Bitstamp announced today that select users who fail to verify their accounts within the next 28 days risk having their balances forfeited to regulatory authorities.
One of the largest bitcoin exchanges ter terms of daily USD trading volume, Bitstamp stated that all users who fail to go through its account verification process will be deemed to have violated its terms of services and be subject to the related penalties.
Ter statements to the press, the company acknowledged that while some customers will complain about the decision or take their business elsewhere, the budge is necessary given the requests and goals of its entero podium.
“Wij believe it makes good sense for us to act ter a conservative style and to do our best to safeguard the integrity of the system. Each day, each minute, each 2nd, Bitstamp provides an online exchange ter which wij match buyers and sellers, and through thesis myriad transactions, help to set the real-time value of bitcoin for use by merchants and customers around the world.”
The company added fresh clarity te statements spil well, suggesting that the blog postbode only applies to customers whose accounts have bot inactive for more than one year.
Notably, Bitstamp already reserves the right to visera accounts that have not bot verified despite its “good faith efforts”. For example, accounts that have bot inactive for six months or longer may be transferred to a third-party escrow.
The news comes more than one year after the bitcoin exchange very first notified customers it would start taking steps to ensure its compliance with relevant financial regulations on 4th September, 2013. At the time, Bitstamp indicated bitcoin and bankgebouw transfers would soon only be available to verified customers.
Government involvement a possibility
Bitstamp suggested te statements that the reason for the policy wasgoed its need to abide by anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) rules te the UK. Further, Bitstamp suggested extra details spil to how account closures may be treated spil well spil the type of entities that could be involved.
Bitstamp said that accounts and account balances could be transferred to a third-party administrator or government authorities, who may ter turn determine the ownership of any funds. Still, it cautioned that “the precies mechanism has not yet bot determined”.
“After the due diligence process is accomplish, the remaining funds will be subject to government seizure for uses hopefully related to consumer protection and law enforcement education ter this fresh area of commerce,” the company said.
No forfeited customer funds, it said, will go to the exchange itself.
While Bitstamp said it understands the desire of some customers to remain anonymous, it suggested that the program will help it maintain a leading edge overheen other international exchange offerings, which it expects to announce similar policies soon.
Bitstamp, which is registered ter the UK but based ter Slovenia, suggests te its own AML policy that it believes the company is presently unregulated, and that it does not fall under the country’s AML and counterterrorist financing (CTF) obligations.
Still, the company confirmed its commitment to following regulatory best practices ter statements, telling:
“Bitstamp has long had the strictest KYC policies and transaction monitoring of any exchange.”
Bitstamp went on to reiterate that it believes the one-month notice is sufficient for its customers who may be affected by the closure of their accounts, and further cautioned that it believes only “a lil’ minority of customers” will be affected by the budge.
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