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South Korean Court Orders Bithumb to Pay Outage Damage to Users

South Korea's biggest crypto exchange Bithumb is being ordered by the Supreme Court to pay damages to users who suffered losses during the platform's outage

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South Korea's Supreme Court has ordered Bithumb to pay damages to users who suffered losses during the exchange's service outage.

132 investors had filed a lawsuit against the country's biggest crypto exchange following an outage on 12 November 2017. Plaintiffs claimed the users had suffered financial losses due to crypto price drops during the outage.

The lawsuit added that the average number of orders per hour doubled amid the service interruption, causing transaction flows to slow down significantly.

Damages amounted to KRW 251.4 million (US$202,400) during the 1.5 hour outage.

A district had initially ruled against the investors but on 13 January 2022, the South Korean Supreme Court finalized its ruling, ordering damages to paid ranging from KRW 8,000 to KRW 8 million ($6 to $6,400) to each of the 132 investors.

Read more: South Korea, Vietnam Form Web3 Bridge

"The burden or the cost of technological failures should be shouldered by the service operator, not services users who pay commission for the service," the Court ruled.

The court ruling is an encouraging move for the industry and investor security as exchanges are finally being held accountable. 2022 saw a slew of investors lose gargantuam sums through exchanges behaving irresponsibily. As the industry warms to the idea of regulation, 2023 should see a safer crypto space to invest in.

South Korea has been generally supportive of web3 with president Yook Suk-yeol placing metaverse and web3 developments on his list of national priorities and objectives. The country’s Ministry of Science and ICT has also commited US$185 million to further the development of businesses involved in the metaverse and web3.

Read more: Singapore’s ADDX Wins Backing of Korean Banking Group KBFG

Most recently, South Korea formed a web3 bridge with Vietnam as Gyeongbuk province govenor Lee Cheol-woo and his delegation visited the Vietnamese province to “emphasise growing economic, cultural, commercial, and people-centered contacts with Vietnam through the metaverse.”

Meanwhile, Singapore’s ADDX won the backing of Korean Banking Group KBFG in a US$20 million raise.


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