One of the top-ranked digital currency apps, Crypto.com is currently seeking a refund of US$ 7.2 million (AUD 10.5 million) that was accidentally transferred to a woman in Melbourne in May 2021. This was due to an error made while the platform was trying to refund her AUD 68. The employee that was saddled with the responsibility of refunding her typed her account number in the field where they were supposed to type the amount to be refunded. Consequently, the user received a total amount of 10,474,143 Australian Dollars which she splurge upon the receival.
Crypto.com didn’t notice this huge mistake until the end of 2021 during the end-of-the-year audit. This was seven months after the money had been sent.
In a bid to rectify this, it was discovered that the user, Manivel had already bought a mansion for her sister as a gift. To curb further withdrawals from her account, crypto.com decided to freeze orders through a court lawsuit. Unfortunately, this proved to be a futile measure to get their money because Manivel has already disbursed a larger portion of the money. she had decided to send money to eight other family members including her daughter who received 300,000 Australian dollars.
Trying to get redress from the court, all the court summons made were ignored by Manivel. Because of this and other legal facts, the judge ruled in the favor of Crypto.com. Hence, Manivel’s bank account was frozen and the mansion she bought for her sister is listed up for sale with the proceeds going to crypto.com with interest.
Is the anonymity of transactions in the crypto space a myth?
It is a fact that one of the key features of the crypto space is the anonymity of transactions. Funds are sent in this space only through the use of wallet addresses that do not divulge the identity of the wallet owner during transactions.
The fact that transactions don’t divulge the identities of wallet owners does not mean the real identity of some wallet addresses cannot be gotten in some necessary and exclusive situations. The advent of centralized exchanges and wallets has created a kind of tracing path that will reveal the identity of the wallet owner. The Know-your-customer requirement while creating a wallet on a decentralized platform is a way to put a check on these types of occurrences. The KYC protocol is completed by providing one’s means of identification and confirming it. Once this is done, one’s identity is linked to the wallet. It is important to note that these identities are not available to just anyone. A form of court order has to be presented to the centralized platform that will subpoena the records and provide the name attached to a particular wallet.
Anonymity is not a myth in the crypto space as it is still a very anonymous space. To ensure safer transactions and accountability, the KYC requirement is put in place.
What will you do when $7.2 million gets deposited into your wallet erroneously? Will you spend it generously like Manivel or will you remit the money to the appropriate quarters to save yourself from future legal punishment? The choice is yours.