TOKYO (Reuters) – A blunder at a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange let investors briefly buy bitcoins for free – though none were able to profit from the mistake.
Zaif, a government-registered exchange run by Osaka-based Tech Bureau Corp, said on Tuesday that a system glitch had let seven customers buy bitcoin with no yen value during a 20-minute window last week.
The exchange voided the trades after discovering the error, which happened on Feb. 16 – though it was still trying to resolve the issue with one customer who tried to transfer the knock-down bitcoins from the exchange, a spokesman told Reuters.
Zaif’s operator had already faced checks after last month’s theft of $530 million in digital money from Coincheck Inc, with regulators fearing its systems were at risk from cyber-attacks.
The latest flub could draw further attention to security and systems at cryptocurrency exchanges, which were already under scrutiny in the wake of the Coincheck heist. The theft also drew into question Japan’s system of overseeing exchanges.
Zaif is one of 16 exchanges registered with the government, which last year allowed a further 16 – including Coincheck – to continue operating pending full registration.
The registered exchanges will form a self-regulatory body from April, sources have told Reuters. They had originally planned to merge two existing industry bodies representing both registered and unregistered exchanges.