Instawallet closes claims process and Bitcoin-24 encounters problems in Poland

Instawallet has officially closed its claims process and Bitcoin-24 has some news for its customers.

AccessTimeIconJul 12, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 10, 2022 at 8:15 p.m. UTC
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We have two nuggets of refund news for you today. First up, Instawallet has officially closed its claims process, after opening it 91 days ago.

The bitcoin wallet was created in April 2011 and was designed to offer a speedy alternative to the other available wallets. It required no signup, it simply generated a secret link when users visited the site – this link was then the only way the user's wallet could be accessed.

Fast-forward two years and the site's security was breached, with an intruder gaining access to all of the hidden urls, so the company closed and told customers to file a claim form in order to get their funds back.

Users were told that those with under 50 bitcoins in their account would get a refund, but those with more than this would have their claims dealt with on a "case by case and best efforts basis".

Instawallet's latest update explained it is now drawing up a final "payments table" which it will then crosscheck with each claimant to make sure no mistakes are made.

Here's the detail the update gave:

  • Today (July the 11th) at 10PM CEST, after 91 days, the claims submission interface will be disabled
  • On July the 12th we will handle the claims that came in after our last processing batch and before the cutoff
  • At the end of that day we'll have a surrogate payouts table
  • We'll update the claims interface with this data and make it publicly available
  • We will then proceed to go mind our own business for the week-end
  • On Friday the 19th of July we'll broadcast a payout for all accepted claims [1]
  • For three months after this we'll make weekly payouts for the claims that got accepted during the previous considered week

If an offered payout hasn't been accepted three months after the first payouts it'll be considered expired.

[1] Assuming no significant discrepancy or mistake is found in the calculations leading to our proposed payments table before Friday the 19th.


Meanwhile, some Bitcoin-24 (BTC 24) customers are having to wait around to get their funds back too.

The latest statement from the German exchange's lawyers Röhl, Dehm & Partner explains a decision made by the Polish Public Prosecutor's Office that a large proportion of the exchange's money can be returned (but some still cannot).

At the end of April, BTC 24's German and Polish bank accounts were closed following the hacking of customer accounts, suspected fraud and the use of accounts for illegal purposes. The German accounts were reopened in late May, but the Polish authorities have taken more time to mull things over.

The statement from Röhl, Dehm & Partner reads:

Before payments can now be made from the Polish account, those accounts subject to the suspicion of illegal use must be first clearly identified.

But unfortunately this will only be possible once the Polish Public Prosecutor’s Office has given us and our colleagues in Poland access to the files. To protect all profit already earned, it is critical that our client avoid paying out money to those users who are connected with the suspicious accounts.

The statement also explains that all customers entitled to get funds back from the German bank should receive confirmation within the next two weeks.


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