HitBTC is a scam — Prosecution and Defense

Btc/Usdt Market Chart on HitBTC exchange

HitBTC is a scam. Do not ever trust them, they are all scammers. Withdraw all your funds as soon as possible. ©

I experienced mixed feelings reading this message from an anonymous user on one of the cryptocurrency forums.

I was looking for advice on HitBTC trading instruments and was too lazy to contact its support team. So I just googled it and this message was what I found soon.

Accuse in fraud of financial service you use for a long time may be confusing for its active user.

I mean, I’ve been trading on HitBTC for 2 years. What am I supposed to do with this information? It would be idiotic to withdraw my funds all of a sudden just because someone in the internet says that the exchange is a scam, wouldn’t it?

It’s like leaving a ship you are sailing on and jumping into the water because some mentally ill passenger is crying that the ship is drowning. Maybe you should give some kind of attention to those screams, but obviously you should analyze the situation before you make any moves.

Calling HitBTC a scam exchange is ridiculous

A scam exchange is an exchange stealing its users’ funds using different methods. Scam exchanges often make it impossible for a user to withdraw his funds to an external service after he has sent it to them. Another, lighter way of fraud is to hold user’s funds for some time, for example when the currency prices are rising. This way scam exchanges can utilize user’s funds for their own purposes when prices are high, and give the funds back to the owner only when the price has decreased.

There were many cryptorurrency exchanges doing that in the last couple of years, but HitBTC is definitely not in that list.

Let me say some words about HitBTC. In these days HitBTC is one of the best known cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. According to CoinMarketCap, its 24h trading volume is $382,397,763 USD, or 57,030 BTC. HitBTC has more than 750 Active markets available for its users and offers an extensive trading toolkit.

My experience using HitBTC exchange is mostly positive: I described it earlier in my articles on HitBTC withdrawal fees and HitBTC rebate system. The only two problems I faced there were a long awaiting for support answer from time to time and delayed transactions which took some time to complete, but were completed eventually. The last thing was especially common in December 2017, with a lot of people attacking cryptocurrency exchanges and buying as much BTC as they could. I’d prefer not to have them, but it didn’t stop me from using the exchange.

In these days, with the development of the platform, trading on HitBTC exchange goes without any major problems most of the time.

So why call HitBTC a scam? Let’s study it more thoroughly.

Cryptocurrency exchange reputation

Surely, such financial service as cryptocurrency exchange is expected to meet strong quality criterions. The exchange you use should be reliable. It should be trustworthy, it should operate clearly. You must be sure that people staying behind the exchange will let you to withdraw your funds when you want to. Ideally you should trust your financial service as much as you trust your own doctor.

Otherwise any exchange may turn out to be a fraudulent scheme or an exit scam, stealing all of your funds, just like some other exchanges did.

It’s especially relevant for cryptocurrency area. There used to be so many scam projects and fraudulent schemes in the last years, that even the most decent projects get a lot of mistrust these days. For example, cryptocurrency advertising is still not allowed in many social media, which is partially good because this way scam projects won’t be able to promote its fraudulent schemes.

But it may also be a bad thing because good projects get restrictions too. And surely there are a lot of decent projects in cryptocurrency field.

The situation gets even more complicated because of technical imperfections and shortcomings inherent to modern cryptocurrency services. Even though financial technologies become more convenient with each day, they are still far from perfect. Problems and delays in money transfering are things which has been solved a long time ago in traditional financial world, but they still exist in cryptocurrency sector.

It’s important to know how the exchange reacts when problems appear. Does its support team answer the user’s questions? Is there any official announcements in their social network accounts?

Decent cryptocurrency service should keep its users aware of possible problems and, in case if a problem occures, solve it as soon as possible.

In the end it all comes to support: are they good in solving problematic situations? Can you trust them in case if something happens? Having a good support team is a first good sign for a cryptocurrency service. Scam exchanges usually do not have a support team or have it only formally, when in fact it’s non-existent and does not answer users’ requests.

Any problems with HitBTC exchange?

After a small research, I found 3 main types of scam accusations towards HitBTC.

1. Calling Hitbtc exchange a scam with no special reasons or arguments.

I didn’t manage to find any special reasons for fraud accusations in these cases, only pure negative.

2. Negative concerned with delays and stuck transactions.

This kind of problems is quite common for cryptocurrency exchanges, and most of the time it is caused by network problems, such as network overload.

Delays and stuck transactions were extremely common in December 2017 and January 2018, and most often messages concerning delays and stuck transactions on HitBTC are dated on that time.

December 2017 and January 2018 were the months when the whole world found out about Bitcoin. Mass media hysteria and social media hype led to millions of people attacking the exchanges trying to buy all BTC available. It led to Bitcoin price beating up the $20000 mark. Most cryptocurrency exchanges faced huge user overload, just as like as different cryptocurrency networks themselves.

Bitcoin price chart on Coinmarketcap.com
“Bitcoin” was one of the most popular Google search queries in December 2017

Most of those cases were solved during the first quarter of 2018 with the help of HitBTC support team, like it was in my case. But negative posts about it are still present in the Internet, steering the ghostly rage towards HitBTC exchange and declaring HitBTC to be a scam.

HitBTC system health page

3. KYC procedure.

The KYC procedure on HitBTC exchange is quite typical for any modern cryptocurrency exchange service. KYC is for Know Your Customer: it’s a procedure of verifying the identity of exchange users:

https://support.hitbtc.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000749189-What-is-verification

Account verification is not required when you register on HitBTC, but you may be asked to pass it later on. It usually takes time. In my case the procedure took a week to complete, though it didn’t cause any difficulties. On the other hand, some people express negative emotions related to this procedure. It’s an open question if it’s a big deal to send some personal information in order to get an access for the full exchange functional.

But definitely it’s not a fully adequate cause to call HitBTC a scam exchange because of KYC procedure. It’s highly unlikely that any scam exchange would be concerned with identity of a person staying behind the funds; on the contrary, availability of this procedure proves an exchange to be a law abiding company, willing to act in accordance with international law.

Conclusion

Those were the main reasons behind the statement of HitBTC being a scam exchange, and in my opinion none of those reasons seemed to have serious foundations.

It’s great that people are concerned with safety of financial services they use, but financial technology infrastructure is still being shaped these days. It’s up to us, users, to distinguish between shortcomings of modern FinTech services and possible criminal intents, when some kind of a problem with our funds appears. And, thanks to the rapid development of the industry, any possible problems are getting quickly solved today, especially on HitBTC.