[tor-talk] BitPay seems to be rejecting payments via Tor

Mirimir mirimir at riseup.net
Fri Mar 17 10:37:12 UTC 2017

On 03/17/2017 04:13 AM, Moritz Bartl wrote:
> On 17.03.2017 11:01, Mirimir wrote:
>> I've checked a few VPN and VPS providers that use BitPay, and payments
>> are being rejected. No CAPTCHA, just a message to check with the
>> provider. I've heard similar reports from others.
> As Zwiebelfreunde/Torservers, we registered a Bitpay 'merchant' account
> on 16.11.2016, and they shut us down on 31.1.2017.
> I set it to accept payments instantly, and I configured that 'customers'
> don't have a fill out the customer information form (since for us, it's
> donations, and I don't care about double spending).
> I did a first test "payment" on 18.11., of course via Tor. On
> 23.11.2016, they sent us a first "inquiry" regarding that transaction:
> =================================
> During a routine review of your merchant account associated with
> [WEBSITE], we noticed some recent invoices, on which we need some
> additional information by 30 November 2016. This type of transactional
> inquiry is sent on an ongoing basis to all our merchants as part of our
> routine monitoring program.
> [...]
> Could you please provide us with the following:
>   * Copy of the invoice for the good/service provided (you can redact
> the shopper information if you wish to do so);
>   * Without relaying any confidential personal information, could you
> let me know what type of information you obtained for this transaction
> (e.g., shopper name, address, ID if any, etc.)?
> =================================

It sounds like KYC stuff :(

> I told them it was exclusively donations towards our non-profit, and
> that we don't have any invoices or customer information. I pointed them
> (again) at the donate.html page. The person wrote back "Thanks for the
> follow-up! I don't have any other questions at this point."
> We received donations on 6.12., 3.1. and 7.1, each without "customer
> information".
> Then, on 24.1.2017, we got this:
> =================================
> Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that your business presents
> a higher risk for us and therefore we will no longer be able to service
> you. More specifically, we have seen a number of higher risk
> transactions during our routine monitoring program and this has led to
> the decision to close your account. Your pending funds will be fully
> settled per your normal settlement instructions.

Bitcoin payments aren't readily reversible, so this must be KYC stuff. I
also vaguely recall that Bitpay was rejecting Bitcoin that had been
stolen. And given that stolen Bitcoin is soon mixed well, there's some
of it everywhere (except fresh coin from miners). Like cocaine on $20s.

> In order to give you the opportunity to take measures such as informing
> your customers or looking for an alternative solution, the termination
> of services will become effective as of 31 January 2017.
> Please be sure to obtain any information that you might need from the
> merchant dashboard within a week, as your account will be deactivated on
> 31 January 2017.
> Please note our decision is final and a re-instatement of transaction
> capabilities after 31 January 2017 is not possible.
> =================================

So now I wonder how many of those providers with BitPay glitches had
lost, or are in the process of losing, their accounts.

What's the replacement for BitPay? Coinbase? I few providers are
managing their own wallets, but that brings it's own issues.

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