Clients of the Europe-based cryptocurrency exchange HitBTC, which was launched back in 2014, should brace for fees. On December 22, the company announced that a fixed fee for all bitcoin deposits is going to be charged. However, earlier this platform was known for no fees for deposit and minimal network fee for withdrawal both for Bitcoin and the rest of the currencies. Now all the clients are supposed to pay a fee to deposit into HitBTC.
The company is justifying such a novelty by the high load on the network concerning Bitcoin transactions. However, the platform could have also stopped accepting newcomers or urged its clients to use any other cryptocurrency instead of Bitcoin.
Currently operated by Hit Techs Limited in London, HitBTC has a daily volume of over $500 million just in December 2017. However, the platform faced a lot of pressure because of the high number of bitcoin deposit transactions. To solve this problem, HitBTC has decided to deduct from any amount of the incoming operation a fee at the rate of 0.0003 BTC. Every client should take into account that no matter how low the deposit is, the fee will remain the same. So if your deposit is smaller or equal to the fee, the whole amount will be used to cover the fee and your money will not be refunded.
“We are announcing that starting from 22/12/2017 a fixed fee for all Bitcoin deposits is to be charged,” HitBTC notified its clients. “This measure is going to be introduced in order to strengthen all Bitcoin processes on HitBTC and provide stability in functioning of the major cryptocurrency.”
As News.Bitcoin.com reports, currently, high fees are a severe problem for all businesses that deal with Bitcoin. But those, who have the higher volume of transactions, are suffering the most. Recently, the US-based global bitcoin payment service provider BitPay explained that BTC invoice payments below $100 are made uneconomical and unbusinesslike due to high fees. The provider also banned such transactions before hurriedly re-authorizing them under pressure from the Bitcoin brethren.
“Bitcoin network has been experiencing difficult times in the last weeks. Due to heavily increased demand, a large number of transactions passes through BTC network. It leads to a significant amount of transactions waiting in the mempool, longer processing time and unprecedented fees,” such an announcement was published on the HitBTC website a few days before Christmas.
This indicates that the platform explains the decision to impose fees on its clients by the tough times that the bitcoin has been living through within the past weeks. Interestingly, on December 22 Bitcoin experienced a devastating crash to $11,885, just a week after bitcoin-based futures were introduced for trading on the CME Group Inc. (Chicago Mercantile Exchange & Chicago Board of Trade). The Bitcoin started losing in price after getting tied to this futures giant.
The company defends its position also by claiming that fees on Bitcoin deposits would strengthen all the transactions with this cryptocurrency. Moreover, according to HitBTC, it is going to provide stability in the way bitcoin is functioning. “It would help facilitate processing of incoming transactions and maintain the liquidity and security of Bitcoin on HitBTC at a level we deem worthy of our traders,” claimed HitBTC.
However, after the December 22 drop, the crypto market on the whole and Bitcoin, in particular, have demonstrated positive signs of recovery. Despite the fact that the total capitalization of the market and the price of every cryptocurrency has not come back to the previous rate, there is still some hope that “difficult times” will pass by and the fees at HitBTC will be removed.