PDAX ready to face lawsuits

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX) said it is ready to face lawsuits from investors as users were locked out of their accounts after a glitch resulted in an outage last week.

In a virtual press briefing, PDAX founder and chief executive officer Nichel Gaba said the company would continue to address the 36-hour outage last Feb. 16 in accordance with the law, as well as the regulations of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

“I suppose users who are intending to file lawsuits were very upset. Everyone has the right to protect their rights the way they see fit. And as a company, PDAX is assuring the public that everything that we are doing and will continue to do will be in accordance with the law and the applicable regulations,” Gaba said.

PDAX decided to reverse orders of unfunded transactions that found their way into the trading platform last Feb. 16, affecting about 2,800 users accounts.

The exchange has asked users to return the bitcoins that were bought at P300,000 instead of the ongoing price of P2.3 million as the seller was not in the possession of the said cryptocurrency.

Likewise, users who were locked out of their accounts complained before the BSP about lost opportunities as the price of bitcoins hit all-time highs after breaching the $56,000 level.

“Regarding specific users, we are handling the cases in accordance with our duty as an exchange and we’re working in close coordination with our regulators to ensure that everything that we do is within the confines of the law and in full adherence with the BSP rules and guidelines,” Gaba said.

PDAX assured the public that its platform is now fully functional after conducting a systems maintenance check following a surge in cryptocurrency trading last week.

Gaba said the exchange has reactivated the users’ capabilities of cashing in and out in a trade, buying and selling, as well as the deposits and withdrawals of cryptocurrencies.

While a small portion of the user base (0.2 percent) remains unable to access their accounts, PDAX expects to complete all the system and user account restorations by Feb. 24.

However, because of added safety measures, PDAX will not yet be fully automated and users may still encounter delays.

“When we discovered that an unfunded order made it to the system, we took the exchange down to prevent that order from affecting other accounts,” Gaba said.

Gaba acknowledged the concern and anxiety that PDAX users felt during the downtime, but reiterated that the 36-hour system check was necessary to “protect them, the public, and the integrity of the market.”

PDAX, a cryptocurrency exchange, which began retail operations in 2019, has witnessed a steady increase in Filipinos’ interest in cryptocurrencies amid the pandemic. It experienced an increase in transactions up to 70 times its norm during the past 11 months and saw 15 times growth in users.

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