Bitfinex is not able to pull themselves out of the misery. Whether the stock exchange, on the (supposed) Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies can be traded, is now broke or not, one thing is certain: crisis communication is different. It is officially called, “everything runs smoothly”. Behind the Scenes, however, different.
Something isn’t adding up. As before, the suspicion is that the Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex is broke. The Exchange censored also generous critical comments on Reddit. Add to that the ability to pay in Fiat, since the rate of fall between 10. and 11. October is not. Now, the Social Media Team tried to calm the disgruntled users, and it shows that competence looks different. An insight into crisis communications, as you should not happen.
In this Reddit Thread, a user, what is it with this Twitter Post asks:
BREAKING: Bitfinex suspends all fiat deposits. USD deposits are no longer possible through HSBC. Bitfinex “expects the situation to normalize within a week”https://t.co/ap4spn6qca
— Larry Cermak (@lawmaster) October 11, 2018
A few hours later, the Social Media Team of Bitfinex answer the following:
“Thank you for contacting us. Fiat deposits were suspended for a week. This is of course a wonderful way to FUD [Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt fear, uncertainty and doubt] , and the panic spread to other News to generate. I am also waiting for information that have not reached the Social Media Team so far.“
The fact another user responds:
“So you admit that you have no idea what is going on and are you still sure that it is FUD? Sounds almost as if you’re the one who generated all the latest News.“
Another user adds:
“You’re here the one, the FUD spread by he says I am also waiting for information. Are you unsure about the Situation.“
This short exchange of blows already speaks for itself – the Social Media Team of Bitfinex seems to have only the statement to reassure the customer. You don’t seem to know, however, what is actually happening at the Moment at Bitfinex.
“Bitfinex, please tell me, where is my 30,000 US-Dollar”
In another Thread a concerned user asks where his 30,000 US-Dollar. He have been waiting for five and a half weeks. The last answer he had received, I have reached two to three weeks. The stock exchange, have said only that you had problems with your Bank. The response from Bitfinex:
“Thank you for giving me the delay notice. I apologize for the inconvenience and can assure you that the Fiat-Finance at Bitfinex as lubricated and running [working just fine]. “
Another user points out, that crisis communication is different:
“Proposal: never answer to a “My money is gone”-request with “well, the majority of people get their money back.” […] The Person, the missing $ 30,000, don’t care much about 99.999 percent of the withdrawals run smoothly. Just think: How would you feel if you buy a car, it anwirfst, it explodes and the car dealer says: “Our cars don’t run like clockwork, most of our cars explode. How would you feel?““
Internal Communications: Poor
However, the communication does not fail here, not only between customers and Bitfinex. Elsewhere, it was confirmed that the Social Media Team seem to know little (or could be), what goes on in the boardroom of the Bitcoin stock exchange. So the Support Team:
“I know how you feel, honestly. It is just that it is not a matter that can be solved overnight, it is beyond my abilities to respond, what is the next step. I’m in contact with our Finance team, I have a list of all the Tickets that are passed on by our Subreddit, and I follow you every day.
As soon as I get a response or even the slightest Information that can help the customer, I will send you as a response to the Ticket. I know you are tired to wait and to hear that everything is in order and you the usual customer service-talk to listen to. I want you to know that the company stands for. So bad it looks but it is also the Professional people working on a solution to these delays.
I’ll come back with more information in the Thread as soon as I get them. In the meantime, my apologies please accept for everything, it is really not a desired Situation.“
Bitfinex: crisis communication, again, practice
This is the state of things. Previous speculation about the bankruptcy of the Bitcoin exchange previously could neither be confirmed, nor could they be credibly denied. Whatever it may be, crisis communication is different.