Bitstamp to levy €10 'inactivity fee' on inactive users

Following widespread criticism of their intention to levy an €10 'inactivity fee' on inactive users, Bitstamp has clarified their decision by saying that the new surcharge is necessary because it costs them money every time a user doesn't transact [...]

Bitstamp, a Luxembourg-based cryptocurrency exchange, has withdrawn its plan to charge an inactivity fee after receiving widespread criticisms from users online.

At the end of June, the exchange announced that it would charge €10 for inactive users with balances valued at €200 or less from the beginning of August.

Bitstamp customers based in the United States were exempt from the proposed fee, as per the company's fee schedule. The inactivity fee was due to be applied to users of Bitstamp Limited and Bitstamp Global Ltd from 1 August and for customers of Bitstamp Europe S.A. from 6 August, according to the company's plan.

Social media users were quick to condemn the exchange’s plans, with many prominent cryptocurrency accounts joining in the backlash.

Cointelegraph asked Bitstamp to clarify the reason for imposing the inactivity fee and whether the downturn of cryptocurrency prices had any influence on their decision to cancel it.

The spokesperson from the exchange said that the inactivity fee was introduced due to administrative costs of maintaining inactive accounts. Bitstamp has been considering this idea for a year, and it reaffirmed that current market conditions had no bearing on this decision:

The spokesperson acknowledged that the crypto markets were in disarray, but noted that Bitstamp had "zero exposure to any of these companies," was "financially strong and healthy," and continued to invest in its product and technology.

The company removed the announcement about inactivity fees from its website and social media accounts. The Bitstamp fee schedule page still reflects the details of the inactivity fee, even though it has since been deleted. Some users also requested to close their accounts after this announcement.

Users who had been inactive for over a year would have had to deposit or withdraw funds, buy or sell cryptocurrency on the exchange, or stake on Bitstamp Earn in order to avoid paying the fee.

Bitstamp's plan was to reduce the balance of inactive users by €10, or to deduct from their cryptocurrency holdings if their fiat balance was lower than the penalty.