Deribit, the Amsterdam-based cryptocurrency exchange, is learning from last week’s $1.3 million mistake.
That’s how much Deribit agreed to reimburse customers after an Oct. 31 flash crash triggered by an error in the exchange’s system for pricing bitcoin futures contracts.
CEO John Jansen said Wednesday in an interview that the company has since fixed the flaw and is planning further improvements to avoid a repeat. Deribit, which specializes in futures and options contracts on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, sees customer satisfaction and loyalty as crucial elements of its plan to occupy a leading spot in the fast-growing industry, he said.
The company made a quick decision to reimburse harmed customers because it was “the right thing to do,” Jansen said, while acknowledging that the question might have been more fraught had the cost been higher.
“We really don’t want this to happen again,” Jansen said. “This was like an expensive or maybe a cheap wake-up call.”
In last week’s flash crash, futures prices on Deribit plunged quickly to $7,720 from $9,150 before bouncing back. The exchange quickly published a blog post on its website attributing the drop to a “bug in our system,” adding an apology and stating that some $1.3 million had been paid to reimburse customers.
Futures prices on Deribit are linked to an index that compiles prices from multiple exchanges, and the calculation went awry when two of those exchanges simultaneously went offline.
“This all happened in, like, one and half minutes,” Jansen said. “The blame is on us.”
Most customer complaints have subsided, he said, now that the reimbursements have been paid out,