What started out as a normal trading day for some PDAX customers led to a favorable turn of fortune, or so it seemed. Their euphoria may have been short-lived by a harsh reality check as the Philippine-based exchange prepares to take legal actions.
Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX) suffered a flaw that led to bitcoin trading 88% below its actual price. The exchange reported that a surge in trading activity was the cause. At the time, bitcoin was trading north of $50k, but traders were able to scoop some for $6k.
Although PDAX halted operations to fix the glitch, it was a bit too late by then. Some users capitalized on the loophole and withdrew bitcoins out of the exchange.
To avert the massive loss, PDAX has asked traders to return its bitcoin or risk facing legal proceedings. Many users claim to have received messages to this effect.
It remains unclear how the legal proceedings will play for PDAX, with users rightly pointing out that traders’ actions are within the agreed terms and conditions.
A #Cryptocurrency exchange glitch at PDAX in Southeast Asia allowed crypto traders to buy Bitcoin for $6,100 & were able to withdraw the discounted BTC. They may face legal action unless they return it. But PDAX’s terms and conditions say orders are “final and irreversible.”
— Luke D. (@lukedalu) February 25, 2021
Bitcoin Whale Responsible For Glitch?
Large volume transactions have become the order of the day as bitcoin whales step up activity. Their mass transactions often indicate strong bullish signals unless they get hooked while at it.
Reports surfacing on social media led to strong suggestions that the entire fiasco occurred due to an error by a bitcoin whale. who allegedly sold 316,000 BTC for PHP 300k (about $6100) instead of the actual price of PHP 2.3 million ($47,000). This prompted PDAX to cease trading activity and temporarily shut out users.
Users Outraged By Inability To Access Accounts
PDAX’s attempt to control the situation turned out to be counterproductive as it sparked outrage from many users on social media. The downtime, which lasted for 36 hours, left customers furious as they could not access their accounts.
They expressed frustration due to missed trading opportunities and accrued losses from not being able to close positions.
Dear Pdax, until now accounts cannot be accessed. Multiple promised broken. Aside from the bitcoin issue, our money is trapped in your platform. @ANCALERTS @pdaxph @BangkoSentral https://t.co/b5aJemxDIS
— Caldero y Realonda vda de Dolomite (@mikel_pangan) February 22, 2021
PDAX Clears The Air
PDAX eventually released a comprehensive report addressing the issue. It claimed that an “isolated unfunded order” infiltrated its system and affected the account of its users. It explained further that it had tracked and rectified the glitch and was in the process of fully restoring users’ accounts.
Speaking in a press conference, PDAX CEO Nichel Gaba said:
“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, unfortunately.”
The BSP-licensed exchanged assured users that it will continue addressing their concerns and rendering support where necessary.