Sirwin
Sirwin
A damaged looking version of the digifinex logo overlayed with a trading interface and code. See resources for sources.

The Top Five Reasons I Wouldn't Use Digifinex Even If I Could

By mekhiMKL | The Layperson's Crypto | 27 Apr 2020


Digifinex is an online cryptocurrency exchange, currently not available in the United States, which is notable because it supports EDC/BTC. 

I live in the U.S., so you may be asking yourself - how would I have enough experience with the platform to actually write this article? 

Unfortunately, it's not even immediately apparent which countries are supported and which are not on their website, which sent me down a whole rabbithole I wish I had never fallen into.  Which brings me to #5 on my list of the top reasons I wouldn't use Digifinex even if I could. 

5. Incomplete and Outdated Information on Necessary Details

Normally this would rank much higher on my list of priorities - that this is at the bottom of the list should make you worry. 

giphy.gif

Their zendesk is a mess of old notices, with few articles on any essential help items.  For instance, I was unable to find any articles which list supported/non-supported countries. Also, when you are able to find information (their fee schedule was thankfully linked to directly on the exchange's website) it is incomplete. As I was specifically looking to trade EDC I was then perplexed to find no information whatsoever regarding the withdrawal fees or minimums for EDC. I had been burned by exchanges with really high withdrawal fees that aren't stated upfront. I wasn't going to make any assumptions. So, having looked at the information for how to contact live support on the website, I tried to follow the directions only to discover... 

4. Live Support on the Web Interface is Nowhere to be Found

giphy.gif

Quite a few exchanges have live support, but I don't necessarily walk in the door expecting it. However, if you tell me you have live support, I'm going to expect it to actually exist (even if someone isn't immediately available). Unfortunately this was not the case with Digifinex. The interface has clearly been updated, and at some point, this feature was removed. It's too bad they didn't think to update their information.

3. When you Finally Find Someone to Talk to, they Can't Answer your Questions

giphy.gif

Reluctant as I am to give out (any of) my email address(es) to one more cryptocurrency financial service provider, I jumped on their telegram, which unlike their actual support information, is listed on every page of their zendesk. The minute I joined I was messaged by "Digifinex Support". They greeted me in a friendly way, and I suspected initially they might be a helpbot of some variety. Especially after I was told twice in a row (after asking one question just once) that they couldn't answer my one question and told to use the (non-existent) online help.  It's possible they meant to email support, and sadly I can't double-check the nuances of their wording, as I blocked and deleted them soon after. Which brings me to...

2.  When you Finally Find Someone to Talk to, They are Creepy and Invasive

I soon realized that "Digifinex Support" was likely not a helpbot, as after telling me twice they couldn't help me, they then attempted to video call me via Telegram. The phone rang quite a few times while I was staring at it in bewilderment, so I don't think it was some kind of accident. 

Needless to say, I declined the call.

giphy.gif

I then expressed to "Digifinex Support" that I did not appreciate being called, and that it was silly to do so considering that they said they couldn't help me. Then, for the sake of my own peace of mind, I blocked them and incidentally deleted the chat as I was fumbling around. I haven't ever needed to block anyone on Telegram before. Within two minutes I was messaged by "Digifinex Admin". I instantly blocked them before they had a chance to try to call me (and silly me, deleted the chat again). 

For all I know in China (where I believe their primary customer base is) it may be more socially acceptable to have random strangers burning up your phone through DMs and attempts at video chat when you are seeking information on a financial service. I don't know - I'm multiracial and have an asian immigrant parent, but I was born stateside, and so my cultural mores are really neither East nor West, and more a conglomeration of a lot of different cultural and individual tendencies. Also, my father was from a different Asian country and culture, and given the diversity of Asia there are often more differences than similarities between cultures. I personally know that I tend to have more rigid boundaries than dominant culture Americans when it comes to unsolicited contact with strangers. I also just find phone contact of any kind typically unpleasant, unless I know the person well and like them a great deal. 

For what it's worth, there was someone inside of the official telegram that was able to answer one of my more questions in a professional manner. It seemed like they actually worked for the company. For all I know, the other two contacts were scammers. Which brings me to... 

1. Digifinex Seems to Have A Serious Scammer Problem

giphy.gif

Beyond just my bizarre experience on telegram, I noticed a somewhat troubling warning to users. 

A screenshot of a warning from digifinex

Now, I don't know quite what was meant by computer poisoning information leaks, though it did send me down a hilarious image search rabbit hole that helped me develop my rather eccentric thumbnail image. I suspect they may have been trying to warn people about phishing and malware which collects financial information. All humor aside, the warning seemed so specific and extensive as to make me wonder whether a) digifinex has more problems with scammers than similar platforms and b) whether there is history of people being scammed by Digifinex employees themselves. There's no evidence of this, but the wording of this warning (all the way on the zendesk, hidden near the end of the beginner's guide, which is itself hard to find) made me wonder.

On some obscure part of their website, I found this warning which seemed to confirm that scamming is a known issue above and beyond what is typically expected. Probably part of the problem is that they are so keyed into social media outlets. I'm sure part of that is cultural, and more common with exchanges and financial services centered on the Chinese market, and perhaps other areas of East Asia, but it also is going to make the exchange's users high value targets for scammers. 

A screenshot of a warning on the listing page

 

I have pasted the full text of the warning at the end of the article - unfortunately, some of it is a bit confusing. A lot of it though is what you probably might expect, but the fact that this warning only appears on the listing page is bizarre and unhelpful. It makes it feel as though they are more concerned about currency listers than end users.  Certainly I might have not even asked "Digifinex Support" a question if I had seen this first. Honestly though, I'm just not used to scammers on Telegram, and as there were no visible warnings about this issue on the pages an end user like me might be surfing, I initially just wasn't sure what exactly was going on. Certainly, I'd never imagine giving anyone sensitive information over telegram. Then again, if I was running an exchange my first thought wouldn't be to have channels on WeChat and Telegram.

Conversely, though, if they didn't have their own channel perhaps scammers would front one in its place. It is also likely that some of Digifinex's success is based in its accessibility through social media. At one time, some wondered if Digifinex would be the next Binance. Binance is another platform that had a great deal of social media presence in the early days, though not with the same breadth as Digifinex (or, to my knowledge, the same problems). I feel that  Digifinex's user interface and lack of attention to detail definitely hold it back from attaining this status. Interestingly, at the time of one such article Digifinex was sitting at #7, and Binance was one of the top platforms per coinmarketcap. At the time of writing this article, Binance is now #16 in adjusted volume - and Digifinex has fallen to #26.  According to one article, however, more than 99% of Digifinex's trading volume was fake per two different investigations. 

The Silver Lining

While writing this article I did find two things about Digifinex that I liked. Kiana Shek, one of the co-founders who is sadly often left uncredited, is a really interesting individual with a unique perspective and inspiring backstory. Digifinex also has a fantastic blog that produces some top-quality content. I wish the people responsible for the blog could overall the whole web interface and zendesk. Frankly, I think that it would be fantastic as a standalone production - it doesn't seem very tied into Digifinex's platform or services. They have also expanded the languages of UI they offer as well as trading options over the 2-3 years they have been in existence. 

Gripes Other People have that Didn't Make my Top Five

One gripe, which I understood but didn't feel strongly about was the lack of an android app (especially since they have an iOS/iPhone app). It was inconvenient, but not a deal breaker. In retrospect, if the "support" and "admin" who messaged me were scammers, my third reason may not hold water - feel free to mentally substitute this somewhere into my list if you believe that to be the case. From my perspective? It's still inconclusive. I've encountered so many customer service reps who couldn't help me with anything at all, in so many strange mediums, that I wouldn't be surprised by either outcome.

Another gripe I saw named in several reviews was that the platform was "China-centric" or "too Chinese centered". While I wish the English user interface and zendesk was more polished, I think this complaint is stupid. China is the most populous country in the world, and one of the most technologically advanced as well. It's a fantastic market to break into, and if you can make it big there, you could probably make it big almost anywhere - though why would you want to? I understand that by comparison, other markets (like the US) are much more difficult to offer services for, and do not offer the same kind of upside. Even though I too am frustrated by the lack of options for Americans, that isn't the same as resenting a platform for its emphasis on another market. Over-regulation of cryptocurrencies in America is yet another excellent argument for greater voter engagement, independent lobbying, and activism.  

I did however find it strange that the service did not allow those from the country it is based in to join, as shown in this screenshot from the registration page. 

A screenshot from Digifinex's registration page showing that it does not allow citizens of the US or Singapore.

Please note: this review is on the English user interface only. If you have used the Chinese interface, or any of the other languages, I would love to hear your experiences! Please share in the comments below!

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide, nor shall be misconstrued as providing, investment advice. Invest at your own risk. All GIFS used came from GIPHY - links to individual GIF attribution pages can be found by clicking on the GIF. Please see in-text links for other sources. All links open in new windows. 

just a line

Here is the full text of the warning from the screenshot earlier in the article: 

As DigiFinex's influence in the industry grows, there are more scammers pretending to be DigiFinex staff. They have started to work in groups to plan increasingly sophisticated schemes.

These scams include but are not limited to:

1. Using an online profile very similar to our real DigiFinex staff to proactively approach project teams and scam listing fees from them.

2. Cloning our DigiFinex official website to phish for usernames, passwords, or project listing fees.

3. Using fake work emails to contact users or project teams.

Recently, the number of scams have been on a rise. DigiFinex would like to remind you to be more vigilant.

In order to identify a fake account, you should check our official channels. When in doubt, please use at least 2 of the following methods to verify their identity:

1. Designated Email for business development and cooperation with DigiFinex: [email protected]

Please note: Our email is ([email protected]). We will never send you any emails first . Should you receive an email from the above address, they are likely to be sent from the scammer's spoof email address.

Verification method : Do NOT reply to the email, compose a new email to [email protected] and we will reply you to confirm.

2. DigiFinex official website: www.digifinex.com www.digifinex.vip

Please note: Other URLs with different top-level domains (such as .org or .net) are fake!

To verify:Visit coinmarketcap (https://coinmarketcap.com/), search for "DigiFinex", then click the official website link to enter.

3. DigiFinex official social media:

WeChat (official customer service account): digifinex06

Telegram (English): https://t.me/DigiFinexcn

Telegram (Chinese): https://t.me/DigiFinexEN

Twitter: https://twitter.com/digifinex

Please note:Only these official accounts are reliable, please do not trust any other unofficial accounts.

To verify: You can join our Telegram or WeChat group and contact our group admins (Please do NOT trust any admin who approach you first).

4. I have encountered a problem!

Please note: Please visit our correct official website before submitting your problem.To verify:Go to [DigiFinex official website] bottom right {contact customer service - submit a request} / [DigiFinex App] Tap on {My - submit a request}

If you discover any suspicious activities or scams under the impersonation of DigiFinex, please report to us directly.

The following are confirmed fraudulent (we will update this information):

Email:

[email protected] (scam email)

 

 

How do you rate this article?

2



The Layperson's Crypto
The Layperson's Crypto

The Layperson's Crypto is a blog designed to provide practical, hands on information to enhance the experience of novice cryptocurrency investors and traders.

Send a $0.01 microtip in crypto to the author, and earn yourself as you read!

20% to author / 80% to me.
We pay the tips from our rewards pool.