Crypto payment processor, BitPay, has been criticized for freezing bitcoin donations to Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP).
The crypto donations for HKFP were temporarily suspended, according to a tweet posted by the founder and editor-in-chief, Tom Grundy. This is because BitPay refused to transfer the donations for the past three weeks.
Grundy posted another tweet in which it explains that funds were locked for weeks just because Hong Kong banks use SWIFT and not IBANs. It is strange that the problem of SWIFT transfers wasn’t a problem up until now. Some speculate that the issue stems from pressure from the Chinese government on the payment processors, but it could also be just a problem on Bitpay’s part.
BitPay ignored the formal complaint and told HKFP on Twitter that they just have to change the setting of their account to solve the issue. But the charity could not actually do that, as to get a higher level, they have first to submit compliance documentation. HKFP stated
We tried to increase the volume but can’t do it through the dashboard and were told we needed to email compliance,”
So far HKFP has received HK$14,817 (US$1,890) of the entire bitcoin donations since it was established in 2015. Grundy advised users to stay clear of BitPay while also criticizing the service:
“Truly the worst experience you can imagine – poor reputation, abysmal communication, horrible customer service, *very* high fees. Almost any alternative will be better.”
May other users have expressed the same disapproval towards Bitpay in their comments, some of the recommended an alternative processor, BTCPay – an open-source server.
BitPay also received a negative backlash from the community, as it tried to pass off its own fees as “Bitcoin Network Fees,” in an effort to attract users to use Bitcoin Cash more.