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Crypto Payment Processor BitPay Slammed for Blocking Hong Kong Donations

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September 12, 2019 | 

559 Views | 

Darryn Pollock | 

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Part of the attraction of cryptocurrencies is that they allow users to bypass the banking system with its heavy regulations and huge inefficiencies. People come to cryptocurrency because they want a payment system that has no centralized power that can dictate to users what happens to their money. 

However, there are instances where firms operating within the cryptocurrency payments space have started to garner too much control and have in fact started acting a little like banks in the control, of others’ funds. BitPay, a well known cryptocurrency payments processors, is continuing to pick up bad press in its operations, this time related to the donations of funds to a cause in the under pressure state of Hong Kong. 

BitPay, in the past, has had scandals surrounding it with regards to freezing payments, failure to support major wallets and allegedly attempting to make customers actually use Bitcoin less often. There were even reports that the payment processor blocked funds intended to go towards donating to the recent Amazon rainforest fires.

The latest block has now seen crowdfunded media outlet Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) not receive funds because of BitPay, according to a complaint on social media by Tom Grundy. He stated that crypto donations were  temporarily suspended as BitPay had refused to transfer the donations they had been receiving for the last three weeks, also adding that there was no reason given for this block.

“Never use BitPay”

According to the social media posts by Grundy, HKFP has been accepting Bitcoin payments to support their cause since 2015 using BitPay to help processes the payments which amounted to just under 15,000 HKD ($1,900). However, with recent fighting between government forces and citizens escalating, the outlet saw its money frozen from crypto payments

This saw Grundy call out BitPay, but also made him add a rather large caveat in saying

“Never use BitPay, folks. Truly the worst experience you can imagine — poor reputation, abysmal communication, horrible customer service, *very* high fees. Almost any alternative will be better.”

The news of this control from the cryptocurrency payment processor also saw a number of users respond to Grundy aggressing with his final thoughts on the tweet that any alternative would be better. Cryptocurrencies system is intended to be operational without a centralized system, however the ones that do exist to process payments are supposed to ease any difficulties. 

The problems arise when these companies take it upon themselves to initiate their own wills of payments and decide what can and cannot be processed, entirely defeating the point of cryptocurrency and instilling a traditional financial system on a digital currency. 

As BitPay continues to find the ire of its clients, and these complaints are made public, its reputation will keep falling. More so, the alternatives out there continue to grow and even the cryptocurrency system is becoming more normalized and accepted to a point where there will be no need for payment processors potentially. 

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