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The Etsy website is a forum that has made it possible for many independent small business owners to flourish online, offering creative and homemade products that customers can find. However, a so-called “glitch” in their platform caused money to be withdrawn from the bank accounts of many users, clients, and sellers alike, over the weekend.

In an internal post from Etsy’s support team, the platform confirmed that the problem had been resolved, saying that a technical error caused the withdrawals, which will be returned to the accounts. However, there are a few issues.

First, the company does not give a clear timeframe of when the users can expect to see their funds returned to them. Also, the reimbursement is not going back into the bank accounts that they were withdrawn from; instead, they are being reimbursed to the virtual escrow service. To make matters worse, the federal holiday over the weekend has delayed the refunds even further.

The withdrawals happened in a range of amounts, with some seeing thousands of dollars deducted, and others seeing hundreds of dollars charged to their accounts. After the initial post from the support team, the company appears to be completely quiet on social media, refusing to reply to any of the angry and frustrated users of the online marketplace.

With these accounting problems arising for a mainstream selling website, which could easily be an error, an exit scam, or a hacking, this is an example of the role that internet platforms play as middleman. In the years before now, these platforms were the center of commerce and communication that was lauded by the public.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have an advantage here, considering that their senders have to explicitly give consent to make a payment, considering its push payment system. A pull system includes bank transfers and credit card payments, which is great for automatic charges, but there is a greater risk of misuse.

This downfall is perfectly exemplified within the Etsy debacle.

No matter what the cause of the withdrawal was, these false withdrawals are damaging and wrong. With many users losing their savings over the matter of a weekend, and sellers remaining exposed without access to the money they earned, there is many people wondering if Etsy is going to be true to its promises of returning the funds.

Perhaps users will consider their own storefront with the use of Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency in the future, where their wallets cannot be randomly withdrawn from.

The views and opinions expressed in the article Major Funds Withdrawn from Sellers and Clients on Etsy and No Money Has Been Returned do not reflect that of nor of its originally published source. Article does not constitute financial advice. Proceed with caution and always do your own research.

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