Bitstamp withdraws plans to charge users ‘inactivity fee’ after community uproar

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Last week, Bitstamp introduced a plan to charge inactive users with balances of less than €200 (about $203) a €10 ($10.11) ‘inactivity fee’ each month from August 1. The Luxembourg-based digital assets exchange has, however, canceled the plan citing community response. 

In a blog post, it stated that it is no longer proceeding with the plan, and all customers can continue to use the exchange without extra charges regardless of their balance or the duration of their absence. 

“After listening to our community’s response, we’ve changed course. There will be no inactivity fee…All our customers can continue to use and enjoy all our services regardless of the balance of your accounts and time passed from your previous activities,” the post said. 

The post added that the exchange remains dedicated to its goal of being a “secure and reliable trading platform,” while apologizing to users for any inconvenience the initial announcement could have caused. 

Notably, the charge would not have applied to U.S. users of the exchange, while others can easily avoid the charge by transacting once in a while. Multi-asset trading platform eToro already has a similar inactivity fee policy that kicks in when a user has no login activity for 12 months. 

Bitstamp supports the trading of 65 digital currencies in 174 trading pairs. Trading volume in the last 24 hours on the exchange reached over $160 million per data from Coingecko

Founded in 2011, Bitstamp is one of the longest-standing digital assets exchanges. The company experienced some controversy last year after its founder and a new owner dragged themselves to court in the takeover process. 

Digital assets firms seeking ways to diversify revenue

Bitstamp’s plan to introduce the inactivity fee must have been because of the recent market downturn and the desire of digital assets firms to find additional revenue streams. According to a Bloomberg report, Bitstamp intended for the inactivity fee to offset the cost of keeping the inactive accounts on its books.

The report also pointed out that other digital assets exchange’s have been making moves to diversify their revenue away from only trading fees. Digital assets spot and derivatives trading exchange FTX recently added equities trading to its roster of services to capture more retail investors. 

Other exchanges that have not found sufficient alternative revenue streams have resorted to cutting down their number of employees even as some, like Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) have run into liquidity troubles.

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