Coinbase, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency trading platform by volume, is hinting it may sue about 1,000 users in the republic of Georgia for taking advantage of a pricing glitch.
The glitch was a fault of a third party. Coinbase told CoinDesk then, without identifying the company. As such, the incident illustrates a longstanding concern of financial regulators. The risks posed to institutions by external part. Coinbase is working with law firm Gvinadze & Partners to assist in retrieving the improperly credited funds.
Run on ATMs
One bitcoin was trading for 5,000,000 to 6,000,000 lari, or around $1.7 million apiece, while the average price in late August was just 55,000 to 60,000 lari.
CoinDesk talked to four traders who took advantage of that pricing glitch on a group video call. They all said they had their bank accounts briefly frozen hours after they sold crypto for lari and withdrew fiat to their bank accounts. Several days later, the accounts and bank cards were unfrozen without any action from them.
However, on Sept. 24, all four received emails from Gvinadze & Partners saying that “Coinbase is determined to use any and all available legal means to recover improperly credited funds. Coinbase warned that if the users fail to respond to the email and return the money, legal action could be taken against them.
Coinbase did not confirm whether the exchange reached out to the Georgian banks asking to freeze traders’ accounts. Two of Georgia’s major banks, Bank of Georgia and TBC, froze the accounts of the users who took advantage of the glitch but then unfroze them.
A manager at a georgian immediately withdrew his profits into his Bank of Georgia account and hit a nearby ATM to double-check the money was available for him to withdraw.
Blockworks, a news site, cited a text message received by one of the traders from their bank. “Hello, we have marked your transactions with Coinbase as suspicious and we’re locking all your accounts and cards.
Neither of the two banks responded to CoinDesk’s request for comments by press time. Gvinadze & Partners also did not respond.