Bitify Escrow Service and Buyer Protection
What is escrow and why is it provided on Bitify.com?
Escrow is a place of trust where funds or objects (in this case Bitcoin or Litecoin) are kept with a third party for a period of time until the deal is considered complete between two parties.
Due to the nature of Bitcoin transactions sent are irreversible. This means that once you send Bitcoin from one address to another there’s no way to force the receiving party from sending you the payment back. Unlike traditional currency services such as credit cards, bank transfers, and even PayPal, as a buyer once you spend your Bitcoin you cannot charge-back the funds.
Irreversible transactions is one of the great features Bitcoin. It offers online retailers and sellers peace of mind over traditional payment methods, but at the same time it increases the risk for buyers spending their coins. Buyers are forced to place their full trust in the seller and hope that nothing goes wrong with their purchase.
This is where Bitify’s unique escrow service comes in. When a buyer pays for an item Bitify will hold on to the funds until the buyers receives their items and are happy to release escrow to the sellers. If the buyer does not receive their item or it is not as it was advertised, they can apply to Bitify for a refund. This process reduces the risk of Bitcoin loss and increases the trust between parties.
Bitify will hold funds in escrow for up to 30 days before releasing them to sellers, providing up to 30 days of protection for buyers that choose to use our escrow service.
How it works:
Bitify holds the funds for up to 30 days from the day/time of the purchase*. Once they are satisfied with their purchase, buyers must navigate to the item in their account and indicate that they would like to release escrow, at which point we immediately send the seller the coins. If the buyer does not follow this process, we will automatically send the funds to the seller once the 30 days have expired.
*In some exceptional circumstances Bitify may release funds to sellers before the buyer indicates to release escrow or before 30 days. We may choose to do this where sellers have given sufficient proof of delivery to us, where buyers are not responsive to private messages or support requests, or where other exceptional circumstances prevail.
Trust in Bitify:
Bitify (formerly CryptoThrift) has been operating since 2013. In that time more than 13,000 Bitcoins and 5,000 Litecoins have been processed through our escrow service, for items ranging from $1 to > $20,000. Bitify Pty Ltd is a registered Australian company, with offices in Sydney. We have held numerous fundraising auctions including those for SatoshiLabs Auctions Unique Lavender TREZORs for Direct Relief Campaign and for Dorian Nakamoto’s signed original art by Cryptograffiti.
In the event that they have not received or are not satisfied with their purchase, buyers can submit refund request to Bitify and ask for a refund of their Bitcoin/Litecoin. At this point sellers are sent a notification of the buyers request for a refund, and the following refund process occurs:
- Buyers are expected to give sellers a minimum of 72 hours to deliver the item before they ask for a refund.
- Sellers are given 72 hours to respond to a refund request, to either Agree to it or Dispute it.
- If the seller agrees to the refund, buyers are immediately refunded their coins.
- If the seller disputes refund, our escrow team will intervene and arbitrate the dispute. At this point we will normally ask both the buyer and the seller to provide further evidence to support their claims, before making a decision.
- If the seller does not respond within the 72 hour time-frame to either agree or dispute the refund request, we will normally determine in favour of the buyer and action a refund.
- Once evidence is received from both parties, Bitify will use this, along with other information sources such as account history, feedback, prior sales, private messages etc in order to make a decision as to who should receive the funds from escrow.
- By selling or buying good using our escrow service, you agree that Bitify reserves the right to use its own judgement an any and all means at their disposal in order to arbitrate a refund request and reach a final decision.
- Escrow refund decisions are final and can not be overturned.
Sellers may request that are released from escrow before 30 days, provided certain conditions are met. Applications for escrow releases should be made through our Support platform:
- Sellers can request an escrow release two weeks after they have completed the sale and shipped the item.
- Bitify will take into account the seller’s previous history, feedback, the type and value of item sold, along with other information sources, before deciding whether to release escrow.
- Bitify reserves the right to refuse to release funds from escrow before 30 days, and leave the decision to the buyer.
- Bitify will not release funds from escrow to sellers if the buyer has already requested a refund.
Things to know for buyers:
- Whilst it is optional, we recommend buyers use escrow for all purchases they make.
- Using escrow will incur a 2.5% fee or $0.50 on items under $10, $1 on items between $10-$20 (whichever is higher), which is added to the final amount paid by the buyer.
- We recommend buyers not to release the funds before they receive their items.
- Bitify holds funds in escrow for up to 30 days before it is automatically released to sellers, unless a refund request/dispute is in progress.
- If you purchase gift cards or other similar credit, do not release escrow until you’ve used the cards/credit
- Never agree if a seller asks you to release escrow before they ship the items.
- Never agree to transact with sellers outside of Bitify.
- Do not agree to send Bitcoins directly to the seller’s Bitcoin address
- If you release the funds for an item, we cannot refund you for that item. The seller receives the Bitcoins as soon as you release them and we no longer have the funds on hand.
Things to know for sellers:
- Be clear with item descriptions and prompt to deliver.
- Use the private message system for all communication.
- Try to resolve issues with sellers before it leads to a refund request.
- Respond quickly to refund request, especially if you dispute them.
- Provide Bitify with as much evidence as possible if you wish to dispute a refund request.