BitPay accused of blocking bitcoin payments to Hong Kong protesters

BitPay accused of blocking bitcoin payments to Hong Kong protesters

BitPay payment processing service has faced sharp criticism from users after it stopped transferring bitcoin donations to Hong Kong Free Press.

In Hong Kong, confrontations between residents dissatisfied with the growing influence of Beijing and pro-mainland authorities continue escalating for several months. Tom Grundy, founder and editor-in-chief of the Hong Kong Free Press, tweeted that the organization has been forced to temporarily suspend cryptocurrency donations. The reason for this was that BitPay stopped processing bitcoin transfers to the organization’s wallet three weeks ago.

“However, crypto donations are temporarily suspended as @BitPay has refused to transfer @hongkongfp’s donations for 3 weeks without good reason.”

According to Grundy, the official reason is that Hong Kong banks use SWIFT, not IBAN. But he logically suggests that then this would be a constant problem when accepting bitcoin donations, while the organization has encountered it only now, although earlier it had been accepting cryptocurrency donations for several years.

Since 2015, the organization received $14,817 Hong Kong dollars in bitcoin donations.

Some users have suggested that BitPay succumbed to pressure from the Chinese government. Others believe that this may indicate a technically weak developers team.

Grundy also complained about poor BitPay tech support, poor user communication, and very high commissions.

“Almost any alternative would be better.”