This glitch could've destroyed Bitcoin, but it didn't

Zaif exchange had cryptocurrencies – including Bitcoin – available for free for approximately 18 minutes on February 16th. Fortunately, the mistake was mitigated. Fortunately, none of that "free" cryptocurrency was allowed to leave the exchange. One user essentially got as far as the front door with 2,200-trilion-Yen (approximately $20-trillion USD) worth of coins – but was stopped in the nick of time.

Osaka Japan-based company Tech Bureau Corp. reported the glitch in their cryptocurrency exchange Zaif on Tuesday, the 20th of February. That's several full days after the glitch was allowed to roll for what could've been a devastating 20 minutes. In the report, Tech Bureau Corp. suggested they'd invalidated the transactions that occurred during the glitch, and "corrected the user balances" therein.

The exchange hasn't been especially straightforward about the glitch on their own website, despite having informed the press. Instead, they've got one video up in a new news release – dated the same day the glitch was supposed to have happened. The video is very magical, and all should experience it as such.

One of several users who'd attained "free" Bitcoin attempted to resell the same day before the correction. Users reportedly found the sale on the market to be a bit odd, as it included over 2,000-trillion-Yen worth of coins. This sale did not go down, thank goodness – though it, too, would likely have been corrected after the glitch was found.

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The glitch took place from 5:40 PM to 5:58 PM (Japan time, GMT+9). The problem was reportedly fixed by 7:34 PM the same day. According to Asahi, a total of 7 users were able to obtain cryptocurrency on the exchange for "free." All seven user accounts were fixed the same day – or so says Zaif.

If Zaif hadn't caught the glitch when it went down, and even a single user got away with a portion of the "free" coins, the entire market could well have taken a hit – a legendary hit. If Zaif allowed even a small percentage of its full capacity for Bitcoin to be transferred out of their exchange without trade, there's no telling what the consequences on the entire industry might be. If not on the price of cryptocurrencies of all sorts, then on public perception of blockchain – whether or not it was well deserved.