Coinbase Sees Rise in the Number of Complaints from Customers

Coinbase is witnessing a rise in the number of customer complaints as investors get excited about the rise of bitcoin’s price.

Founded in June 2012, Coinbase has become a leading digital currency wallet that is supported in 32 countries. The San Francisco-based exchange has 9.8 million users and 32.8 million wallets. Since its founding it has seen over $20 billion in digital currency exchanged.

Yet, despite Coinbase’s popularity the number of customer complaints it has received is rising. According to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) it has received over 330 complaints about Coinbase in 2017. This is compared to the six it received in 2016; seven in 2015; and one received in 2014. The latest complaint it received was on the 30th August.

This rise in complaints is likely to be due to a rise in digital currency users. With bitcoin’s price increasing more people are keen to jump on board and trade in the currency. Consequently, longer processing times are being experienced.

Many of the issues about Coinbase are that the exchange is not delivering customers’ money to their accounts when promised.

One user said:

“I have yet to receive the money into my account and have tried to reach out to the company via their support email to see when it will be delivered. They keep saying on their site how they are running into issues and response times are significantly different. Twelve days later or two business weeks later I still have yet to receive my money or an email from them.”

Another said:

“Every time the market price dips the Coinbase system shuts down buying and selling of the currency. It makes it impossible for investors to remain in control of their investment and ties our hands. It happens every time the price changes and is not available for hours. Investors are at the mercy of the market and can only watch the price spike or plummet and have no control of our investment.”

Coinbase Issues

Since founding in 2012 the number of users using the exchange has increased. As a result, so too have the number of issues it has had to manage.

On the 12th June, the exchange suffered a major outage after experiencing an influx of investors. Traders who went to the site were greeted by a ‘service unavailable’ notice for a few hours. This was around the time that bitcoin’s price had scaled the $3,000 mark for the first time. The previous week it had been trading between $2,700 and $2,900.

For many users who wanted to sell their coins amid the new high price weren’t able to. After the digital currency had soared $3,000 it then fell to $2,532. Naturally, those who wanted to sell their bitcoin took to social media to voice their displeasure.

At the time, Jonathan Triest said:

“If @coinbase wants to be treated like a financial institution then they better learn how to stay online like one #offlineAgain #bitcoin #eth.”

In a 6th June blog from Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, the company’s co-founder and CEO wrote:

“Over the past few months, we’ve seen an unprecedented increase in the number of customers signing up to use Coinbase (4x since January 2017). As a result, our systems have been pushed to the limit. This has caused many customers to have a negative experience.”

He added:

“We haven’t done enough to keep up with the growth, and we’re taking steps now to correct it.”

Not the First Issue with Coinbase

This, however, wasn’t a one-off occurrence with the exchange.

At the end of May, the exchange revealed that it was downgrading its performance for some users.

At the time, it said:

“Coinbase has experienced unprecedented traffic and trading volume this week. As a result, has suffered a few outages and downgraded performance for some users this week. Our engineering and support teams are working around the clock to restore the site to normal performance.”

Yet, while Armstrong laid out steps for improvements on the exchange it seems that complaints will continue for a while.

Bitcoin is currently trading over $4,300 and is continually attracting new investors. As such, the number of people using Coinbase will keep rising.

However, while the company has an issue with its transaction times it doesn’t appear to be reducing it user numbers.

Bitcoin Trading

At the time of publishing, on the 4th September, bitcoin is trading at $4,310, a 4.35 percent drop in 24 hours. Over the past seven days its value has decreased by 0.18 percent. Its market cap value is currently worth $71.3 billion. The combined crypto market is worth $148.2 billion. This is a slight drop from its previous $164.4 billion market value on the 29th August.

Bitcoin has been experiencing an incredible rally during 2017. With four months left of the year it remains to be seen what else it can produce.

However, confidence in the currency is increasing. So much so, that plenty of people have predicted where they think its price will go to.

Veteran trader masterluc believes it will reach $15,000 by the end of 2017. This figure is certainly a bullish price, but illustrates the confidence of where many see the currency going.

Ronnie Moas, Standpoint Research founder, is another individual who has predicted a bright future for bitcoin. According to him, he thinks bitcoin’s price will reach $7,500 next year and projects each coin to be worth $50,000 by 2027.

Whereas, Dennis Porto, bitcoin investor and Harvard academic, thinks it will reach $100,000 by February 2021.

These price projections are just a few from analysts on where they see bitcoin heading to. Despite the fact that it is still relatively new, the digital currency is storming ahead. As such more people are investing in it, which is playing a role in its price.

No doubt there will be plenty more price swings in bitcoin’s future, but as long as demand remains it will continue to flourish. Who knows what the future will hold for the digital currency, but with such high confidence in it, it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

All we can do is wait and see what happens next.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Bitcoin Critic Mark Cuban Backs Coinbase Employee’s Token Fund

Is Mark Cuban having a change of heart regarding the cryptocurrency space? The billionaire entrepreneur and investor said recently that he wants a slice of the sector despite saying that bitcoin is in a bubble.

According to reports, Cuban is investing in 1confirmation. It’s headed by former product manager at Coinbase and Runa Capital principal, Nick Tomaino. Launched on the 22nd August, Tomaino is seeking to raise $20 million for a fund that will invest in cryptographic assets.

The company is already attracting early backers. One of which is bitcoin critic Mark Cuban.

Bitcoin is in a Bubble

Earlier this year, Cuban took to Twitter to claim that the digital currency was in a bubble. At the time, bitcoin was trading around $2,900. During his tweets, he said:

“I think it’s in a bubble. I just don’t know when or how much it corrects. When everyone is bragging about how easy they are making $=bubble.”

After his comment, the price of bitcoin dropped, which seemed to confirm his opinion that the digital currency is in a bubble. Despite this slight drop in price the currency has continued to scale to new heights. At the time of press, on the 22nd August, bitcoin is trading above $4,000 at $4,079.

Sees Potential in the Blockchain

Despite his criticism toward the cryptocurrency, Cuban believes the blockchain holds great potential.

At the time, he said:

“I think blockchain is very valuable and will be at the core of most transactions in the future. Healthcare, finance etc all will use it.”

More recently, Cuban restated his believe in the blockchain.

“I have always looked at blockchain as a foundation platform from which great applications can be built.”

What is 1confirmation Setting Out to Do?

1confirmation has been created to make initial investments amounting to $100,000 and $500,000. It will put these in a range of SAFTs (Simple Agreement for Future Tokens) and SAFEs (Simple Agreement for Future Equity), which are designed to aid investors to buy tokens prior to an ICO.

It then aims to help those companies develop their product rather than investing in ICOs.

The ICO Craze Gains Momentum

In the first six months of 2017, more than $1.2 billion in cryptocurrency had been raised through ICOs. This outpaced venture capital investment in blockchain and bitcoin companies, according to Autonomous NEXT. At the time, Charles Hoskinson, ethereum’s co-founder, said they are ‘a ticking time-bomb.’ He added that as a result, there was now ‘an over-tokenisation of things.’

Several months later, in August, and that figure now amounts to $1.8 million. This is according to CoinDesk’s ICO Tracker.

As such, Tomaino’s fund follows that of others who are keen to start funds to invest money into digital currencies. Of course, that’s not to say that some ICOs aren’t scams or that they aren’t targeted by hackers.

Enigma ICO Hack

Recently, it was reported that as much as $500,000 in ether was stolen from supporters of the Enigma blockchain project.

Following a security compromise, hackers gained control of the project’s website domain, one of its Slack administrator accounts and its mailing list. Enigma released a statement, saying:

“At this time, the Enigma team has retaken control of all compromised accounts, including the website. Some pages will remain deactivated for the time being while the team works. Please continue to be vigilant and check our communications across ALL channels. Do not send any money or personal information to anyone.”

Interestingly, around the time that CoinDash experienced a hack during its ICO, which resulted in $7 million of ether stolen, Can Kisagun, the co-founder and chief product officer of Enigma, said his company had a simple solution to preventing similar attacks.

In a report from July, Kisagun said:

“Hackers got into the backend of the site and changed the address.”

As a result, investors sent their money to the wrong ethereum address. At the time Enigma’s solution was to hard wire the address of the token sale contract into the ethereum or bitcoin blockchains when it was getting created, according to Business Insider.

Unfortunately, such a measure didn’t prevent hackers from gaining access to over $500,000 in ether from Enigma supporters. No doubt this will be a significant blow to the company who has become a target from hackers like so many other ICO funds.

Parity Gets Targeted Too

Smart coding company Parity has also been targeted by hackers. On the 19th July, shortly after the CoinDash hack, reports arose that it had suffered a security breach. Data from Etherscan found that more than 150,000 ether was stolen. At the time this was worth around $35,000.

On the organisation’s blog, the company listed the situation as critical. As a result, users were urged to move ‘assets contained in the multi-sig wallet to a secure address.’

Cuban’s Foray into Cryptocurrencies

Yet, despite the number of hacks that several ICOs have experienced, they still attract a crowd. And no doubt they will continue to do so.

As a result, Cuban is expected to continue his journey into the digital currency space. Aside from 1confirmation, the billionaire entrepreneur will be investing in tokens sold by his portfolio company Unikrn. He is also planning to invest in a third digital currency-related fund in the future, reports Bloomberg.

Cuban added, though, that it’s hard to establish any value to bitcoin.

“If everyone continues to tell their grandparents, cousins and co-workers to buy, the price can go a lot higher as there is a definable, finite amount, but if the number of buyers dry up or there are a few massive sellers we could see under $1,000 again.”

He concludes:

“None of this has anything to do with the applications that can be built with blockchain. The question is whether great companies can be financed and built and I think the answer is yes.”

It remains to be seen what else is in store for Cuban, but he appears adamant that the blockchain is something that needs to be looked into further. The fact that he is backing a crypto fund could see him eventually backing bitcoin in the future.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Bitcoin Now Accepted By More Than 100,000 Retailers Across The Globe

The Bitcoin has come far in the past few years, as the first couple of years it was simply an idea of a futuristic currency that some tech-interested people decided to be a part of. By 2011 it started to be used as a currency online at places like Second World, as well as with the first few gambling sites that popped up.

It wasn’t until around the end of 2011 that the talk about the Bitcoin actually becoming a mainstream payment method started popping up. People started to realize that the fast processing, the security and the ability to process extremely small amounts of money for free was a great idea.

By the start of 2012 we saw companies popping up that offered online retailers the possibility to accept Bitcoins without having to code anything themselves and later on we saw companies like Coinify, BitPay, GoCoin and Coinbase offer Bitcoin payments that are turned into fiat-money instantly after the payment.

All of this has led to the stage that we are currently at – Many smaller Bitcoin specialized companies that accepts Bitcoins only and keeps the Bitcoins  and then the others who wants to accept Bitcoins, but wants to turn them into fiat-money instantly. The ladder group primarily uses the Bitcoin as a mean of saving tons of money in payment processing and reach a new audience.

The great thing is that we are currently seeing a massive increase in smaller and larger companies starting to accept Bitcoins and the world currently have more than 100,000 retailers where you can pay with your Bitcoins, making mainstream adaption very real.

Some of these companies includes Overstock, Microsoft, Dell, Expedia, PayPal, Wikipedia, Twitch and Rakuten, to mention some of the biggest ones. BitPay registered a total of 563,568 Bitcoin payment transactions in 2014, almost tripling the amount from 2013, and they are just one of many Bitcoin payment companies.

The amounts saved in payment processing fees for the companies accepting both fiat-money payments and Bitcoins is estimated at being around $15 million in 2014. $8 million of these was saved through BitPay’s services alone, showing that they are currently market leading in the Bitcoin payment processing field.

While things are currently looking good for the Bitcoin, there is still a long way to go for the Bitcoin. More companies needs to accept the Bitcoin as a payment method, but more importantly they need to create campaigns to attract users to use the much cheaper Bitcoin payment method.

Some companies has from the start of their Bitcoin acceptance created promotions where customers saved money when paying with Bitcoins, which boosted their sales and still saved them money. If companies continue to do these promotions, we should see the Bitcoin becoming more commonly used.

Hopefully we will see the Bitcoin becoming accepted by hundred of thousands of more online shops in the near future, with some of the savings in fees for the companies going back to the consumers in terms of cashback or direct discounts. When this happens, the future looks more than positive for the Bitcoin.