Those who transact with crypto know it can be nerve-racking to send or receive funds, especially if you don’t have much experience. It can be tedious to ensure you are on the suitable blockchain or have the correct address. Sometimes companies like Crypto.com make mistakes too.
This time they fumbled with the bag with a simple error by refunding the incorrect amount to a customer. Imagine checking your bank account to find out it now contains millions of dollars right out of the blue. Let’s break down what happened with the mishandled millions.
Crypto.com is a well-known crypto exchange based out of Singapore, and they are one of the world’s fastest-growing crypto apps. However, many don’t know that before it became Crypto.com, it started as a company in Hong Kong in 2016. After that, they operated under Monaco until 2018, when they acquired the crypto.com domain and changed names.
Now 50 million users later with worldwide adoption, the platform is a one-stop shop where one can buy and sell over 250 cryptocurrencies at actual cost. In addition, they tout that they are the world’s fastest, most secure crypto exchange and even offer a visa card with up to 5% back. Now, that provides some excellent customer value but nothing like what went on down under.
Now That’s What I Call A Deposit
Australia’s 7 News outlet reported that Thevamanogari Manivel is the woman who mistakenly received the funds. For the Melbourne resident, it started as a simple $100 refund request. Ultimately it turned into a 10.5 million AUD exchange where millions were deposited into her account by mistake. How does this even happen? The account number had been entered as the payment amount in this case. That’s a lot of numbers, a costly error indeed.
To set the stage, we go back to May 2021, when BTC dropped about 35% on the month. Around this time is where we started to trend our way down until things peaked again in October later that year. It’s the same month when Manivel received the mass amount of funds into her bank account. May 12, 2021, to be exact. So, in theory, rectifying the issue would be a quick fix. However, the problem was that Manivel wasted no time. By December 2021, an audit discovered the mistake. By then, she had already moved funds into different accounts and spent much of the money.
One of the mega purchases was a five-bedroom, $1.3 million mansion. The luxury dwelling was in Craigie, a former mining town in Western Australia. Manivel then involved her sister, Thilagavathy Gangadory, by putting the home in her name. Manivel’s daughter Raveena Vijian became roped in when she received AUD 430,000 in her bank account. Of course, it resulted in legal action against Gangadory and Vijian.
It isn’t the first time something like this has happened in crypto. BlockFi and Alechemix have been through it too. Last September, Compound dispersed close to $90 million in COMP to various accounts it did not intend to. In this instance, it was due to an issue with the code when the protocol went through an upgrade. Compound CEO Robert Leshner even offered 10% to those who returned the funds.
Default Judgement/What’s Next
A default judgment is reached when a party does not show up or respond to the case. As a result, and in this case, the plaintiff is usually awarded the victory. The judge presiding over the case has ordered Manivel to pay Crypto.com 1.35 million AUD and sell her property. If it wasn’t bad enough, Manivel must also pay interest of $27,000.
As Mat Damon says in the crypto.com ad, “history is filled with almosts,” These three almost got away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling end-of-year audits. Unfortunately, mistakes like this happen, and when they do, they usually become discovered at some point. With crypto being new territory, will more safeguards be in place to protect companies and their users? Time will only tell if industry standards move towards incentivizing the return of funds with monetary rewards.