Free Bitcoin Accidentally Served Up by Japanese Exchange

A government-registered exchange in Japan experienced a system error that offered Bitcoin at zero-yen value, with seven customers managing to snag some free crypto.

The crypto atmosphere in Japan is rather tense after the whole Coincheck kerfuffle, where the exchange was robbed of $530 million in Bitcoin. As if that wasn’t enough of a downer, another exchange unintentionally offered free Bitcoin to its customers.

This time, it is government-registered exchange Zaif. Coincheck, on the other hand, was operating with provisional permission while awaiting approval.

For a period of 20 minutes, any user on Zaif was able to buy Bitcoin for a zero-yen value. Fortunately, the error was caught quickly, and no one had time to intentionally profit from it. Only seven customers were able to buy Bitcoin under these conditions.

A spokesperson told Reuters the exchange was able to stop the transactions as soon as it discovered the error, but it is still working on a problem with one of the customers, who attempted to remove the Bitcoin from the exchange.

It is important to note that Zaif was one of the operators that faced inspections after the Coincheck theft due to concerns regarding the security of its infrastructure. This particular incident may prompt Japanese government departments to look into regulating the local cryptocurrency market more tightly. At the very least, it will certainly reignite the conversation started by the Coincheck incident.

Last week, two cryptocurrency trade organizations in Japan met to discuss the formation of a self-regulating body for the market. The Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association and the Japan Blockchain Association are weighing a merger intended to help the local cryptocurrency space flourish and provide more investor protection.

Given the error at Zaif, authorities may begin asking whether self-regulation is enough to stop any future incidents like the Mt. Gox hack in 2014 and the more recent Coincheck theft.

The plot is getting thicker, and if these gaffes keep happening, there might be very little time left for exchanges to show that they can apply best practices to safeguard against cyber criminals.

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