or worry that "something" might go wrong or your account once paid.

    ReplyDelete

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