Court Rules Bithumb Must Pay Damages to 190 Customers Over ‘Computer Errors’
A South Korean appeals court has ruled that the crypto exchange Bithumb is liable for damages in the case of a group of traders who missed out on trading gains due to “computer errors.”
Per Newsis, the verdict was issued by a branch of the Seoul High Court. The case dates back to 2017 and involves a group of 190 Bithumb customers who said that they were unable to make trades on the exchange’s platform for almost an entire day.
The court heard that as trading volumes increased dramatically on Bithumb from 10 PM on November 11, a series of errors began to occur on the platform. By 3 PM the next day, over 50% of attempted customer actions on the platform failed, with customers receiving error messages almost every time they tried to execute a transaction. At this point, Bithumb announced that it was experiencing “computer problems” and suspended all trading – before eventually resuming trading at 5:31 PM the same day.
The customers later banded together to launch a civil lawsuit against the platform, claiming that they had been left out of pocket after failing to make the trades they had attempted to make. As the fault was on the side of the exchange, they argued, Bithumb should pay compensation.
The group of customers was denied at the first attempt, with a lower court ruling in favor of Bithumb. But the customers decided to appeal the verdict, claiming they had suffered financial and emotional damages – and stating that Bithumb did not fulfill its obligation to provide stable services.
The appeals court agreed that there was no evidence to suggest that Bithumb had been negligent in its attempts to prevent server errors and “computer-related problems.”
But the appeals court ruled that Bithumb had caused “anxiety” and “frustration” for customers who could not execute trades and suffered “shock” as prices fell while they were desperately attempting to trade coins.
The court calculated damages on an individual basis, awarding payouts that ranged in size from over USD 7,400 to just USD 6.
Both parties could still decide to appeal the verdict at the Supreme Court, although neither set of lawyers have yet indicated an intention to appeal.
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