Philippine Digital Assets Exchange (PDAX), a leading crypto exchange in Philippine and Southeast Asia, experienced a major technical glitch that caused the price of Bitcoin to drop by a whopping 88% to around $6100 on February 16. This massive drop in price was capitalized on by an “unknown number of customers” who bought thousands of the crypto asset from the exchange at that discount price, which, theoretically, made them local currency billionaires on paper.
Unsurprisingly, some of these users had moved their purchased Bitcoin to other wallets, with some maxing out the exchange’s limit on individual accounts of one BTC per 24 hours. However, PDAX has now begun demanding that these users refund the Bitcoin purchased during the glitch or face legal actions.
The Philippine-based exchange was also forced to close trading activities on the platform for close to 36 hours, with several users still claiming to be “locked out of their accounts.
It's been 8 days and I can't access my account. Bumaba na ang BTC at ETH. I lost the chance to sell when the prices went up. Buong araw 6 accounts pa lang naayos nila.
— Ross Domingo (@RossDomingo2) February 23, 2021
Nichel Gaba, the chief executive officer of PDAX, said that the “the burden placed on the exchange by a flurry of unanticipated activity introduced a glitch that allowed an unfunded order to be matched with a funded order.”
He also added that
It is very understandable that a lot of users will feel upset they were able to buy what they thought an order was there for Bitcoin at very low prices. But unfortunately, the underlying Bitcoins were never in the possession of the exchange, so there’s never really anything there to be bought or sold.
He concluded by saying only a minute number of their users were still unable to access their accounts.
One user has however taken the lawsuit threat seriously and is requesting for advice through Reddit. The user admits that he was able to capitalize on the glitch to get the crypto king for a fraction of its true worth but he is wondering if he is legally required to return the Bitcoin.
According to him, he received a message from PDAX requesting him to return the bought BTC or face legal actions. His request has generated a mishmash of opinions with some advising him to return the asset while others urge him to hold it.