The popular online Bitcoin wallet Coinbase has been routinely seizing accounts of users in Hawaii and Wyoming, effectively “stealing” their Bitcoins by locking them out of their accounts. A Natural News investigation confirms that Coinbase is citing obscure state laws in its decision to seize accounts of users in both states, yet the online wallet refuses to allow users to log in and change their state of residence if they move to another state.
In effect, Coinbase is “stealing” Bitcoins from users by locking them out of their own accounts, preventing them from accessing their Bitcoin balances even if they move to another state. Users are raging against the “ripoff” and the “theft” in user comments (see some examples below).
How Coinbase “steals” Bitcoins from its own users and locks them out
When Wyoming-based users attempt to log in and see their Bitcoin balances, they are greeted with a Coinbase blocking message that says, “Unable to create account.”
Although we strive to provide continuous access to Coinbase services, Coinbase has indefinitely suspended its business in Wyoming and we regret that we cannot currently support services in Wyoming. You can find a further explanation of our account suspension policy here. We hope to restore service in Wyoming soon, so please check back again.
On its Wyoming account suspension page, Coinbase explains, “we apologize that we cannot currently project if or when our services may be restored.”
Attempts to get Coinbase to change the state of residency have been “completely useless,” Natural News was told by users. Coinbase refuses to respond to users in any meaningful way, regardless of how much money has been seized by Coinbase.
By locking Wyoming users out of their own accounts and restricting them from changing their state of residency, Coinbase is “stealing” Bitcoins from users in America. This is starting to look a lot like Mt. Gox, the formerly most popular Bitcoin wallet which stole all its user’s Bitcoins in a surprise mass theft maneuver and closed up shop, never to be heard from again.
Coinbase “theft” of Bitcoins demonstrates the extreme risk that comes from holding Bitcoins
What Coinbase demonstrates yet again is the extreme risk that comes from holding Bitcoins in an online wallet. At any moment — and without notice — Coinbase can seize all your Bitcoins, too, denying you access to your own account.
Because Bitcoin is entirely unregulated, it can essentially do anything it wants, including “stealing” user accounts and denying users access to their own wallets. If such activities were taking place in the banking industry, Coinbase executives would be arrested and charged with criminal fraud.
If you are using Coinbase, you are just begging to have your Bitcoins stolen or seized. The total dollar value of Bitcoins that have so far been “stolen” by Coinbase from users in Wyoming and Hawaii is unknown, but given current Bitcoin valuations, it’s almost certainly in the tens of millions of dollars.
Users complain of Coinbase stealing their money
From the Coinbase reviews page of Highya.com:
- WARNING: Stay away from Coinbase: Coinbase is a site of criminal thieves that will steal your money. Stay away! Coinbase is not to be trusted. As with many other complaints I have seen, they have lost/stolen from me as well, they have no phone number posted anywhere to contact them, they will not answer to any complaints you have from the website, or if they do eventually answer to a problem from the website after several weeks, they will just tell you there is nothing they can do. I am contacting any and every review site I can find to warn as many people as I possibly can. I am opening a case with the Better Business Bureau, and any other authority I can contact. Do not use Coinbase; stay away!
- Coinbase said they no longer can operate in Hawaii. Ok, I can deal with that. They said to liquidate and get your money. Well, I’ve been going in circles to do just that, and it is NOT HAPPENING. POOR, poor service. Beware, I wouldn’t trust them with any other funds, I can’t even get back my $140+ USD. Sad.
- I only got 5.54 BTC out when I had to “close out” to an external wallet on May 17th, 2017. The send back from BLOCKCHAIN on the 15th was stollen, netting the scamming Coinbase 1BTC or $1,700 off of me for some rule breaking they never named as I was ONLY sending Coinbase to MYSELF. You sure can believe they NEVER answered a single email to their BS “support” email as to what the “violation” was. DO NOT store BTC in Coinbase or you will be sorry!
- TOTAL RIP OFF: They stole money from me and then closed by account when I called them on it.
Bottom line? Beware of Coinbase in particular and any Bitcoin wallet in general. The Bitcoin industry is rife with con artists, fraudsters and thieves.
I say NEVER store your bitcoins in Coinbase nor in any Exchange for long periods of time. Use a wallet that you own the private key for. Otherwise … THEY OWN YOU!