Japanese exchange gave out free bitcoins to seven users by mistake

A user apparently tried to buy $20 trillion worth of bitcoin when a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange witnessed a bug and the price of a single Bitcoin went to $0. Seven users tried to abuse this bug in the system, however, all of their transactions were cancelled later on.
Japanese crypto-exchange Zaif accidentally allowed customers to acquire bitcoins for free on their platform. The exchange admitted that their price circulation system had undergone a problem on February 16th. The system bug lasted for about 18 minutes. During this time, cryptocurrencies were apparently available at a price of zero yen per token.

Given the size of the cryptocurrency market, the 18 minute window obviously did not go unnoticed. The exchange revealed that seven users took advantage of the bug and obtained bitcoins for free. Zaif further stated that these ‘users’, however, will not be benefiting from their illicit purchases.

The exchange’s statement issued on February 20th reported that they have already cancelled the zero cost transactions. The bug was fixed within the next couple of hours after these sales took place. The users’ balances were returned to their original values on the platform. However, one of these seven transactions was not so easy to deal with.

Apparently, one ‘buyer’ was enthusiastic enough to attempt buying bitcoins worth $20 trillion. Interestingly, even bitcoin's entire market capitalization does not amount to this huge number. The news of this massive sell-off soon came all over the media, making Zaif take action against it.

Zaif is still working to resolve the aftermath of these illicit transactions. The exchange’s parent company apologized for the inconvenience and assured that it is working to improve their services. Zaif’s users still did not hold back in criticizing the company for their inefficient back-end performance.

This major blunder has made Japanese cryptocurrency traders concerned about the overall health of the crypto-industry in the country. Just last month, a Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck experienced an enormous hack. About $530 million worth of NEM coins were stolen in the attack, affecting almost every user on the exchange's platform.

Another factor that adds to traders’ concern is that Zaif is among 16 of the government registered Japanese exchange companies. Even Coincheck was a government-approved exchange waiting for its full registration. The country currently has 16 official crypto-exchanges and is reviewing another 32 as well.

Japan has adopted a less stern policy towards cryptocurrency trading, as compared to the Chinese and Indian crackdowns. Fully licensed exchanges in Japan will be forming a self-regulatory body in April. This body will be under supervision of Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSS), as reported by Reuters. Tech Bureau-owned Zaif is also currently facing investigation by this agency.