Skip to main content

Visa confirms Coinbase is not responsible for recent overcharges

bitcoin in hand
NurPhoto/Getty Images
NurPhoto/Getty Images

Following an influx of complaints from customers over exorbitant transaction costs and multiple charges on their accounts, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has issued a statement that suggests the problem was caused by credit and debit card issuers. Reportedly, a change to merchant category code meant that certain transactions were refunded and reprocessed, leading to additional and unexpected charges and fees.

Visa recently confirmed that Coinbase was not at fault for these charges. Visa and Worldpay, Coinbase’s payment processor, released a joint statement saying that “this issue was not caused by Coinbase.”

The issue first came to light earlier this week, when Coinbase users began reporting that Coinbase was overcharging them, seemingly at random. Even removing cards from Coinbase seemed to have no effect and some customers of the cryptocurrency exchange were concerned as they watched their bank accounts slip into the red, resulting in unauthorized overdraft charges. One user reportedly lost $17,000 in this manner.

Although some called this a scam or a sign that Coinbase had been hacked, the exchange has now explained that it’s all down to its evolving relationship with credit and debit card providers. Following recent changes to policy at certain card operators, an MCC change meant that certain charges and purchases made between January 22 and February 11 were refunded and reprocessed. Due to some refunds taking longer to come through, that lead to some accounts being hit hard — especially if owners made major purchases during that period.

1/ We have determined that the erroneous credit and debit charges are the result of Visa reversing and recharging transactions. This was not done by Coinbase. We are working with Visa to ensure all affected customers are reimbursed.

— Coinbase (@coinbase) February 16, 2018

“We deeply apologize for any frustration this may cause. We are actively working with banks, processors, and networks to improve the digital currency purchasing experience,” Coinbase said in its statement. It has also pledged to pay for any bank charges that Coinbase users experienced as a result of this problem. For anyone who doesn’t receive that automatically, it has asked that affected users contact its support team directly.

Although Coinbase has been absolved of fault, this could still harm the company’s reputation. It is possible that affected users may opt for an alternate exchange to buy or sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the future. The Verge reports a number of users hit hard by this crypto-mix up as saying that they will never go back to Coinbase.

Updated on February 17: Updated to reflect the news that Visa has confirmed Coinbase is not responsible for the recent overcharges. 

Editors' Recommendations

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
Apple confirms a new Mac Pro is coming — but when will it launch?
Tim Cook presenting the Mac Pro on stage at WWDC in 2019.

It’s been a long wait for Apple to launch a new Mac Pro powered by an Apple silicon chip, but Apple is still committed to making it a reality. That’s according to a senior Apple executive, who confirmed the news in an interview with India Today.

The statement from Bob Borchers, Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, is the first time Apple has given any official word on the upcoming Mac Pro since the company’s hardware exec John Ternus said in March 2022 that it was “for another day".

Read more
Microsoft may have known about Bing Chat’s unhinged responses months ago
Bing Chat saying it wants to be human.

Microsoft's Bing Chat AI has been off to a rocky start, but it seems Microsoft may have known about the issues well before its public debut. A support post on Microsoft's website references "rude" responses from the "Sidney" chat bot, which is a story we've been hearing for the past week. Here's the problem -- the post was made on November 23, 2022.

The revelation comes from Ben Schmidt, vice president of information design at Nomic, who shared the post with Gary Marcus, an author covering AI and founder of Geometric Intelligence. The story goes that Microsoft tested Bing Chat -- called Sidney, according to the post -- in India and Indonesia some time between November and January before it made the official announcement.

Read more
The first RTX 4070 Ti preorders confirm our worst fears
MSI's GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Gaming X Trio graphics card box.

Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4070 Ti is rumored to be coming out soon, and some retailers across the globe have jumped the gun and started putting it up for sale ahead of time. This time, the GPU was spotted at a Chinese retailer in two custom versions.

These early listings provide us with the first hints as to the pricing of the RTX 4070 Ti. Unfortunately, they only serve to confirm what we've already feared -- the GPU might be just as expensive as the RTX 4090 and the RTX 4080.

Read more