June 7, 2017

Improving Our Support Capacity

Poloniex Community,

Last month, we described the unprecedented growth and excitement in the blockchain community and how this exuberance can present operational challenges for exchanges. As this trend continues, we are doubling down on our efforts to expand and improve your experience on the Poloniex platform. We also want to remind our community to take caution when exchanging tokens in highly volatile markets and understand that unexpected events can have significant market effects. Please use the platform to trade responsibly and within your means.

Support Team

Increased enthusiasm for trading blockchain tokens on the Poloniex platform has led to increased stress on our systems. Heightened activity and new users mean more support tickets and man-hours spent resolving them. Thus, to meet this demand, we have more than doubled the size of our support team and will continue to focus our efforts toward improving user experience.

Hiring quality support staff is neither easy nor quick, especially in our line of business. Training must cover the technical and regulatory complexity of a rapidly evolving industry and community. We must also ensure the security of our system and operations at every level. This requires thorough and proper vetting of new staff.

Onboarding and Account Verifications

We mentioned new users, but we did not mention what is involved in onboarding or tier verification. As a registered money services business in the United States, we must be able to verify the identity of our users, the source of their funds, and the purpose of their transactions as they occur on our platform. If users want to move up a tier, they must provide more identifying information. This is required of us by law and we take our compliance obligations very seriously. As we scale our team, we are building a culture of compliance for our organization. To comply with our legal obligations, our current onboarding and verification process often requires some manual input. This takes time and resources, creating a support bottleneck.

We are aware of the negative impact these delays can have on Poloniex users. To address this, we have begun automating more aspects of our onboarding and account verification systems. Our hope is that with enterprise-grade service providers we have carefully vetted and procured, this particular backlog should lessen considerably, helping platform users have a better experience while their private information remains protected in line with our Privacy Policy.

Withdrawals/Awaiting Approval

We are legally required to know the identity of our users and to maintain strict controls over how funds leave our platform. In addition, our auditing system flags for specific activity to ensure the safety of your funds. While we cannot reveal precisely what triggers such flags without compromising the integrity of the system, we want to highlight how our efforts to keep our platform safe and secure can degrade the user experiences at times. For example, when our system flags an activity as suspicious, the ensuing investigation and resolution usually requires human intervention, which takes some time. As we gain more users, they naturally trigger more flags that require more of these slow human interventions, so more human resources are required to handle the volume.

Automation here is tempting to rush, but difficult to get right. Large financial institutions have spent years fine-tuning these functions. Our rapid growth does not permit us that luxury, but we can learn lessons from their operational successes. As we improve our support more generally, we can address these tickets faster. Users should start noticing incremental advances in the coming weeks.

As we implement these changes, we encourage our users to be patient and not submit repeat tickets. The vast majority of our open tickets consist of duplicates. Submission of repeat tickets only increases our backlog and does not get your ticket reviewed faster. Manual effort must be expended to identify, match, and consolidate tickets to ensure the issue has been addressed. Repeat submission needlessly slows resolution not only of your ticket, but of all other outstanding tickets.

We are successful when Poloniex users have the best experience possible, so it is with that in mind that we renew our commitment to improving the user experience on our platform. Look for more updates and announcements as we continue this process.

- The Poloniex Team