Grading the Customer Service of Cryptoexchanges on the Bitcoin Gold Hard Fork.

Coinbase, Bittrex, Kraken, Bitfinex, Poloniex, and Gemini

Because cryptocurrency is so new, there are a lot of growing pains with customer service being one of them. But enough is enough. I’m sick of tired of the poor communication and month long support tickets without a single response.

So in the spirit of holding these exchanges accountable and hoping they’ll ramp up their efforts to appropriately serve their customers, I’ve decided to write up a timeline of the major cryptoexchanges and grade them according to their customer service regarding the Bitcoin Gold Hard Fork.

1 . Coinbase

On Oct. 20, Coinbase erroneously claimed that Bitcoin Gold had already forked in their Bitcoin Gold FAQ.

Shout to my redditors everywhere!

But hey, you know what? I’m going to give them a pass. Bitcoin Gold’s development team was incredibly unclear not only in their press releases but also in their github. Good on you for trying to get ahead of the game and informing your customers about your intentions behind the HF.

They have since updated their Bitcoin Gold FAQ and made an official press release stating that they will allow you to withdraw Bitcoin Gold but only if it’s safe (Fair enough). But perhaps the bigger news is that the legacy Bitcoin chain will retain the ticker BTC and that Bitcoin SegWit 2X will take on the ticker B2X. (Way to take the lead to help ease some uncertainty about the next Bitcoin Hardfork!)

Grade: A-

2. Bittrex

Bittrex did a superb job notifying their customers on October 21 of what they planned to do while accurately assessing the situation:

  • Snapshot will be around 11pm PT on Oct. 23.
  • You will be credited and will be able to withdraw should the BTG team actually create a functional product (a very reasonable statement).
  • BTC deposits and withdrawals will be disabled for 24 hours to take the snapshot. (Eh not a fan but you do what you gotta do).
  • No BTG trading until further notice.

Short, sweet, and to the point. Customers were informed well enough in advance so that they could figure out how they wanted to play the BTG fork.

Grade: A

3. Kraken

This was by far my most favorite series of statements of all the exchanges. Partly because it was on twitter, but mostly because of this:

Tweet #1 
On the day of the split, Kraken first tweeted (perfect platform for press releases btw) that they wouldn’t be supporting the fork in anyway. They’ve deleted it since, but thankfully twitter is full of dedicated trolls:

Tweet #2
A few hours later, they tweeted that they changed their minds. (Seriously? Is this a thing? Who needs a Public Relations Manager these days anyways?😂)

Tweet #3
After keeping their customers in suspense for another 7 hours just to make sure their blood pressures aren’t collectively too low, they decided to go back to their original stance and stated that they wouldn’t support BTG in anyway (which I take to means you’re not getting any Bitcoin Gold ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).

Grade: C

4. Bitfinex

On the day of the split, Bitfinex released a pretty vanilla statement stating that users can trade BTG/USD and BTG/BTC and withdrawals will be available once the Bitcoin Gold blockchain is stable. Not gonna lie, was slightly disappointed here. Expected some more drama.

Grade: B (You should let your customers know sooner)

5. Poloniex

Don’t worry Poloniex, we haven’t forgotten about you. I think they took the story of the Tortoise and the Hare to heart a bit too much. About 4 HOURS AFTER THE HARD FORK, Poloniex eventually released a statement:

Basically, they told all their customers to screw themselves. Well sort of. They said that they won’t support Bitcoin Gold because they didn’t implement replay protection. That being said, if they do credit their users with Bitcoin Gold they will do so with the amount of Bitcoin you had in your balance at the time of the fork.

Grade: F

6. Gemini

They released a statement a day after the Hard Fork stating they won’t support it for now, but they may in the future once it becomes a viable currency.

Grade: F

My Takeaways

  1. Of all the exchanges, I’d say Bittrex handled it the best. However, I do admire Coinbase’ more recent initiative to release statements sooner and to set precedent with the BTC/B2X tickers in order to help smooth out the next hard fork.
  2. To all the cryptoexchanges out there, ya’ll are making millions(I assume). Please do everyone a favor and hire a decent Public Relations manager and more customer service agents (shout out to coinbase and the first ever customer service phone number for a cryptoexchange: +1 (888) 908–7930).
  3. As for everyone who felt like they got screwed over, I leave you with these surprisingly wise words of Poloniex:

Remember to give me claps to the left, donations below, and share with your friends! Until next time, onwards and upwards. 😁

Donation Addresses
LTC: LPz923H556f8g8mWnsuHQhvudRD7CCqyhF

Discussion Questions

  1. How would you rank the exchanges customer service?
  2. How did you play the Bitcoin Gold Hard Fork?

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