An exchange in Japan had a glitch that allowed customers to buy cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin for zero dollars. Japanese bitcoin exchange Zaif had a glitch in its system that allowed a customer to buy cryptocurrencies for nothing.
Japan is going through rough times with these bitcoin exchanges.
The glitch on the Zaif exchange lasted for 18 minutes on Feb. 16. This glitch allowed seven customers to buy bitcoin with the zero value. It was able to void the trades after it discovered what had occurred.
The glitch affected Zaif's price calculation system. Zaif is run by Tech Bureau which is one of 16 exchanges registered with the Japanese government.
Zaif is still having issues with one customer who was trying to transfer the bitcoin purchases that they made off the exchange. The reluctant user bought $20 trillion and was trying to cash it out. Bitcoin's market cap is just over $183 billion.
Zaif notified the public that this glitch had occurred four days later on Feb. 20. It told users that transactions had returned to normal. Zaif also took the opportunity to apologize to its customers and tell them that this would have no impact on other purchases.
Japan's Crypto Problems
Tech Bureau faced checks last month by Japanese regulators, who feared that the exchange may be vulnerable to attacks from hackers. At the end of last month, another Japanese cryptocurrency exchange was attacked.
Coincheck had about $534.8 million in NEM coins stolen around 3:00 a.m. local time. Coincheck says that the NEM coins were transferred to another account.
It added that the NEM coins were able to be stolen because the exchange stored them in a hot wallet - the coins were stored in a wallet linked to the internet. Cold storage would make it harder for hackers to steal the cryptocurrency because they're offline.
Japan has been friendly to cryptocurrencies but has also been trying to regulate the exchanges in order to protect consumers. It is currently trying to create regulation around the exchanges. The registered exchanges will create a self-regulatory body in April.
In 2014, Japan had the largest bitcoin exchange based in Tokyo Mt. Gox. It filed for bankruptcy after it lost 750,000 user bitcoins, and 100,000 of its own bitcoins. At the time this accounted for $480 million, but this was when the price of bitcoin was less than $1,000.