Bitstamp canceled its plans to enact an inactivity fee shortly after it announced that it would charge small, inactive accounts, €10 per month to hold assets at the exchange.
“After listening to our community’s response, we’ve changed course,” the company said in a blog post announcing the cancellation.
The Europe-based crypto exchange announced last Friday that starting August 1, 2022, accounts with less than €200 in balance that had no activity in the past 12 months would be charged a €10 per month fee. Customers quickly compared the move to that of traditional finance, criticizing the exchange. Others saw it as a desperate attempt for Bitstamp to protect itself in the crypto winter.
Customer blowback was harsh. Trading volume fell 70% after the initial announcement on July 1, and though it recovered over the weekend trading volume fell to $56.1 million after multiple outlets reported on the inactivity fee, per data provider Nomics. The exchange is still down almost 90% in trading volume from its peak in November amid the market hype that saw bitcoin approach $70,000 and the global crypto market cap peak at $3 trillion.
Crypto exchanges currently rely on trading fees for the bulk of their revenue, so exchanges like Bitstamp will still have to look at other ways to supplement their income in bearish periods.