If you’ve visited the BitInstant site in the last two weeks, you’ve probably noticed our relaunch which included a redesign, increased features and additional controls for customer identity management. We know that the process has not been perfectly smooth, but we’re working hard to identify and resolve bugs as they affect our customer base.
We’re very excited about the new features that give our customers access to more sources and destinations for funds, extremely competitive fees, and better information about the status of your transaction. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback about these new features and we hope you’ll enjoy them too.
We’ve also launched improved security measures related to our Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer processes. To that end, we have implemented third-party identity verification services and enacted stricter transaction limits.
We now require you to register for a BitInstant account and verify your identity with a name, date of birth, and address. With a BitInstant account, you have more depositing and destination account options, you can see the status of your transactions in your account, you can link bank and debit card accounts to withdrawal funds, and you can complete transactions more quickly.
We have temporarily limited transactions in some locations, and we apologize for the inconvenience. We believe that these measures are vital to serving the interests of both BitInstant and the greater Bitcoin community. We believe in Bitcoin’s potential to change the nature of the financial landscape, but we are also committed to operating within the bounds of the law.
BitInstant remains committed to our mission of lawfully offering a top-notch product and innovative financial services to make Bitcoin easily and quickly accessible to everyone.
Cash Deposits are currently down on BitInstant as we make steps to transition to our new website.
We apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused and are working as quickly as possible to reenable this feature.
People have expressed concern that this benefits BitInstant in some way. On the contrary, BitInstant relies on customer transactions, so downtime only hurts us and we are therefore working as quickly as possible to reengage cash deposits.
We will strive to provide future notice for similar situations as they arise in the future to help you better plan your Bitcoin purchases. We apologize for the inconvenience and will post a notice as soon as we're up and running with cash deposits.
Also, stay tuned for an introduction to our new website and its great features! We think it will be worth the wait and appreciate your patience!
The last few months have seen some growing pains here at BitInstant that you may have, unfortunately, had to deal with. Let’s get this blog rolling by flat out apologizing for that. We’re sorry for delays in transactions and communication. We understand how much it sucks to be sweating your money without great communication. So, keep reading and you’ll learn what’s been going on and how we’re changing to make these problems a thing of the past.
Why the Problems?
With all the popular media attention bitcoin has been getting lately, people have been getting wise to the idea that this is the future. As a result, BitInstant been slammed with new and return users alike. And it’s not just us; our partner exchanges have been feeling the burn too. So why exactly does that cause problems?
How BitInstant Works
To understand this it’s important that you realize exactly how BitInstant works. It takes time to move funds around, even digitally. We created BitInstant to help you get money faster by creating accounts at the different exchanges and putting our own funds into them.
When you make a new BitInstant transaction we aren’t able to magically move YOUR funds faster – we take some of OUR funds out of OUR account and move them into your account on whatever exchange you’ve chosen. When things are running smoothly our funds show up in your account and you go on your happy way. Then we patiently wait for your funds to catch up to our account and repopulate our reserves – a process that can take days.
What are you doing with my money when I don’t see it?
We’ve heard a lot of complaints suggesting that when you don’t get your money immediately it’s because we’re hanging on to it so that we can make more money. So let’s set the record straight, this is definitely not what’s happening. We don’t hold bitcoins and don’t make more money when your orders are delayed; it actually hurts us because orders are processing more slowly. When you send us your funds we immediately initiate your requested transaction and queue the funds to enter your requested exchange. We aren’t trying to game the system and we’re not making more money when your transaction is delayed.
What’s the Problem?
High volume with lots of requests for fund transactions increases the demand on our accounts. Because it can take days for us to receive the funds that previous customers sent, our reserves on the different exchanges can get low. When many people make near simultaneous demands on our system it’s been hard to keep up with the demand.
How are we fixing this?
We are working to be aware of issues sooner so that we can temporarily disable transaction methods when backlogs exist. This will ensure that customers who have placed transactions will have their orders fulfilled before new orders are entered into the system. We have backup liquidity providers that we are working on getting online to help prevent these situations. So when you see an exchange temporarily disabled from our list of transaction methods – this is what’s going on. We’ll also alert you via @bitinstanthelp on Twitter when we make these temporary changes to the transaction methods.
We take these problems very seriously and work every day to improve our customer experience. In the last six weeks we’ve hired four new full-time support staffers to help process tickets and we’ve been training them on our systems. There’s a lot to know to help process your orders but we’re starting to turn the team loose to help out which should make a notable difference on our support ticket turn-around time.
We’ve added a support form to our website to help collect the information that we need to solve your problem quickly (https://www.bitinstant.com/contact). This will reduce the number of interactions that are required to solve problems. You can also access this form from our Facebook page by clicking the “WuFoo” icon at the top of the page.
We’ve also launched a Twitter account to help alert you to potential delays in our system. Please follow @bitinstanthelp – we will be updating this account regularly when our support team is working.
**We will still be working through the tickets that are still outstanding in our system but you are welcome to submit a new request through the form to make sure we have all the necessary information to solve your problem.
We’re sorry that we haven’t been able to keep ahead of the Bitcoin demand, but we’re actively trying to solve these problems. The items listed above are only the beginning of the support improvements we have planned for the coming weeks. We hope that you will bear with us through some of our growing pains and understand that we value our customers and want nothing more than for your transactions to be quick and painless. We will always do our best to try and turn problems into happy customers. If you think we’ve made a mistake let us know and we’ll work with you to refund fees and resolve the situation.
It’s here! We’re happy to announce that bitcoin-to-email is up and running again. This popular feature allows you to send bitcoins directly, and conveniently, to an email address. We apologize for the delay in reinstating this feature but we wanted to make sure it was good to go.
When you submit a “bitcoin-to-email” transaction the recipient email address will immediately receive a confirmation email containing a link to claim the bitcoins at their leisure. It couldn’t be simpler!
Why would you want to send bitcoins to an email address? Great question! Use this service when you don’t have your wallet address handy or when you want to send bitcoin to someone without a wallet. Maybe you want to introduce someone to the wonderful world of bitcoin. The possibilities are endless and we’re here to enable them.
As with any online transfer of funds, this option is as safe as its end point. When creating a transfer, you are asked to set up a PIN that will be required when withdrawing the funds. This prevents someone from trying to steal them. If you’ve taken the proper precautions, this is a great, simple way to send bitcoin.
Dear Bitcoin Community,
Thank you for bearing with us over the past couple weeks, they’ve been rough.
On one side, we were dealing with the technical and PR ramifications of the hack that occurred, and on the other side we were upgrading core components in the system which enables us to send Bitcoin orders directly to Bitcoin addresses and email addresses (Coinapult).
For those interested, much of this work involved switching Coinapult to Electrum and updating API calls. We also had to fix bugs originating with MtGox’s API which became exponentially more problematic as volume exploded from recent buying interest. Our system was dropping orders due to “odd data” coming from the API calls throughout.
In any case, during this process, many customer orders were not processed promptly by us, and this is entirely our fault. Growing pains are inevitable, but it’s still not acceptable for our customers to be affected by them.
We apologize sincerely for such delays over the past couple weeks, and for any orders or emails that went unanswered during that time.
To remedy this, for any orders which failed or did not process due to bugs on our end, we will honor the BTC exchange rate at the time of your purchase (bad for us, good for you, since the price has increased significantly).
We are also waiving/returning any fees associated with those orders.
And fortunately, as you may have noticed, our Bitcoin payout option is back! Yes, we’re excited also. You can now once again place cash deposit orders and receive the Bitcoins directly without having to deal with any exchange. This has been running smoothly since last night.
All new orders as of now should work as expected, and the much-loved Bitcoin-to-Email feature will also be back very shortly. Not only have things recovered, but the system is now stronger and more robust than ever.
Thank you sincerely to all of our customers. Let’s push on forward.