Cryptocurrency mining rigs are just PCs — so why won’t Stripe let you sell them?

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Cryptocurrency mining rigs are just PCs — so why won’t Stripe let you sell them?

Post by FrankNBeans » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:20 am

At the end of 2017, and the height of the cryptocurrency craze, Noah Katz decided to start a mining rig company called Artesian Future Technology. His plan was simple: he would make custom computers for people who didn’t have the time or know-how to do so on their own, but wanted to enter the wildly volatile field of cryptocurrency mining. However Katz’s offering quickly reached stratospheric prices: the basic computer he sold cost $1,899, but customers could fill it with GPUs sometimes costing upward of $47,990. These machines were listed on Katz’s website and eBay, where they were explicitly labeled as mining rigs. Those machines would then mine alternative cryptocurrencies, and in theory at least, eventually pay for themselves.

Katz’s business took off — he sold over 25 mining rigs in December and over 40 in January, with payments of $1,432.26 and $8,014.20 rolling into his PayPal account. But soon he ran into trouble with PayPal, which flagged his account for unknown reasons. He then moved to Stripe, which also flagged his account, citing his sale of “crypto-mining setups” as the reason why the platform withheld payments.

The issue seems to be entirely based on semantics. The computers Katz was selling were just custom desktop PCs, which could’ve just as easily been used for gaming. Artesian doesn’t accept payment via cryptocurrency, nor was it engaging in an initial coin offering to raise funds. Artesian Future Technology is set up as a separate business, and Katz says he pays taxes on it. And while Katz personally mines cryptocurrency, he says he keeps it separate from the business. The problem, according to Stripe, was simply that he was marketing his computers as cryptocurrency rigs, describing them as mining rigs for “alt-coins and supercomputing.” ... nst-stripe

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