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LakeBTC Help (FAQ)

12/20/2013 

Questions

Answers

  1. What account types do you have? Can I trade w/o verifying my ID?

    Currently LakeBTC supports three different account types. Yes you can trade w/o verifying your ID as long as your operations do not involve real FIAT currencies.

    UnverifiedIndividualCorporate
    TradingYesYesYes
    BTC Deposit/WithdrawYesYesYes
    Deposit/Withdraw via Bank WireYesYes

  2. How do I buy bitcoins?

    1. Fund your account by making a deposit - click Wallet in the menu, then Deposit tab, then the desired currency and payment method to create a deposit request. When your deposit request is accepted by a LakeBanker, you will receive email and in-browser notifications. Just follow the instructions and send the payment.

    2. After your account is funded, place a bid order to buy coins -- click Trade in the menu, select the desired market (eg., BTC/USD), and place a bid order using the desired price and amount.

    3. When your order is matched with other orders and got executed, you will get some BTC balance in your account, and you can withdraw or make payments.

    Besides the exchange trading method described above, you may use our OTC (over-the-counter) service to purchase bitcoin. Please note OTC market is less liquid. Click OTC in the menu, then New OTC Order button to submit an OTC order.

    Currently no hard limits are enforced. However, if abnormal volumes/activities are detected, the compliance department will contact you for more information.

    LakeBTC is an exchange, not a dealer/reseller. LakeBTC is the platform where users can buy and sell coins from/to each other, and much better liquidity and price spread can be expected. LakeBTC is not a dealer or reseller who sell coins directly to you. As a matter of fact, many dealers buy/sell coins at LakeBTC.

  3. What is LakeTrader?

    LakeTrader is a in-browser trading app, with live data, pro charting, OnClick trade, and CoinDesk BPI data integrated. It's a professional tool for all users, especially those who trade frequently. Click here for details.

  4. Where do I find LakeBTC's live data and historical data?

    LakeBTC data can be found in our LakeTrader tool. It's also available at several leading bitcoin data sites including bitcoincharts, bitcoinity, and coinometrics.

  5. What are your fees?

    For deposits/withdrawals, LakeBanker fees are dynamically determined by the market, supply-demand, your reputation, the amount, currency, payment method, and so on. You will be able to review the actual fee before creating a deposit/withdrawal request.

    If you find the fee is higher than what you expect, please try again with alternative currencies and/or payment methods. Or, simply try again at another time. If you have not, submit your ID documents and get your account KYC verified. Avoid no-shows and delays in all your transactions because your reputation is an important factor too.

    If you are a new user without much transaction history, it's best to start with traditional payment methods such as bank wire etc. After building some reputation, you can try other online payment methods which may be considered more troublesome by many LakeBankers.

    Or, you may choose to become a LakeBanker yourself. Instead of paying LakeBanker fees for deposits/withdrawals, you can earn some extra money. It's like a negative fee for you. Contact customer support for details.

    Please review our fee structure here.

  6. Can I get lower fees or 0% fee?

    Yes, you can. If your past 30-day trading/withdrawal volume reaches certain limits, you may email us and apply for a trading/withdrawal fee discount, respectively. Click here for details. If your volume is even higher, you may contact us for possible further discounts.

    Commission fee is, and should be, the only income of an exchange to cover its operating costs. No healthy exchange, as a commercial entity, in the world can promise users a 0% fee forever. Otherwise, users need to ask themselves questions like whether the market is fair and whether his/her funds are safe.

  7. How to make FIAT deposits?

    Simply click Wallet in the menu, then Deposit, then select the desired currency and payment method, and submit a deposit request. If it is accepted by a LakeBanker, you will see the payment instructions. Please follow those instructions and provide EXACT and COMPLETE information to your bank or payment processor.

    NEVER use payment info from web forums, social media, online chats, email, etc. To protect your fund from fraud and theft, It's company policy to prohibit our staff from providing banking info on any of those medias. You should ONLY use our secure website for banking information.

    Deposit from a third-party bank account is NOT recommended. For small amounts, you may put your full name in the wire transfer memo field along with your UID. For large amounts, please AVOID using third-party bank accounts. Your LakeBanker may reject or return third-party payments.

    For certain payment methods such as PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, etc - because of the limitations of their policies/rules, LakeBankers tend to work with users with long history and good reputations. Sometimes funds deposited via these payment methods are not available for withdrawal/payment immediately (up to 60 days in some cases). However, they are available for trading immediately.

    If your deposit requests expired without a LakeBanker, please try alternative deposit methods such bank wire, do more trading, and get yourself KYC verified if you have not done so. By building a good reputation, more LakeBankers will like to deal with you.

  8. How much do wire transfers cost?

    It depends on your bank (and the intermediary bank, if any). Usually international wires cost 15 - 80 USD in total.

    Your bank charges a fee for outbound wire transfers (e.g. 10 - 45 USD), and the fund may or may not go thru an intermediary bank (correspondent bank), which charges another 5 - 20 USD.

    If your bank is one of the major banks in the world, it can do the clearance itself and no other intermediary bank is necessary. Otherwise, you may optionally ask your bank to use a specific bank as the intermediary bank when sending the wire. If you do not specify a intermediary bank, your bank (and the SWIFT network) will pick one for your automatically. Sometimes your bank has a special low fee deal with one of the intermediary banks - if that's the case, you want to use it to save on the fees. It's best to contact your bank for the details.

    International wires usually take 1 -2 business days, but anything between 2 hours to 5 days is not surprising. It all depends on all the banks involved - sender's bank, intermediary bank, and receiver's bank. Some wire transfers are completed within a few hours, while some may take 5 days. Usually it takes more time for smaller/regional/local banks than major banks in one of the financial centers in the world.

    LakeBankers can only confirm the receipt of the fund when it arrives at his/her bank account. An image of sending bank's confirmation is not enough because a wire can go wrong in many many ways. Sometimes a signed agreement between you and your LakeBanker may be needed as well for compliance reasons.

  9. Can I stop by a local bank branch and make cash deposit?

    Very likely, yes. It's best to call your bank first before you hit the road. Check out the intermediary bank list shown in Deposit page. If your bank is not in the list, call them to make sure.

  10. What currencies do you support?

    Currently there are a dozen of currencies available on LakeBTC.com. Click Wallet in the menu to view the list. If your favorite currencies are not there, please contact customer support and we'll be happy to add them.

    NOTE: An account is valid for ONLY CNY or non-CNY FIAT currency deposits/withdrawals. That is, if you choose to deposit/withdraw in CNY, your account is not eligible for deposits/withdrawals in USD, etc. If you choose to deposit/withdraw in USD, your account is not eligible for CNY deposits/withdrawals. You may still trade in all currencies though.

  11. How long does it take to process deposits and withdrawals?

    For your own protection, all withdrawals need to wait for 48 hours after password resets or Google Authentication activations or cellphone number verifications. If your withdrawal request is not processed after this hold period is over, please email customer support to confirm that it is still valid.

    If your request is not accepted by a LakeBanker for an extended period of time or simply expired without a LakeBanker, it may be all existing LakeBankers for the selected currency and payment method were busy serving other users, or your amount is too large or too small for them, or your track record/reputation does not meet their requirements, or your ID documents (KYC) are not verified yet, etc.

    You may consider cancel the request and try again at a later time, or a different currency and/or payment method, or a different amount. Submit your KYC documents if you have not done so. Do not be a no-show user or slow responder who most LakeBankers tend to avoid dealing with. You will not be charged LakeBanker fees for canceled requests.

    Bank wires usually take 1 - 2 business days (anything between 2 hours and 5 days is not surprising).

    There are a number of unfortunate incidents in this young bitcoin industry such as one exchange lost 19,000 BTC, and the other lost 120,000 BTC. To best protect your fund from theft and fraud, all withdrawals will go thru an automatic system check for book balances, login history, and account activities, then need to pass our two-level manual approval. Occasionally our finance department needs to move coins between cold storage and hot wallet, causing extra delays.

  12. Isn't bitcoin banned in China? Is your service legal at all?

    This is a legitimate registered business in China.

    The latest official regulation published by central government of China was on December 5, 2013, by People's Bank of China (PBOC) and four other central government agencies. Full text is available at here.

    In this document, it's clearly stated the bitcoin is a type of assets, and people have the right to buy, sell, and own bitcoins. Bitcoin exchanges need to have their websites registered at Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), and implement the anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) rules. LakeBTC strictly followed all laws and regulations.

    The document aforementioned just stopped 3rd-party payment companies (paypal-like) from working with cryptocurrency exchanges. The business itself and cooperations with banks are allowed and perfectly legal. As a matter of fact, bitcoin trading volume in China (CNY) is twice as much as the rest of world combined (USD, EUR, ...).

  13. How does LakeBTC work with my other bitcoin wallets? How to withdraw bitcoins?

    LakeBTC is a bitcoin wallet by definition too. It's safe, secure, and easy to use. You can transfer your bitcoins in LakeBTC wallet to your other wallets by making a BTC withdrawal.

    1. click Withdraw in the menu, and then BTC tab.
    2. fill in the desired BTC amount and the target bitcoin wallet address and submit. you may get this address from your wallet (bitcoin-qt or other wallet service you fully trust)
    3. for your protection, you'll be asked to send a confirmation SMS from the registered cellphone.

    WARNING: Because all bitcoin transactions are final and irreversible, MAKE SURE the bitcoin address you fill in is correct and under your control.

  14. I sent the USD wire but why it's not shown in my LakeBTC account yet?

    1. usually it takes 1 - 5 business days for banks to process international wire transfers
    2. Make sure you provide COMPLETE and EXACT wire information to your bank.
    3. the beneficiary is our company, NOT our bank.
    4. do NOT abbreviate or shorten our company name. If you absolutely have to due to space limit, put our FULL EXACT company name in the memo/comments field.
    5. use an amount with 2 decimal points such as 1000.32 or 1500.71 etc for expedited processing
    6. email us if you have any questions regarding your wire
  15. What are my options if I (or my bank) wired USD to you with incorrect or inaccurate information?
    1. The best option is you may ask your bank to send an amendment wire to fix the problem
    2. if the issue is minor, another option is LakeBTC signs a number bank documents and our bank can fix it locally for a fee of $20
    3. if both parties do nothing, this fund (less bank fees) will be returned to you in 90 days.
  16. I cannot send you USD to you via Ripple!

    Deposits/withdrawals via Ripple is no longer supported. Please use alternative payment methods instead.

  17. I sent a $2000 wire but received only $1990 in my account?

    The difference could be

    • a fee charged by your bank, or the intermediary bank (if any). For international wire transfers, bank fees could be as much as $20 - $80 for each wire. You may want to contact your bank to find out the details.
    • a typo on your side when creating the deposit request.

    If you have any questions, please contact customer support and we will ask your LakeBanker to provide bank slips on his/her side.

  18. Why my BTC withdrawal transaction is not confirmed?
    1. Bitcoin system is a decentralized, peer-to-peer network, and tx confirmation time is by nature random and not really predictable. It could be minutes, hours, and in some extreme cases weeks.
    2. Recent long average confirmation times are mostly caused by the price decline and less miners operating.
    3. Currently all BTC withdrawal tx fees are calculated automatically by the reference bitcoind program, and the fee it determined (be it 0 or 0.0005 BTC) is recognized by most (if not all) miners. These tx are legitimate and accepted by almost all miners. To miners the most prominent incentive is the 25 BTC reward by the system. Therefore, we do NOT expect to see a significant reduction of confirmation times by increasing the fee.
    4. The bitcoin fee algorithm is quite complex, based on the amount, number of inputs, number of outputs, and tx size. At LakeBTC a flat network fee of 0.0001 BTC is taken from users, while the actual fees we pay range from 0 to 0.0005 BTC or even more.
  19. What order types do you support?

    Limit orders, good till cancel. This design is meant to protect inexperienced users. There are hundreds of order types in traditional equity markets we can borrow, but we chose to make it simple at this stage of bitcoin.

    Darkpool - if you are buying or selling a large number of coins, you may select this checkbox to make your trade order invisible in the orderbook to minimize the impact on the market. Darkpool orders will be charged a higher trading fee.

    Maker Only - if you only want to pay the maker fees, select this checkbox so your order will be automatically canceled if it's a taker.

  20. Is my fund in open orders frozen by the system?

    Yes, your fund will be locked (or "frozen") by the system when you place an order or initiate a withdrawal/payment request.

    If the order is executed, the locked fund will be transferred to the trade counterparty. If the order is canceled, the locked fund will be released back to your main account.

  21. How do I get my ID verified?

    Per our AML & KYC policies and local regulations, we are required to verify user identity and residency. Please login to your LakeBTC account, click My Account in the menu, then Verification tab, and submit your

    • your full name and current home address. Withdrawals can only be made to bank accounts under YOUR name so please make sure you fill in the EXACT full name on your ID and your bank account. PO Box is not a valid home address.
    • images of your government-issued photo ID (both sides if applicable) with your name, date of birth, address, and identification number
    • cellular phone number
    • proof of residency, e.g., electricity, gas, cable, phone bill or bank statement from within the last 3 months. Or, a second government issued photo ID is acceptable if proof of residency is not available in your country.
    • A selfie photo (you facing the camera holding your photo ID) is required if your expected volume is high or you are residents of certain countries.

    Note:

    • JPEG image files under 1MB each are preferred.
    • Only pictures of original physical documents are acceptable.
    • Pictures of photocopies, self printouts, or screenshots are not acceptable.
    • Do NOT cover or crop the documents.
    • Data transmission on our website over HTTPS is encrypted and secure.
    • Do NOT submit your personal documents over email.

    For corporate accounts, click here.

  22. Is my personal data safe?

    Absolutely. We do everything in our power to safeguard users' assets and personal information. Besides SSL encryption, Google 2-factor authentication, SMS confirmations, we have comprehensive internal control processes to protect users' sensitive documents safe.

    Account history data of the most recent 6 months are available. Just click Wallet in the menu, then History tab.

  23. Why do I need to verify my cellphone number?

    For many users, either Google Authenticator or SMS verification is necessary. GAuth is preferred because it is free and reasonably secure. If you plan to use Cash for deposits/withdrawals/OTC trading, or at least one of your External Accounts use your cellphone number as the account number, you will have to verify your cellphone number anyways.

    If you do not use Google Authenticator, SMS is the other available defense mechanism.

    Cellphone number verification is an important security measure to fight against theft and fraud. Since all bitcoin transactions are final and irreversible, we ask users to confirm their bitcoin withdrawals by sending us an SMS message to protect their fund.

    It might seem inconvenient or troublesome to some users at the beginning, but unfortunate incidents of bitcoin theft and hacking are not unusual. We take our users' assets very seriously. Users do not want to wake up one day and find all his/her bitcoins are gone -- hey, it was not me asking for the withdrawals. It was a hacker!

  24. I sent SMS to you but it's still saying my cellphone number is not verified.

    Our SMS platform processes all incoming text messages automatically. Make sure you have registered/verified your cellphone number with LakeBTC, and you send the correct SMS text to the number provided on LakeBTC.com.

    Also, you may want to contact your wireless service provider regarding your service plan and the international SMS prefix. For example, some carriers use +86xxxxx, some use 0086xxxxxx, and some use 01186xxxxxx, and so on.

    If the problem persists, please contact LakeBTC customer support.

    If you need to skip SMS confirmation completely, click here for details.

  25. Can I skip verifying my cell phone number altogether?

    Yes, please use Google Authenticator. It's free, and no network connection is necessary. Otherwise, SMS is your next best bet.

    If for any reason you cannot or do not wish to verify your cellphone number by sending SMS, send us an email with the required content (e.g., BTC=1xxxxx or W1.2345=1xxxxx or P0.1234=3xxxxx) whenever you are asked to send an SMS message. Unlike SMSs which are processed automatically by our system, email confirmations are processed manually by customer support team. NOTE: withdrawals/payments to email-confirmed BTC addresses need to wait for 48 hours to protect you from bitcoin theft.

    Neverthless, email is NOT secure. Bypassing the SMS confirmation may jeopardize the integrity of your account. For example if your email account is compromised, hackers may request bitcoin withdrawals in your name. As you know, all bitcoin transactions are final and irreversible, and you will be responsible for any possible loss. There are a number of such incidents in the news recently. LakeBTC takes the safety and security of users' fund and personal data very seriously, and strongly recommend you not to skip this verification.

    We understand sending SMS is not very convenient but this is about protecting your money. For those who wish/need to bypass SMS confirmations, it's recommended to use pre-verified bitcoin addresses for withdrawals. Click here for details. We are also improving our processes to better balance between safety and convenience.

    Some ask why you are the only exchange that ask users to send SMS messages while others don't. One of the reasons is it's the last chance for users to double check the amount and destination address (instead of using a meaningless 6-digit random number). And, LakeBTC is probably the only major exchange with ZERO stolen coin or security incidents in the history. We have the best risk management and internal control processes, and your money is in good hands with us.

  26. What's the cost to send you SMS messages?

    LakeBTC (and our service provider) does not charge a fee from incoming SMS messages. You may want to contact your wireless carrier regarding outbound SMS messages.

  27. Can I skip the SMS confirmation for every withdrawal?

    Sure, you can!

    Click Withdraw in the menu, then External Accounts button, and add your frequently used bitcoin wallet addresses. Just verify them once, and all future withdrawals to those pre-verified bitcoin addresses are exempt from additional SMS confirmations. It is safer, and more convenient to use pre-verified bitcoin addresses for withdrawals.

  28. How do I open a business or corporate account?

    Per our AML & KYC policies and local regulations, we are required to verify user identity and residency. Register a LakeBTC account, click My Account in the menu, then Verification tab, and upload your documents for verification

    1. Government issued business registration document.
    2. Government photo ID of the owner or controlling person, with name, date of birth, address, and identification number. For example, a person who has the power to manage a company, with direct or indirect control of 50% or more of the voting securities, power to endorse any negotiable payment on behalf of the company.
    3. Proof of business address - for example, utility bills, office lease, bank statements.

    If you have more than 3 documents to submit, please merge the JPEG files or use multi-page PDF files. Use the secure HTTPS transmission provided by our website. Do NOT send personal documents via email.

  29. Do you support margin/short trading?

    Not right now. We will add margin and short tradings in the future. Right now the bitcoin ecosystem, market capitalization, participants, and the liquidity are not ready yet. Besides, better risk management and market surveillance programs need to be in place before any leverage products are made available to public. When we do it, we'll do it right.

  30. Do you support P2P lending?

    Not right now.

  31. Do you have bitcoin futures?

    Not right now.

  32. I cannot login!

    Most likely it's a cookie issue. Please clear the cookies, restart your browser, and try again.

    For Google Authenticator issues, please make sure the clock on your mobile device is accurate.

    If still unsuccessful, please contact customer support via help@lakebtc.com with your IP address.

    If you'd like to change your email address, please simply register another LakeBTC account with your new email address (and submit KYC documents again if applicable).

    To close your existing account, click Me in the menu, then Password tab. Note that you will be charged a fee to restore a closed account.

  33. I cannot access your server!

    Please double check your network connectivity and computer settings. LakeBTC does experience DDOS attacks from time to time lasting for several minutes or longer. These attacks may slow down or even make our website/websocket interface not accessible temporarily, but rest assured, we have implemented a number of security measures to protect your fund and personal data. Please contact customer support if the problem persists.

  34. Why is LakeBTC called a Big Four bitcoin exchange?

    LakeBTC is one of the four exchanges around the world that determines CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). See here for details.

  35. Are you a Ripple gateway? Are you an IRBA member?

    Deposits/withdrawals via Ripple is no longer supported.

    ~~Yes we are a Ripple gateway, and LakeBTC is a gateway member of IRBA. See here for details.~~

  36. Where are your servers located? Can I co-lo?

    Our servers are located in multiple datacenters including Asia, Europe, and North America, and we use a professional third-party cloud computing services. No, we do not provide or sell co-lo at this time.

  37. Can I pay for more market data?

    We provide the same, free market data to all users, so it's fair to everybody.

  38. Do you have a referral program?

    Yes, we do! Refer your friends, and earn 30% of the trading commission fees paid! Simply

    1. Login and click Referral Program in the menu, post the referral URL on your website, blog, forums, Facebook, Twitter, or just share it with your friends.
    2. Your friends click this referral URL and register with LakeBTC.

    Rewards will be credited to users' LakeBTC accounts monthly. Current reward rate is valid until Jun 30, 2015. All fees and rewards are subject to change.

  39. There are so many exchanges out there, what makes LakeBTC different?

    Short answer: we know what we are doing.

    Long answer: Security, liquidity, and service are three strengths that make LakeBTC stand out of the crowd.

    • Security - We take the safety of users assets and personal information very seriously. People have to realize that a bitcoin exchange is not just another technology company. It is, more importantly, also a financial one. There's no denying that SSL encryptions, cold storage, 2-factor authentication, and SMS confirmations are important (we have them all), but risk management and internal controls are really what matter to financial institutions in the long run. Operating a financial firm needs lots of training, experience, and most importantly, a completely different mindset. We are proud of our team of seasoned financial veterans with years of experience in traditional capital markets. To best protect users' assets from fraud and theft, all withdrawals need to go through a two-level manual approval at the final stage of clearance.
    • Liquidity - LakeBTC is a marketplace for all users, including individual investors, miners, merchants, payment processors, professional market makers, and institutional investors. As one of the Big Four bitcoin exchanges in the world and member of a few other major bitcoin indexes, users can expect excellent liquidities at LakeBTC at all times.
    • Service - Our customer support team works hard to provide extraordinary services to our users. Most user requests and inquiries will be replied promptly. Our web design is meant to be simple and easy to use, and we provide professional trading tools such as LakeTrader with live data, pro charting, and OneClick trading, which are convenient to all users, especially who trade more frequently. We provide a variety of deposit/withdrawal methods to our users including bank wire.
    • Fairness - Additionally, creating a fair and efficient marketplace is also important to protect investors' interests. We do everything in our power to minimize market manipulations and unfairness. Market surveillance program, carefully designed products, comprehensive risk management, and strict internal controls are all meant to make sure this young and energetic market be fair and safe to every participant. At LakeBTC, users are best protected from financial predators, bitcoin theft, online fraud, market manipulators, trader errors, bot bugs, and flash crashes. We provide the same level of service to all users at all times. All users are treated with the same policy published on our website.

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