PDAX eyes full restoration of platform

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX) has invalidated orders of unfunded transactions as it vowed to restore full access to all investors a week after its platform was hit by a major outage.

Nichel Gaba, founder and chief executive officer at PDAX, said an isolated unfunded order found its way onto the system last Feb. 16 and affected the accounts of other users.

“We identified and invalidated the order and the subsequent chain of unfunded transactions,” Gaba said in a statement.

He said PDAX is in the process of restoring the affected accounts back to their original balance before the incident.

“We have already restored 95 percent of the accounts and expect to complete the rest by Feb. 22. Our priority is to minimize further risks and preserve the integrity of the Filipino Crypto Trading Market by ensuring the assets of our users remain whole, safe and secure,” Gaba said.

The trading platform of PDAX has been experiencing significant maintenance issues since Tuesday last week after it was hit by an unprecedented surge in transactions that jumped over 70 times over the past few months as the price of bitcoins continued to hit record highs.

Gaba said the incident is not unique to PDAX as Coinbase and Kraken also experienced outages amid the massive shifts in online financial behavior amid the ongoing   pandemic.

This prompted PDAX to suspend the system to prevent issues and to find and isolate the problem, a process that took 36 hours.

“This is quite a long time for a trading platform to be down and is very frustrating to our clients who couldn’t access their accounts during that period. We are very sorry it took that long, but this happened suddenly and had to be addressed right away to safeguard users accounts and protect the integrity of the market,” Gaba said.

The incident that prompted PDAX to go on maintenance mode reportedly involved a seller who erroneously uploaded 316,000 bitcoins at P300,000 each instead of the P2.3 million price at that time. It was not clear whether investors were able to transact successfully at the price of P300,000.

The price of bitcoins continues to soar, hitting new all-time highs after breaching the $55,000 level.

Gaba said PDAX intends to triple its workforce by next month to further improve its services amid the unprecedented surge in transactions.

“Over the next two months, we will be closely examining our corrections to ensure that every transaction made on the PDAX system is safe, accurate, and compliant,” Gaba said.

The virtual currency exchange also vowed to work closely with regulatory agencies, particularly the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier earlier told The STAR the regulator is now evaluating the report on the incident submitted by PDAX. “We’re closely monitoring,” Fonacier said.

The BSP has issued several advisories cautioning the public about the higher speculative and volatile cryptocurrencies, particularly bitcoins that could result in huge financial losses.


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