Korean Court Orders Crypto Exchange to Pay Customers Suffering From Service Outage

South Korea’s supreme court has upheld the ruling for Bithumb, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, to pay damages to more than a hundred customers who filed a lawsuit claiming they suffered financial losses resulting from the exchange’s service outage.

Bithumb Ordered to Pay Customers Over Service Outage

The South Korean supreme court has issued a final ruling in a case involving a service outage at Bithumb, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Yonhap reported.

The court has ordered Bithumb to pay damages totaling 251.4 million won ($203,120) to 132 investors who filed a lawsuit against the crypto exchange operator following the service outage, officials said Friday.

The plaintiffs claimed that they suffered financial losses due to steep price drops in a number of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin cash (BCH) and ethereum classic (ETC), on Nov. 12, 2017, when the service outage occurred. According to the lawsuit, during the service interruption, the average number of orders per hour doubled, causing transaction flows to significantly slow down.

BCH price chart showing a spike in price on Nov. 12, 2017.

A district court initially ruled in favor of Bithumb against the investors. However, the decision was subsequently overturned by an appellate court, which ordered Bithumb to pay damages ranging from 8,000 won to 8 million won to each of the 132 investors. The supreme court upheld this ruling Thursday.

According to the appellate court:

The burden or the cost of technological failures should be shouldered by the service operator, not service users who pay commission for the service.

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Do you think cryptocurrency exchanges should be held accountable for service outages that cause monetary losses to investors? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

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