Bitstamp seemingly running bitcoin transaction profiling activities without user knowledge

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Hi all, obvious throwaway account, as I don’t want Bitstamp figuring out who I am, in case I am one of few people this is happening to.

I’ve been dealing with their support ever since (foolishly) filling in their KYC questionnaire. I have been a verified user on their site for many years.

A year ago or so, they introduced the KYC procedure to me (I don’t know when it was introduced for other users). Recently I filled it in, thinking that would be the end of it.

It was far from the end of it. In the KYC questionnaire I stated that all my Bitcoins come from mining (which they do). I tried to answer all questions truthfully. Now, all of a sudden, Bitstamp is making all sorts of speculative allegations around some Bitcoin coming from mining, some from gambling and various other unknown transactions. Some even to Helix, the former tor-based Bitcoin mixer service, allegedly. I find that very intriguing, as I am reasonably sure I didn’t ever use it. Particularly not from my passport-verified Bitstamp account. But even if someone did, I wonder why Helix is being singled out? It feels a bit as though they are going after oddly specific addresses or transactions.

As for the ‘gambling’ it is of course possible that at some point in the past I’ve moved some Bitcoin from my local wallet to a gambling site and then from there into Bitstamp. But that doesn’t change these BTC originally came from mining, making my response truthful regardless. The KYC questionnaire does not include “please provide the exact route all your Bitcoin took in getting here”.

It is particularly worrying to think that they feel they will just provide me with a few transaction IDs, and that they expect I would somehow know what these random strings of letters and numbers mean, when in the background they have already built a speculative view of what they are.

This makes me think that they cannot rely on their methods and are hoping to fish for confirmations from the users about their transactions.

At no point was I informed that I need to keep my entire transaction history (which I happily would have done, had I known), that they are building a profile of your transactions behind the scenes, without your knowledge (after all, my transaction history is all just IDs, no other information visible. They should really make this stuff transparent to users.) and that they would use this to ask very personal questions about my transaction history.

What if I bought a bunch of sex-toys through Helix, hoping to stay anonymous, and now Bitstamp show up analysing my history going “oh, look, they sent £5 to this sex shop via Helix, naughty”. Where are they getting this data from?

Their support simply said it was a “Blockchain Analysis”.

Lastly, the amounts we are talking about, that I have ever owned or traded are pitiful. That makes this particularly worrying. Why would someone care about such a tiny amount of Bitcoin? Surely if this is all about avoiding money laundering and illegal activities, you would look for places where actually large amount of Bitcoin are being shifted.

I would warn you all to proceed with caution. I have requested all my information be released under GDPR, but I have a feeling they will find a way to worm their way out of that.

Has this happened to anyone else?

submitted by /u/bitstamp_throwaway77
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