Dan.com
Namecheap
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This post is to review the Epik's Escrow payout process, and to make users aware while transacting with them to avoid the kind of loss I encountered. I am not commenting anything on Epik as a registrar, but their shady and unethical payout process. Here goes the case:

I sold a domain for $3120 to a buyer and decided to use Epik's Escrow Service to facilitate the transaction, considering the good image of @Rob Monster in the industry his goodwill among domainers. I usually use DAN for my escrow transactions and well aware of their crypto payout process so I was "What can go wrong" and this is where I got wrong.

The payout amount after their escrow fee turned out to be $2962. The deal was completed and then the vicious cycle of torture started at the time of payout.

- First of all, they do not have any "direct" payout method to send you the funds. They first deposit it in something called "masterbucks", which appears to be their own currency (is it even legit?) and you have to separately login and request a withdrawal request at masterbucks.com. Alright, I was not aware of it - my fault.

- After requesting the payout via crypto (Bitcoin) - they did not initiate the transaction. I contacted Epik after waiting for 2 days and they mentioned it might take some time. I waited more and finally on 4th day, they informed that the original transaction did not take place and they will re-send it again.

- They finally initiated a new transaction but to my surprise, the BTC amount was WAY lower to match with the payout amount at current rates. Upon enquiring, they informed that the BTC amount was LOCKED 4 days back, when Bitcoin's price were all time high, even though they did not initiate the transaction that time.

- Finally when I received the Bitcoin, the amount was 0.05182611 which equals to $2400 as per the rates at the time of deposit, which is $562 less than my payout amount.

Now my question to Rob and Team Epik is: Whose fault is it that the payout team did not initiate the transaction 4 days back? Why did they calculate the price of Bitcoin as per 4 days back but initiated the final transaction today itself?

To me, it looks like they are leveraging the Bitcoin's price at the expense of users loss. They just "Lock" the amount when Bitcoin's price is high and process the payout in next few days when they see the prices are dropped. As a user, why should I face the loss of $562 which is more than 15% of the whole transaction??

I know that crypto is volatile, and I'm ready to absorb the volatility of few hours, which is the maximum time it takes to process a withdrawal (hence I immediately convert Crypto to USD upon receiving). However, this here is simply a fraud by team Epik with the users using Bitcoin's volatility. Any user at Epik, should be careful about using their Escrow services.

Here's the Bitcoin Transaction for anyone to confirm WHEN it was initiated and what's it value: d56fd09eec099db209ad2564b1c73539d1cab3bf051c4a4ef3805c3b5ff1b0d9
 
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TLDR Version;

Epik "fixes" the payout amount in BTC at Bitcoin's high rates but doesn't send it deliberately. They hold it for days and wait for Bitcoin's price to drop, and send using old (high) rates, making profit from Bitcoin's volatility in the process and robbing users of their money.
 
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If you convert to USD immediately and you are not keeping it in btc, why not just bypass the crypto all together and have them send/deposit your money via another method?
I do it so that I can use it to spend at platforms that accept only crypto.

By USD, I meant USDT (A stable priced crypto-coin).
 
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Did you ask these questions before posting here?

It may have been an oversight that could have been resolved amicably.

Yes, I did. I have been constantly in touch with Epik (With ROB CCed in the mail), and also had requested them to cancel the transaction (while it was still cancellable) and send the complete amount, but they just sent the reduced amount with no further update.
 
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karmaco

Top Contributor
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While the payout might have been slow, I highly doubt they intentionally shorted you @Rob Monster @Jess Robison. I’ve seen other complaints but never about amount of payouts or payouts in general. Hopefully it can be resolved amicably for all.

I have only done a few transactions there but if you get usd to your bank you won’t have to worry about delays or btc volatility. For me its been in my bank 2 business days after the request which is pretty good. Afternic and GD you are going to wait alot longer than that.
 
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This is really a lovely way to start a Friday. :)

Comments here:

1. Masterbucks is an impressive piece of software evolving a very rapid rate with expanded support for a range of cryptos and also direct integration with popular money transmitters like Transferwise. The project has had 4 dedicated engineers on it for much of 2020 and into 2021. The behind the scenes mechanics of what it can all do is likely worthy of stand-alone venture backing.

2. Inside of the Masterbucks system, we give you the ability to convert your balance to be denominated in the currency of your choice. It is the easy way to rate-lock whatever you intend to redeem and it is available 24/7. When we do a disbursement into BTC, the rate is locked at the time of redemption. That was also the case here. The amount of BTC was fixed. The value of that BTC changed but the BTC number did not.

3. We are working on more process automation, including for cryptos. Right now, for BTC transactions below $100, the system auto-processes them. We actually have been covering all network fees, which at times can be a really onerous amount. For example, for this transaction, the BTC even with 20 sats was 0.00129309 or about $60. We covered all of that. We actually have been covering all network fees.

That being said, we were not flawless on this transaction. The original BTC order did not go out when it should have due to a technical issue. During that time, BTC dropped in value, because the seller redeemed during a steep run-up.

As for the post-fact review, I was given the details of this case last night by one of our Customer Success team members. I had not reviewed the case yet to see what can do here. I don't know this seller personally. He actually has zero domains with Epik and he does not use his real name in his user profile.

Long story short, we are not perfect. We don't claim to be. We are better than most, and we are building from there. We were one of the earliest adopter of cryptos as both a payment method and a disbursement method. I don't regret that choice. Occasionally the volatility goes our way. Sometimes we end up with an unhedged loss. We don't complain about. We just try to do the right thing in each case.

Anyway, we'll work out the matter privately with the seller.
 
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He actually has zero domains with Epik and he does not use his real name in his user profile

Interesting reply but I’m not sure why this matters or why you had to add that in your response.

So does that mean when I decide to use epik for their escrow in the future I have to be concerned with not having domains with epik?
 
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Interesting reply but I’m not sure why this matters or why you had to add that in your response.

So does that mean when I decide to use epik for their escrow in the future I have to be concerned with not having domains with epik?

It is relevant for a couple of reasons:

1. He did a crypto escrow redemption without being forced to complete an escrow KYC. The escrow manager for this transaction evidently concluded it was not needed. That was pretty gracious.

2. The case came to me last night. I called it a day at around 11 pm. I could have stayed up later to review this case. If I had his Skype or Telegram, I would likely have given him a quick chat.

As indicated, we paid out the correct amount of BTC. If BTC had gone up, I doubt we would have gotten a complaint but since BTC went down in the meantime, we did hear from him.

Believe it or not, despite growing to nearly 120,000 customer accounts, we actually know a lot of our customers, particularly folks who do escrow transactions.

I did reach out to this seller privately, and I imagine we'll settle the matter but in case not aware, I have very little time for fools or thugs. Assuming he is neither, I bet it works out fine.
 
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This is really a lovely way to start a Friday. :)
I had asked for your respected approval to post it on Namepros 24 hours prior to posting it. :)


When we do a disbursement into BTC, the rate is locked at the time of redemption. That was also the case here.
If that was true, all I have been asking is the transaction ID of Bitcoin. If Epik REALLY did a disbursement into BTC 4 days back, just provide this forum the transaction ID dated 4 days back, and I'll gladly consider this case to be of slight carelessness rather than a planned leverage by the payout team.


I was given the details of this case last night by one of our Customer Success team members.
With all respect, I had CCed you from the very first email that I sent two days back. Not that it matters but I'd be happy to provide the screenshots here in case members want to see.


He actually has zero domains with Epik and he does not use his real name in his user profile.

I'm pretty unimpressed with your statement. I already started my post with "I am not commenting anything on Epik as a registrar" so it's looking a rather funny attempt from your side to discredit a genuine escrow user just because of him having no domains at Epik's registrar arm.

Moreover, The Epik account was created way back by a team member of mine, and I didn't even remember what details were there. I'd be glad to provide any details, including real name or do KYC, should been asked but it was never asked/required to process the payout so I wasn't even aware of it.


We were one of the earliest adopter of cryptos as both a payment method and a disbursement method. I don't regret that choice. Occasionally the volatility goes our way. Sometimes we end up with an unhedged loss. We don't complain about.

I appreciate all entities who adopt crypto (one of the reason I used Epik Escrow). However I'm positive you must have a system that converts your stored funds from Fiat to crypto (and vice versa) at the time of transaction at the current market price so there should be no big unhedged losses but anyway, that's not my territory to comment.


We actually have been covering all network fees, which at times can be a really onerous amount. For example, for this transaction, the BTC even with 20 sats was 0.00129309 or about $60. We covered all of that. We actually have been covering all network fees.
I have seen you touting about bearing the network fee, both here and in the Email, which honestly does not look graceful. You can charge the network fee to the user if that helps process the transaction quickly. As a matter of fact, if you'd have charged those $60 (or even more) to me, I'd be happy to bear it. $60 certainly beats the loss of $562.

If you are open to improvements, especially when your crypto adaptability is best in the industry, one suggestion is to provide an option of USDT coin with the TRC20 network. It is not only blazing fast (takes 30 seconds to transfer) while having a flat $1 fee for any amount. Users who'd want to be unaffected with the volatility, can choose this as crypto payout.


Anyway, we'll work out the matter privately with the seller.

I have responded to your mail to work it out. Thank you for your time.
 

Samer

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I had asked for your respected approval to post it on Namepros 24 hours prior to posting it. :)



If that was true, all I have been asking is the transaction ID of Bitcoin. If Epik REALLY did a disbursement into BTC 4 days back, just provide this forum the transaction ID dated 4 days back, and I'll gladly consider this case to be of slight carelessness rather than a planned leverage by the payout team.



With all respect, I had CCed you from the very first email that I sent two days back. Not that it matters but I'd be happy to provide the screenshots here in case members want to see.




I'm pretty unimpressed with your statement. I already started my post with "I am not commenting anything on Epik as a registrar" so it's looking a rather funny attempt from your side to discredit a genuine escrow user just because of him having no domains at Epik's registrar arm.

Moreover, The Epik account was created way back by a team member of mine, and I didn't even remember what details were there. I'd be glad to provide any details, including real name or do KYC, should been asked but it was never asked/required to process the payout so I wasn't even aware of it.




I appreciate all entities who adopt crypto (one of the reason I used Epik Escrow). However I'm positive you must have a system that converts your stored funds from Fiat to crypto (and vice versa) at the time of transaction at the current market price so there should be no big unhedged losses but anyway, that's not my territory to comment.



I have seen you touting about bearing the network fee, both here and in the Email, which honestly does not look graceful. You can charge the network fee to the user if that helps process the transaction quickly. As a matter of fact, if you'd have charged those $60 (or even more) to me, I'd be happy to bear it. $60 certainly beats the loss of $562.

If you are open to improvements, especially when your crypto adaptability is best in the industry, one suggestion is to provide an option of USDT coin with the TRC20 network. It is not only blazing fast (takes 30 seconds to transfer) while having a flat $1 fee for any amount. Users who'd want to be unaffected with the volatility, can choose this as crypto payout.




I have responded to your mail to work it out. Thank you for your time.

Hopefully if it gets resolved, you can edit the title before it’s too late. Thanks @Rob Monster. Everyone is telling you otherwise :)

Epik is the best! Thanks Rob. Keep innovating.

Really? Emphasis on ROBBED.
 
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Rob should be able to provide you with a ledger of the transaction - showing the dates that different payments were completed. I would ask for that.
Unfortunately, he isn't. I asked multiple times from the support team, to Rob, to their country brand ambassador but nobody was able to provide me the original ledger transaction ID.
 
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Hopefully if it gets resolved, you can edit the title before it’s too late. Thanks @Rob Monster. Everyone is telling you otherwise :)

Epik is the best! Thanks Rob. Keep innovating.

Really? Emphasis on ROBBED.

I'm not seeing the option to edit the title. I'd do if I could.

For what it might worth, I have no personal grudge against Rob or Epik, and I'm sure they must be great in their other operations, such as being a registrar, but I was disappointed how this particular escrow payout was handled. Nothing more, nothing less.
 

Intelliname

Lifting people up is what we do...
Epik.com Staff
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Epik "fixes" the payout amount in BTC at Bitcoin's high rates but doesn't send it deliberately. They hold it for days and wait for Bitcoin's price to drop, and send using old (high) rates, making profit from Bitcoin's volatility in the process and robbing users of their money.

No personal grudge? You started off by literally making libelous claims accusing Epik of near-criminal activity, utilizing your own limited scope and experience as the baseline to make ridiculous claims. Against one of the most accessible executive teams in the industry no less, that has a noted history of rising to every occasion it can to protect others. This is offensive given the reality of Epik's track record and history of support, and the priority placed upon every customer in our pathway. This world is becoming broken in its intentional creation of drama, deceptive narratives, and the apparent desire to take every perception and opportunity it can and smear it into the public spectrum for kicks. "Hey no offense, but I think you are duping every one by playing financial games to reduce customer incomes... but no offense meant!".

We need a reset alright, maybe starting with some humility, dignity, compassion, and personal truth. Hardship and fear is one thing. Orchestrated hit jobs for kicks though... no way to live a life that is worth remembering. Thank you for actively going out of your way to call Epik thieves! Going through your post history, it seems like the action comes very, very easy for you.
 
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No personal grudge? You started off by literally making libelous claims accusing Epik of near-criminal activity, utilizing your own limited scope and experience as the baseline to make ridiculous claims. Against one of the most accessible executive teams in the industry no less, that has a noted history of rising to every occasion it can to protect others. This is offensive given the reality of Epik's track record and history of support, and the priority placed upon every customer in our pathway. This world is becoming broken in its intentional creation of drama, deceptive narratives, and the apparent desire to take every perception and opportunity it can and smear it into the public spectrum for kicks. "Hey no offense, but I think you are duping every one by playing financial games to reduce customer incomes... but no offense meant!".

We need a reset alright, maybe starting with some humility, dignity, compassion, and personal truth. Hardship and fear is one thing. Orchestrated hit jobs for kicks though... no way to live a life that is worth remembering. Thank you for actively going out of your way to call Epik thieves! Going through your post history, it seems like the action comes very, very easy for you.

I didn't know Epik would require their staff members to divert from the topic and to retort to personal attacks. I have been trying to discuss the matter and reaching to the root of the issue, but thank you for coming in front to show the world what kind of staff Epik hires, and kind of remarks they make.

Also, thank you for making Rob a god-like figure, which I'm sure, he must be for you but you're translating it into a free-pass to sweep all issues under the rug. I'd have welcomed you if you'd have countered any "Fact" about this case carrying the "Epik Staff" badge but If you are having to justify a mis-doing and a loss to user by portraying rob's godlike aura, it says much about the "Customer Friendly" approach.

"Orchestrated jobs", "no way to live a life that is worth remembering", and personal stalking, say more about you than me brother but let the world see. I neither had, nor have any intentions of making it personal against rob or anyone, though you seem to have exactly doing it.

Oh and BTW, nice move for threatening me into Inbox also. Very customer centric!

Before this, I had high regards for Epik's employees - even the ones who were from the support team, were always polite during their conversation but this is something really eye opening.

I'l wait for Rob's response.
 
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No personal grudge? You started off by literally making libelous claims accusing Epik of near-criminal activity, utilizing your own limited scope and experience as the baseline to make ridiculous claims. Against one of the most accessible executive teams in the industry no less, that has a noted history of rising to every occasion it can to protect others. This is offensive given the reality of Epik's track record and history of support, and the priority placed upon every customer in our pathway. This world is becoming broken in its intentional creation of drama, deceptive narratives, and the apparent desire to take every perception and opportunity it can and smear it into the public spectrum for kicks. "Hey no offense, but I think you are duping every one by playing financial games to reduce customer incomes... but no offense meant!".

We need a reset alright, maybe starting with some humility, dignity, compassion, and personal truth. Hardship and fear is one thing. Orchestrated hit jobs for kicks though... no way to live a life that is worth remembering. Thank you for actively going out of your way to call Epik thieves! Going through your post history, it seems like the action comes very, very easy for you.

First I thought that this reply is coming from an Epik fan or an Epik employee in disguise, but now I see that you ARE indeed an Epik employee :) I think your answer is neither professional, nor customer-friendly. You know, customer is always right (even if they aren't). If you think they are not right or if they are acting in a way that pisses you off, then you, as a staff member, need to act in a professional way, either by not participating in the conversation or answering politely. Not just because we are human and this should be the best way to handle things, but because you can alienate other customers from Epik. I get that you might think webm's post is unfair or even hostile, I don't know the details behind this transaction, so maybe you're right, but you need to understand that he's angry because of the error made by Epik staff.
 
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I really don't like how you titled this thread, seems Epik worked well in closing your transaction, you chose to take your funds in a fast moving unstable currency, that is your choice, had the currency gone up would you be complaining then, hold it a week, it might just go back up. Don't ruin the reputation of a good business over a small misunderstanding. Your transaction concluded, and you were paid, so how exactly were you robbed, because bitcoin took a plunge on sunday night?
 

Samer

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I really don't like how you titled this thread, seems Epik worked well in closing your transaction, you chose to take your funds in a fast moving unstable currency, that is your choice, had the currency gone up would you be complaining then, hold it a week, it might just go back up. Don't ruin the reputation of a good business over a small misunderstanding. Your transaction concluded, and you were paid, so how exactly were you robbed, because bitcoin took a plunge on sunday night?
hope Mods edit solved something more benign
Might as well be Title “hitjob” to ROB epik >.<
 
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so how exactly were you robbed, because bitcoin took a plunge on sunday night?

..Because Epik "Confirmed" they had sent BTC payout 4 days back when infact they had not sent. Had they sent it when they said they did, I'd receive it that day's price itself. What's hard to understand here? Or are you just trying to divert from the core of the issue?
 
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It is relevant for a couple of reasons:

1. He did a crypto escrow redemption without being forced to complete an escrow KYC. The escrow manager for this transaction evidently concluded it was not needed. That was pretty gracious.

2. The case came to me last night. I called it a day at around 11 pm. I could have stayed up later to review this case. If I had his Skype or Telegram, I would likely have given him a quick chat.

As indicated, we paid out the correct amount of BTC. If BTC had gone up, I doubt we would have gotten a complaint but since BTC went down in the meantime, we did hear from him.

Believe it or not, despite growing to nearly 120,000 customer accounts, we actually know a lot of our customers, particularly folks who do escrow transactions.

I did reach out to this seller privately, and I imagine we'll settle the matter but in case not aware, I have very little time for fools or thugs. Assuming he is neither, I bet it works out fine.

No personal grudge? You started off by literally making libelous claims accusing Epik of near-criminal activity, utilizing your own limited scope and experience as the baseline to make ridiculous claims. Against one of the most accessible executive teams in the industry no less, that has a noted history of rising to every occasion it can to protect others. This is offensive given the reality of Epik's track record and history of support, and the priority placed upon every customer in our pathway. This world is becoming broken in its intentional creation of drama, deceptive narratives, and the apparent desire to take every perception and opportunity it can and smear it into the public spectrum for kicks. "Hey no offense, but I think you are duping every one by playing financial games to reduce customer incomes... but no offense meant!".

We need a reset alright, maybe starting with some humility, dignity, compassion, and personal truth. Hardship and fear is one thing. Orchestrated hit jobs for kicks though... no way to live a life that is worth remembering. Thank you for actively going out of your way to call Epik thieves! Going through your post history, it seems like the action comes very, very easy for you.

Just give the guy the ledger of the transaction that shows the dates when different payments were completed and call it a day ... otherways this thread will become another 99 page BS story ...
 
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For folks who are new to Bitcoin, keep in mind that network fees can be extraordinarily high.

For example, right now, to do a fast turn of 2 hours on .051 BTC from Coinbase Commerce would cost more than $300 in network fees. No joke:

upload_2021-2-26_9-28-4.png


To avoid sky high network fees, we tend to use lower SATS than that and be a bit more strategic about when the BTC is paid out. The important thing is that the amount of BTC is fixed and known.

There is a useful analogy here. If someone buys a coin from a coin dealer on Sunday and then coin arrived on Wednesday, would you complain to the coin deal if the market price went down? Doubtful.

Our legal requirement was to deliver a set amount of BTC. We did that. We even covered a $60 network fee. We owe nothing here. That said, we might help out here, but there is no obligation whatsoever.

In the meantime, the client and I have exchanged emails. I have invited a phone call but apparently his phone does not work until Monday so we'll speak when his phone works. :)
 
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