Have you ever dreamed about buying bitcoin for only $1,000, $100 or even just $10? What about a round at $0? Some fast and sharp eyed customers of the Japanese exchange Zaif had this opportunity just last week thanks to a bug in the system. The company isn’t going to let them get away with it however.
$20 Trillion Glitch
Zaif, a Japanese bitcoin exchange run by Tech Bureau Corp, has revealed that it had a brief system glitch which allowed clients to trade cryptocurrency for the very affordable price of 0 yen. The glitch, which affected Zaif’s price calculation system, lasted for 18 minutes from 5:40 p.m. to 5:58 p.m. local time on February 16.
The company announced on Tuesday that seven users obtained quantities of cryptocurrencies. One particularity ambitious trader apparently even tried buying bitcoin valued at 2,200 trillion yen (about $20 trillion USD) during the glitch and then quickly attempted to cash it out, according to a report by the second most popular national newspaper in Japan Asahi Shimbun.
The problem was reportedly fixed by 7:34 p.m. that same day. A Tech Bureau official also apologized to investors for the trouble and pledged to take measures to prevent further glitches.
Oops, No Deal!
After the bug was discovered in the system and the colossal mistake was made clear, Tech Bureau subsequently invalidated the zero cost transactions and returned the users’ balances to their previous states on the platform. However, it was still trying to resolve the issue with one customer who tried to transfer the bitcoins out of the exchange, a company spokesman told Reuters.
Tech Bureau Corp. is now subject to a Financial Services Agency (FSA) investigation into the safety of the system and other business practices. Its Zaif platform is one of only sixteen exchanges that were already fully licensed to offer services in the country by the government and was one of the original eleven venues that the FSA first approved in September of last year. The regulator recently announced that it is inspecting 32 cryptocurrency exchanges, including 16 that have not yet obtained a license but are currently under review.
Should we expect bitcoin exchanges and wallets to be bug-free or are such glitches inevitable? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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Author: Avi Mizrahi