Alistair Milne, a prominent cryptocurrency investor and the chief information officer at the Altana Digital Currency Fund, recently revealed that US-based crypto exchange Coinbase had “frozen [his] transfer [of funds] for 72 hours.”
– Coinbase freeze transfer for 72hrs
– no explanation given, re-verifying doesn't help
MFW Bitcoin intermediaries are *worse* than legacy banks
MFW trying to save block space backfires
MFW I have to explain it isn't Bitcoin's fault
— Alistair Milne (@alistairmilne) March 1, 2019
Milne, an entrepreneur currently focused on Bitcoin-related startups, pointed out that he has a “fully verified Coinbase account since 2013.” He further noted that he simply bought some bitcoin (BTC) worth around $3,500 as he was planning to use it to pay bonuses to his company employees later on.
Going on to describe what appeared to be a simple crypto funds transfer to his over 62,000 followers on Twitter, Milne noted that he had been planning to send one of this workers a bonus in cryptocurrency via an “off chain” transaction, or “internal Coinbase tx.” However, he seemed to have run into problems as Milne revealed Coinbase froze his account for a three-day period, giving no explanation as to why it did so.
“Bitcoin Intermediaries Are Worse Than Legacy Banks”
Milne added that he tried to “re-verify” his credentials with the American crypto exchange operator, however he claimed that it “didn’t help.” The crypto pioneer went on to assert:
Bitcoin intermediaries are worse than legacy banks. [Their attempts at] trying to save block space backfires.
Milne clarified the issues he experienced were not related to problems with the Bitcoin network itself. In response to the crypto advocate’s complaints, Twitter user Adam Moore noted: “Sent all of my dust yesterday through the #DeleteCoinbaseTrustChain. Unable to delete Coinbase after having all the appropriate check marks. No explanation.”
Notably, Coinbase acquired controversial cyber-intelligence firm Neutrino on February 27, in order to use the blockchain analytics firm’s expertise to help the American exchange “work with regulators and agencies in different countries to bring new assets there.” This, according to Varun Srinivasan, the director of engineering at Coinbase.
“Neutrino Acquisition Supports Idea Of Bitcoin Being Used For Surveillance Capitalism”
Soon after the announcement, various crypto enthusiasts took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction with Coinbase’s decision. Commenting on the acquisition deal, Meltem Demirors, the chief strategy officer at CoinShares, a crypto treasury management firm, remarked:
This acquisition of Neutrino supports the idea of using bitcoin for surveillance capitalism.
Crypto advocates have argued via social media that Coinbase should not have made any deals with Neutrino as the blockchain analytics firm had reportedly sold spyware to various world governments that were allegedly involved in human rights abuses. These deals were reportedly coordinated by Neutrino’s CEO Giancarlo Russo, CRO Marco Valleri, and CTO Alberto Ornaghi.