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Trader tries to take off with US$20 trillion of Bitcoin after crypto exchange glitch

A trader tried to execute a US$20 trillion order following a glitch on Zaif, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange.

Reuters reports that a glitch in Zaif’s site allowed investors to buy Bitcoin for free during an 18-minute period last week.

Zaif voided the trades after the error was discovered, but not before a few cheeky customers tried to make off with some profits.

According to Japanese outlet The Asahi Shimbun (yes, the beer company publishes newspapers too), one trader attempted to buy and then resell a crazy amount of Bitcoin valued at US$20 trillion.

What makes this very strange is that all the Bitcoin in the world is currently worth about US$180 billion.

Even if we mined the remaining 4.1 million Bitcoins that will ever exist (there’s a hard limit of 21 million and we have about 16.9 million now), in today’s prices the total market cap of Bitcoin would be around US$223 billion.

So either the glitch caused the trillion-dollar grab, or the trader is plain stupid.

Quietly making off with a sale of a couple of hundred Bitcoin would have made a lot more sense. Having said that, we do not endorse stealing cryptocurrency or ripping people off.

Zaif is registered with the Japanese government along with 15 other exchanges in the country. The government is making an effort to regulate the burgeoning cryptocurrency market and prevent traders from being scammed.

As you can see below, Zaif also runs a very modest marketing campaign which educates people to invest in crypto wisely. Most crypto investors know all too well the feeling of crashing the unveiling of a Renaissance painting and taking place in an impromptu street parade, am I right?

The timing for the glitch is not good given that Japanese exchanges were already facing scrutiny after the theft of $540 million worth of NEM coins from the Coincheck exchange.

Regulatory crackdowns in China, India and Korea along with the spread of hacks and scams across the globe have caused the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to tumble in the past few months.

Bitcoin reached an all-time high of about US$20k in December 2017 and is currently trading at around US$10k.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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