Keep an eye on your bank account! It's good advice at all times, but for cryptocurrency enthusiasts it's especially true right at the moment. Customers of Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange, are reporting that the company is overcharging, double-charging, and in some cases emptying their bank accounts with unauthorized transactions.
What Is Coinbase, Anyway?
Coinbase is a startup company that serves as a digital currency exchange. Users can use it to purchase Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ethereum Classic. It's sort of like using a broker to purchase stocks but for cryptocurrencies. And Coinbase is one of the leading online platforms for buying these cryptocurrencies, allowing people to link up their debit and credit cards.
Check Your Digital Account
Linking up a bank account to Coinbase is proving to be the problem. According to Reddit, countless customers are being charged multiple times for transactions that never took place. In a typical account, one Redditor says the issue has left them penniless:
FREAKING OUT. Coinbase drained my bank account. Took 5x the amount I authorized from debit. I am now broke, cannot afford rent, food, gas, bills. from r/CoinBase
Exacerbating the situation, multiple charges to debit cards have dropped some users' balances below zero. Overdraft fees, bouncing checks, and lack of funds make it difficult to pay for other, real world, items such as food, rent, and gas.
Coinbase has responded swiftly. The company attributes the error to a recent change in how financial companies classified card purchases. It has already pledged a full refund for customers affected by the problem. That's good of them. But it's difficult for people unexpectedly caught out of pocket until a resolution comes through to their account balance.