The Los Angeles Lakers arena sponsoring and Matt Damon-endorsed cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com accidentally transferred $10.5 million AUD (~$7.2 million USD) to an Australian customer instead of issuing a standard $100 AUD (~$68 USD) due to a pretty unfortunate typo. According to Australian news outlet 7News (via CoinTelegraph), the exchange didn’t even notice the error until seven months later, and by that time, a portion of the money was already gone.
The initial transfer occurred in May 2021 after an employee accidentally typed an account number in the payment amount field. Crypto.com only realized the mistake when conducting an audit in December 2021.
Instead of reporting the incorrect refund to Crypto.com, the customer in question, Thevamanogari Manivel, reportedly transferred the cash to a joint account and spent $1.3 million AUD (~$890,526 USD) on a luxurious, five-bedroom home for her sister.
Now the company’s fighting to get its cash back with a lawsuit filed in the Victoria Supreme Court. As noted by The Guardian, Crypto.com successfully put a freeze on Manivel’s account in February. The court has also ordered Manivel to sell the home and return the money (with interest) to the exchange. The case will resume in court this October, and Crypto.com declined to comment on the situation.
A crypto winter isn’t the only reason why exchanges are losing money lately, I guess — fat-fingered errors are also an apparent threat. Earlier this week, the Solana-based decentralized exchange OptiFi vaporized $661,000 after a developer accidentally shut down the entire program powering the exchange using the fatal “solana program close” command. Now, the exchange is calling for a warning message when using the prompt to prevent similar situations going forward.