Singapore registered cryptocurrency exchange, Quoine, has been found to be guilty of wrongfully reversing seven trades placed by market maker B2C2 during April 2017, in the first-ever legal dispute regarding BTC, in Singapore. The ruling has been made after four months of proceedings. The Singapore International Commercial Court has found Quoine to be liable for a breach of contract and breach of trust as they had unilaterally reversed orders placed by UK-based market maker B2C2, almost two years ago.
The company had placed 12,617 ETH/BTC orders, on April 19, 2017. Only 15 of these were filled, including the seven orders that are the subject of the dispute with Quoine. The disputed trades dealt with orders to sell 309.25 ETH for BTC at between 9.99999 BTC and 10 BTC each. Other than the disputed trades, all other orders were executed at a price of approximately 0.04 BTC per ETH. On April 20, 2017, the trades were reversed, which led B2C2 to take legal measures against Quoine. The trial yielded in the recovery of approximately 3,085 BTC.
While the Singapore International Commercial Court has given its judgement in favour of B2C2, Quoine was not ordered by Judge Simon Thorley to transfer the 3,085 BTC in question as now; bitcoin is priced “substantially higher” than in April 2017.
The judge stated:
“When the bitcoin were originally credited to its account, the B2C2 software immediately began to hedge the proceeds by selling bitcoin … Before the trades were reversed, B2C2’s systems had sold slightly under one-third of proceeds on nine different exchanges.
He also said that repayment to B2C2 “would cause substantial hardship to Quoine which any potential difficulty in assessing damages does not outweigh.”
According to the reports of the Supreme Court of Singapore, Quoine has claimed that after 23:30:00 on April 19, 2017, its platform underwent a “technical glitch” which caused “the quoter program to cease working” and as such all orders on ETH/BTC “ceased to be available and no true market price was available.”
On April 19, 2017, when the quoter program was not working, B2C2 placed the seven disputed trades priced almost 250 times higher than the then-average price of ETH.
As the quoter program was being unable to “access all the data necessary to establish a true market price, it sought to do so by reference to … the data arising out of the plaintiff’s seven orders,” which caused leveraged traders’ positions to be liquidated. As no other orders were available, the program matched the liquidation orders with the plaintiff’s seven orders, which resulted in nearly 3092.52 BTC being credited to B2C2’s account in exchange for 309.25 ETH.