Crypto exchange sells Bitcoin for 90% discount, threatens to sue buyers

A hand holding a Bitcoin that's been discounted.

One of Southeast Asia’s biggest crypto exchanges is bracing itself for legal fallout after it suspended thousands of accounts in the wake of a major outage earlier this month.

PDAX users thought they’d hit the jackpot when the platform started selling Bitcoin for just $6,000 — nearly 90% below its value at the time.

Sadly, it turns out the sale of the century was actually down to a glitch in PDAX’s system. Within 24 hours, the exchange started to lock users out of their accounts.

It even demanded some give the Bitcoin back, threatening those who refused with legal action.

[Read more: Academic proves Bitcoin exchange thefts affect Ethereum — 5 days later]

But now PDAX users are meeting legal fire with fire. They say they did nothing wrong, and by losing access to their accounts the exchange denied customers the opportunity to make the most of Bitcoin’s latest price surge.

Legal experts working on behalf of affected users reportedly say they have a case.

On the other hand, PDAX argues it’s well within its rights to lock accounts and reverse the transactions, which related to some 2,800 users — as it supposedly never actually had the crypto to sell.

It’s 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.

PDAX CEO Nichel Gaba

While the case is strange, there is something of a precedent in this area. Crypto exchange Quoine was found to be in breach of contract when it reversed seven trades from 2017 that it claimed were authorised by mistake.

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