BTC Accidental Airdrop

Maja Mazur
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South Korean Exchange accidentally gave away 5 million USD worth of Bitcoin to its users. The request for them to return it was mostly ignored, as it might’ve been predicted. Only some people agreed to return the assets.

New marketing

Recently, air drops have become one of the most popular and appreciated events in the cryptocurrency world. An airdrop​ ​is​ ​a marketing strategy based on distributing free coins or tokens by a blockchain project or a cryptocurrency exchange. Commonly, the digital assets are given away through various platforms, and the only condition is to own a certain type of wallet, a certain type of crypto, or just to join a Telegram group. But sometimes, something goes wrong.

The mistake

On Monday, 21st January, a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinzest, sent its customers BTC while trying to airdrop WGT tokens. The mistake was noticed almost right away and the exchange published a statement on its website:

“The WGT token airdrop process caused a computer error that incorrectly reflected the deposit details of some customers’ assets (…) we took measures to immediately check the server to prevent any additional damage as a result of the sales and purchases of some misappropriated assets by some customers.”

The exchange was supposed to distribute 30,000 World Game Token (WGT), but due to data processing problems, BTC was airdropped instead.

The repercussions

The unexpected airdrop caused a rapid price fallings. For example, the price of BTC went down from over 4 million won to 999,000 won (around 883 USD). After noticing the problem, Coinzest team immediately suspended all transactions and started the server checkup. The trading was restored the next day. The users that received additional assets were asked to return them. Some of them promised that they would. Some ignored the message and withdrew the money from their accounts. It is yet to be calculated how many of the airdropped BTC is gone from Coinzest forever.

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