Business 28 May 2018

Gerald Fenech

Poloniex ID update leads to frozen accounts, legacy customers claim

Customers of cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex have been complaining of frozen accounts. Complaints have been piling up on Reddit and other social networks that a number of Poloniex’s legacy users have not been able to access their accounts or even successfully go through the verification process.

In December, Poloniex had announced that all users, particularly those holding legacy accounts, had to verify their identity by the first quarter of 2018. Several months later, the cryptocurrency exchange was acquired by Goldman Sachs-funded payment company Circle for $400 million. The Boston-based company was particularly strict on its adherence to anti-money laundering and know-your-customer (KYC) laws. At the time of the acquisition, Circle and Poloniex promised to scale their “risk, compliance, and technical operations.”

This week, several Poloniex customers found that their accounts have been frozen unless their identity is verified.

The Poloniex Reddit forum has been awash with complaints and lamentations about the verification process. User PauleeWorli, who described himself as a “’legacy’ user on Poloniex,” said he’s still unable to access the account even after completing the required verification process:

“I am a ‘legacy’ user on Poloniex and I was told to verify today when I logged in. I did that and promptly got an email reply saying I had been verified (My profile now says I have a ‘level 3 verification’ — the type that allows $25,000 per day). But when I go to trade it tells me ‘account frozen’ when I try to place an order. I did make a ticket and then checked Twitter and it seems many people have the same ‘now verified but still frozen’ problem. Can anyone help me here please?”

The post had a large number of replies, with customers revealing that they are having similar issues with Poloniex even after verification. There has been similar sentiment on Twitter with several customers complaining about frozen accounts with some complaining that they had no inkling of the account freeze which occurred earlier in the week.

On its website, Poloniex confirmed that its has updated its “customer onboarding and identity verification process” as part of the exchange’s effort to improve its platform, assuring its customers that their funds are safe.

“We are asking all legacy Poloniex customers who have not provided full identification information in the past to do so now through the Poloniex profile page,” according to the exchange. “As soon as you submit this information, we will take steps to verify it and re-enable trading and transactions for your account. Please rest assured that your funds remain safe and accounted for while you complete this process – you can verify your holdings on the Balances page of your account throughout.”

In the past three months, Poloniex said it has seen a 33 percent increase in instantly verified customers and 77 percent increase in the number of customers who sailed through the new verification process, while customer waiting time for verification has dropped to 85 percent.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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