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Bitfinex Users Struggle with Fiat Withdrawal

Bitfinex Users Struggle with Fiat Withdrawal 101
Source: iStock/metamorworks

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex is reportedly leaving its customers disgruntled: some of them have been waiting for weeks to withdraw their fiat, without a solution in sight. Meanwhile, the exchange officially claims that the withdrawals have been going on smoothly and “without the slightest interference.”

Users have been taking to social networks like Reddit to complain about the service. User u/krJq333 has been posting their story over the span of weeks, the latest being six days ago, titled, “GBP Express Withdrawal: Three Weeks Later Still No Funds.” The user writes, “The support I've received from Bitfinex this week (or more precisely the complete lack of it) has been nothing short of abysmal. I chased my ticket every day requesting an update; all of those messages were ignored.”

They’re not the only one, either: u/k_stoyanov made a long post detailing the withdrawal process, and all the problems users run into, as well as sharing a few things they’ve learned about Bitfinex in the meantime. The user claims Bitfinex is using a third party - in this case, Crypto Capital, a fiat banking platform, - for fiat withdrawals. According to the Redditor, when contacted, they replied, “We have been experiencing technical issues which have caused delays in external transfers. Currently your transactions are pending. <...> If you'd like, I can return the funds to your account in the meantime.” They give no estimate of the time frame until the problems are resolved.

Some users claiming to be Bitfinex employees reach out to those with complains asking for ticket numbers, and the rest of the conversation happens in private. However, Coindesk reports that one user shared their experience with them. User u/saloprj initiated his USD 99,900 withdrawal on October 8th, and has been tenaciously contacting the exchange ever since. The last response from them was on November 7th seems to shed some light on the issue: “The finance department has been inundated with requests recently. Our new deposit system has not been fully integrated yet and as a result our previous correspondent bank is finalising some of the outstanding withdrawals which has created a backlog.”

Some users simply opted for withdrawing their funds in crypto and switching to fiat on another exchange. u/k_stoyanov has withdrawn the money in bitcoin, sent it to Kraken, and withdrawn euros from that exchange, adding, “This was the only option for me.”

Meanwhile, Bitfinex, the 16th largest exchange by the 24-hour trading volume, officially does not even acknowledge that there is a problem. The exchange remains completely silent, reportedly often refusing to reply to their customers, and not replying at all to requests for comment. Their last acknowledgment of the issue was on October 15, when the exchange published an announcement saying, “all cryptocurrency and fiat withdrawals are, and have been, processing as usual without the slightest interference.” They added, “all fiat (USD, GBP, JPY, EUR) withdrawals are processing, and have been, as usual.”

Reddit users have also started a thread titled, “Don't forget to post when fiat withdrawals are successful.” However, the results have been grim: several users write that their withdrawals, started in September, were completed only within the past few days - a timespan of around 7 weeks. Some others are taking this to mean that there is hope for them yet. However, the general consensus is, “Welcome to the 19th century,” as user u/ImmediateCaptain puts it.

At the time of writing, the 24-hour trading volume on Bitfinex stands at USD 225 million, according to CoinMarketCap.

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