Why Are All The Crypto "Exchanges" Freezing Funds, Charging Crazy Fees, and Collecting Private Info Now?

in cryptocurrency •  11 months ago

It seems like the world of crypto is getting more and more difficult to navigate, at least for this one.

scam

Shapeshift

Most of my Steem withdrawals for the longest time I was doing through Shapeshift.io, since they were super-fast and extremely cheap. Then they stopped accepting Steem, and things started to get tricky...

@blocktrades

My next step was to start using blocktrades.us, which always sends the money through. The fact that they're reliable is an obvious plus, and when I started using it, they were only charging about 5 steem (which was still under $1 each). Right now though, they are charging 13.566 Steem, which is currently worth $24.15.

In a recent comment they left on @berniesanders' post, they said "I don't profit by it, it goes right out of our wallet as fees.", but I don't know anyone who's paying anything remotely close to that, so I call BS.

btrades

Bittrex

Since blocktrades is out of the question, I figured I would use my old Bittrex account, send my Steem/SBD over, sell it for BTC, and send that to my wallet. I had recently received an email that they were starting to do verifications, which would be required for withdrawals over 0.025 BTC. Luckily, I never move that much at a time, so no worries.

I sent over about 0.017 worth, sold it, and went to withdraw, only to get the message that I was not allowed to withdraw anything. I entered a support ticket, and went back and forth with the rep about the fact that the only reason I use cryptos is because they're anonymous, and that I would not commit fraud by identifying myself as a corporate person. I'm a human, I do not have a "legal name", "social security number", or "date of birth", as those can only apply to corporate fictions. After about 3 or 4 back & forths, they sent me an automated response asking if my issue had been resolved. I put in another ticket a few days ago and got no response, and when I called them today I was told that their servers are down and there's nothing they can do to help me.

Poloniex

The last thing I decided to try was @poloniex. I have an account from earlier this year, which I emptied out when they had that DDOS attack. I figured for a quick transfer it would still be fine, as their site still says they don't require verification. I sent over some STEEM & SBD, and now, 20 hours later, they still haven't even deposited it into my account or replied to the support ticket I entered about 12 hours ago.

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balance

Coinbase

I've never used coinbase, since I don't use banks or credit cards, but it was recently announced that they would be giving over confidential client information to a large extortion racket operated in North America.

Conclusion

At this point, I have about $400 worth of cryptos that are either stuck in limbo ( @poloniex ) or I am actively being denied access to ( @bittrex ). I'm hoping that I can get some by tomorrow so I can hit a bitcoin ATM in Los Angeles and get cash, or I can't catch my flight to Oregon, as they require you to pay for a checked bag (and obviously I'm not going to just ditch everything I own with my backpack).

It's seeming like the options to use STEEM are getting less and less, and at this point I think I may be done playing around with cryptos completely.

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me too I refuse to verify on Bittrex. They closed my withdrawals without any warning, from one day to the next. I can't aceppt that. I'll keep insisting they reinstate the 0.025 BTC limit for at least 7 days, as they should have given me some notice before enacting such a change.

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Ya, I was told that they were limiting to the 0.025, and then the next day it popped up and said I couldn't withdraw anything at all.

I love how people will create something so stupid as crytokittes but not a safe, easy, and RELIABLE way to exchange altcoins

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That's because crypto kitties don't have the government breathing down their necks.

You can create a Bitshares Wallet and use the decentralized Bitshares exchange. It is easy to send your Steem over there (not Steem Dollars though -- convert those in the internal Steem market first)
and then you can sell your Steem for Bitcoin.

Bitshares will never collect your personal information, as it is decentralized and out of any government's control.

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I found bitShares to be a little confusing at first, but really good once I got the hang of it.

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I created a wallet at some point for a contest of some kind on Steem, I'll have to locate my keys. I've heard good things about it, I just know the few times I was wanting to just buy up some altcoin, it wasn't on bitshares.

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True. Still learning about the whole BTS thing. I guess once you get into it, it can be a great solution for all exchange and transactions.

Governments wish to take over the control, that is what's happening...

Thank you for sharing your experience. It's scary and it is by far not the only tale of frustration and aggravation we have heard. In the meantime Bitcoin is ihitting upwards of 16,000 today, silver down to 15.80 and steem seems to be holding at 2.00. The volatility is far too much of a firestorm for me. I have what I have and I am just watching, call it numbness. Even if some would call it stupidity, it feels more like preservation of my nervous system. Love your sharing and am rooting for you all the way to experience right and honest transactions.

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It's never stupidity to preserve your nervous system. Smart of you to know your limits.

I had no idea this was going on. Thanks for the information. I see a comment about bitshares, which was created by @dan, steemit' s creator, I am curious to hear if that works out for you. Also how do you fly without an ID? Or do you just refuse to use it in connection to your finances.

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US constitution grants the right to travel domestically without travel papers. There is a form that you can fill out to get through security without ID. It's pretty rare, they give you a hard time, and it typically takes a few hours to get through security that way, but it can be done.

I have not done this myself, but I've seen some newspaper articles about it. YMMV

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These days the government can and will abuse you if you draw their attention. Especially if you are challenging them. An individual would be unlikely to get away with that even if they are constitutionally granted the right to do so. However if thousands did it at the same time it would have an impact on policy.

I think Bitshares (decentralized exchange) would be the way to go. I still haven't used it yet and not sure of the basic procedures (strange that I have trouble finding videos for the simple stuff - only the advanced stuff such as futures, shorting, etc).

I'm sure you're aware that authority is freaking out over the issue. Greshams law will begin to set in and drain equity from all national fiat. Then you won't want your dollars / bolivars / pesos, etc anyway. Eventually Steem and other crypto will be the standard with no need for conversion to national fiat. (forwarded to the relevant comments)

Having often been in personal contact with @blocktrades, and always receiving great, personalized service, I gotta lean the other way here and say there is more to the story. I doubt @blocktrades is blowing smoke. The fees are high, though.

waiting 2 days and counting to transfer steem & sbd from poloniex to steemit.. I think dealing with the neighborhood loan-shark is probably better than Poloniex.

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3 days so far waiting for mine to deposit to my @poloniex account and still nothing. There goes over $200...

why do you have to send using BTC? Without even mentioning fees.. it is sooo SLOW.

If you send using LTC (litecoin) the fees are minuscule to what blocktrades has to charge for BTC. I send my STEEM to LTC and then to my exchange with very little fee.

While you might think that blocktrades is BSing about the fees I've seen others complaining about the high fees elsewhere so I have no doubt he's not BSing and I have seen him suggest using LTC.

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Bitcoin is the only one that does me any good, as it's the only one I can pull out at an ATM in every major city on the planet. As much as I love the idea of using non-governmental currencies, unfortunately they're useless almost everywhere. I can buy my flights with BTC, and most big cities have one or two restaurants that will accept it, but the other cryptos are just stocks for investing, and not actual usable currencies.