Coinbase/Visa debacle

‘So, I’m sitting at home.’

‘You’re sitting at home.’

‘And the news breaks.’

‘What news?’

‘You didn’t hear?’

‘I don’t know, you haven’t told me. What news?’

‘Fuck. Fuckin news. Fuck. About the Crypto.’

‘What about the Crytpo? The Bitcoin thing?’

‘The Bitcoin thing. The Litecoin thing. The Ethereum thing. The whole fuckin thing. And Coinbase.’

‘What’s Coinbase?’

‘It’s the biggest exchange for Cryptocurrencies and people were saying it was hacked – not working – charging people’s cards unauthorised amounts.’


‘Like how?’

‘Like if you bought a €100 last week, then it duplicated the charge. So now another €100 goes out. And then it does it again. And again. And again. One guy got done for $67,000.’

‘Christ – can people get it back?’

‘Visa said it wasn’t their fault. Coinbase said it wasn’t them. There’s a group of dicks in the middle called Worldpay.’

‘Who the fuck are they?’

‘They set a thing called a Merchant Category Code – which is supposed to assess the risk and dictate the price of a transaction going from buyer to seller. So when you buy Bitcoin – it goes under a certain Merchant Category Code. Different codes for different things, like an online sale, an over the counter transaction or an ATM Withdrawal. ‘

‘So what code does Coinbase go under?’

‘Up to this it was just classed as a regular purchase online. Like buying something from Amazon or E-bay but these stupid motherfuckers at Worldpay fucked it up. They changed the Code so it would be classed as a “Cash Advance” like when you use your credit card at an ATM. So imagine you withdraw €100 from the machine and there’s a fee of €2.50. Now it’s the same when buying from Coinbase. Boom – easy money for Visa and Worldpay. Just like that. But guess what?’


‘The assholes backdated it.’

‘How far?’

‘January 22nd.’

‘What’s that mean?’

‘Means if you bought Crypto on Coinbase after January 22nd it was now liable for a Cash Advance fee according to the new MCC. But since the money had already gone out….’

‘They took it again?’

‘Exactly. They took it again, and again, and again, like a never ending loop til people’s bank accounts were cleaned. Til their rent bounced. Til their loans went unpaid. Til the motherfuckin bank is calling up folks saying “…hey, sir, where’s your dumb mortgage you stupid fuck. Oh, you bought Crypto? What the FUCK did you think was going to happen?!” One guy couldn’t feed his kids, put gas in his car, pay for a bus to work. Nothing.’

‘Was that what that was about? The fella on Twitter, saying he lost everything, his account had been hacked and….’

‘Hacked? Fuck hacked, accounts were robbed, man.’

‘Was it just Visa Credit cards?’

‘No, debit too.’

‘So they just took the money from people’s accounts? Totally unauthorised? And what if the money wasn’t there?

‘Shoved it into overdraft – then guess what, you get charged Overdraft fees too.’

‘Couldn’t people just close their Coinbase account?’

‘Didn’t matter, even when people removed their card details. The charges just kept coming….and coming….and coming….so everyone blamed Coinbase. Cos that’s what showed up in your statement, right? Everyone said they’d fucked it up. Didn’t know what they were doing. 13 million Coinbase customer accounts exposed to this shit.’

‘So where’s it at now? Coinbase took the money? Or Visa and Worldpay took the money?’

‘Visa and Worldpay eventually made a statement. Said it was “Not the fault of Coinbase.”

And admitted the MCC thing, but the “…exact cause is yet unknown….’ so who knows?’

‘Did people get their money back?’

‘Eventually. The charges were reversed. But not the fees, or the unauthorised overdraft charges, or the nasty taste left in your mouth cos all your payments been bouncing for days….’

‘Maybe it was a conspiracy by Visa and Worldpay to get everyone to stop buying Crypto? To make it look Volatile. And unsecured. And financially dangerous.’

‘Yeah – and guess what. It motherfuckin worked.’

‘So you’re not going to use Coinbase again?’

‘Would I stick my dick in a blender? Same answer.’


Coinbase Confirms Drastically Overcharging Users Debit/Credit Purchases, Draining Accounts

“Joint Statement from Visa and Worldpay for Coinbase customers” by @coinbase



Mokusatsu – A Novel by Mick Donnellan.

(Includes Worldwide Delivery and Postage) Charlie’s out on bail and back on the sauce. Still devastated over the events of El Niño, he drinks to kill the pain and robs all he can to feel alive. But the past won’t give him peace. The police want him in jail. Kramer’s old crew have a price on his head, and his new employer has big plans to carve out his own niche in the criminal underworld — with Charlie at the helm. Roped into a series of audacious heists and ingenious schemes, he finds himself involved with illegal diesel in Westmeath, stolen cash machines in Mayo and violent debt collection in Galway. Couple that with his regular income of stealing wallets and robbing shops and you have a cyclone of a man roaring down a path to destruction. And bringing everybody with him. And then there’s Karena. The beautiful girl that may save him — but maybe she should know better? At times dark, others touching, and often comic, Mokusatsu is a fiction readers feast of Irish Crime Writing.


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