Cryptocurrency payment processor BitPay faces another publicity nightmare amid claims it blocked donations to Hong Kong for several weeks.
According to a complaint on social media by Tom Grundy on Sept. 11, founder of crowdfunded media outlet Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP), BitPay suddenly began failing to pass on funds from donors.
Press CEO: “Never use BitPay”
HKFP has accepted Bitcoin (BTC) support since 2015. Since that time, BitPay has processed payments worth just under 15,000 HKD ($1,900).
For the past three weeks, however, the company has blocked access, Grundy explaining that delays in the fiat banking system were to blame. BitPay, he adds, has kept silent in the face of support requests and complaints.
“Funds held for weeks simply b/c HK banks use SWIFT not IBANs,” he wrote on Twitter, continuing:
“Never use @BitPay, folks. Truly the worst experience you can imagine — poor reputation, abysmal communication, horrible customer service, *very* high fees. Almost any alternative will be better.”
As of press time, no official response to Grundy has appeared.
BitPay’s unenviable reputation
BitPay has seen multiple scandals involving various aspects of its operations, including freezing payments, failure to support major wallets and allegedly attempting to make customers actually use Bitcoin less often.
Last month, a Bitcoin donation to the Amazon rainforest fires worth $100,000 suffered a similar fate.
The practices have long irked crypto proponents, who argue the company is an unnecessary complication for Bitcoin, which functions without intermediaries and payment permissions.
As with previous angry customers, HKFP soon fielded offers of alternatives processors such as the open-source BTCPay.