NiceHash is the gift that keeps on giving. After the service was famously hacked in December, the founders (minus their CEO) committed to refund the stolen balances from user’s NiceHash wallets. The refund date was publicised as 31st January, 2018. A quick glance at the calendar shows we just passed that date (US time) and today, like many times before, the story from NiceHash changes again.
As someone who’d experimented with the service to learn about it and write from a perspective of a user, I had a balance of 0.00235627 Bitcoin. That’s not a meaningful number, currently worth A$29.14 at the time of writing, but when I logged in this morning, instead of having the ability to withdraw to my Coinbase account, I was met with a button labeled ‘Repayment program’. This new program starts on February 2nd, 2018 and clicking the button reveals more about the company’s ability (or inability) to payback the lost funds.
On NiceHash’s accompanying blog post they detail that instead of the refund they had promised, instead now offering just 10% of the missing Bitcoin and a promise for the rest over the coming months.
The Repayment program will start on Friday, February 2, 2018, and will initially reimburse 10% of the old balance amount to all users that were impacted by the security breach. NiceHash is committed to periodically repay the remaining amount to all users in the coming months.
This again feels like a bait and switch for users, at best another example of setting expectations and falling short, way short. Rightly so, users are once again outraged at the service. Take a look the comments on their posts on Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, there’s a lot of hate and a lot of users who say they’re now leaving the service. The sad thing about it all is that their technology to dynamically shift between the most profitable coins to mine was actually impressive, as was the ease of use they offered for new users to crypto. Unfortunately having good developers doesn’t mean you have a good company or security.
In early January I wrote a post, critical of the company’s continued changes to fees and payout levels, without adequately communicating the changes ahead of time for users to adjust their plans and investments accordingly. After posting that on January 5th, I received a Facebook Message from the Head of Marketing at NiceHash, Andrej P.Skraba, who asked me to change my article (I didn’t) and assured me they’re well-intentioned and were committed to improving communication, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and thought things may be headed for a positive turn at NiceHash. Unfortunately, today’s announcement is further evidence the company is unable to deliver on its promises.
With Facebook announcing they’re banning crypto ads and some international exchanges going bust, cryptocurrencies is off to a rough start in 2018 and this latest kick in the guts from the largest crypto-mining marketplace, NiceHash is further bad news.