Customers of the crypto lending service BlockFi got considerably more than they bargained for when what appears to have been a clerical error ended up in massive promotional campaign reward bitcoin (BTC) payments of over BTC 700 – which even in the current market slide represents a small fortune.
The issue appears to have taken place last week and over the weekend, during and in the lead-up to BlockFi’s March trading and stablecoin-related promotional campaigns, whereby some customers were promised bitcoin reward bonuses for trading target volumes before the end of the month. But something appears to have gone horribly wrong for the firm in what looks decidedly like a fat finger error, or perhaps a series of such mishaps.
Last week, Reddit users took to the forum to post claims about “generous” payments from BlockFi, with one posting a screenshot apparently showing a payment of a whopping BTC 701.4 (USD 28m).
Another recounted the tale of what “happened to my friend,” who thought he’d won BTC 5,” claiming that the offer “says promo, after all.”
But the gaffe is threatening to turn ugly, as BlockFi appears to be threatening to take legal measures in a bid to reclaim the funds.
The “friend” of the BTC 5 recipient was reportedly “able to move it,” but “now BlockFi is threatening” him to return it or face legal action.
The poster concluded by asking the pertinent question: “[Whose] BTC was he awarded?”
BlockFi has issued an official statement, posting to Reddit that “on May 17, 2021, fewer than 100 clients were incorrectly credited with cryptocurrency associated with a promotional payout that did not belong to them.”
BlockFi added that it has “contacted these clients and is working with them to rectify the issue.”
And it stated,
“F*** you, it’s my money. They can’t even look through the records to verify what they are talking about. My account with them is only one month old. It’s easy to see what went on. Great way to treat a new customer.”
On Twitter, the Sino Global Capital CEO Matthew Graham and others discussed the possible legal ramifications of the blunder, with some drawing parallels with similar-sounding fat finger cases from the banking sector. Graham conceded that “in practice,” it was “likely difficult to recover” mistakenly sent crypto funds.
No, completely wrong. This is very different situation as matter of law. Because in Citi case [would have to look u… https://t.co/rvAatRXoPU
— Matthew Graham (@mattysino)
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(Updated at 12:26 PM UTC with comments by Zac Prince.)