The décor-to-diamond retailer, Overstock.com made a serious glitch in its cryptocurrency payments mechanism and, apparently, for some time allowed its customers to make payments in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash—interchangeably.
The problem here is that the value of Bitcoin is more than five times the value of Bitcoin Cash. So, a purchase agreed to be paid in Bitcoins but actually paid in Bitcoin Cash (since the glitch made it possible) would fetch huge discounts for a customer and loss for the seller.
Bitcoin Cash is an offshoot or, technically speaking, a ‘fork’ of Bitcoin. The current valuation of Bitcoin is USD 13,111 whereas Bitcoin Cash is valued at USD 2,385 on GDAX.
The glitch, first reported by an independent journalist Brian Krebs of KrebsOnSecurity, was noticed when Krebs bought a product of USD 78.27 from Overstock and was able to pay in Bitcoin Cash even though the invoice asked him to pay exactly 0.00475574 Bitcoins.
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Krebs logged into Coinbase—largest Bitcoin exchange in the US—and executed an order to pay 0.00475574 Bitcoin Cash instead which the system gladly accepted. Coinbase has a partnership with Overstock for clearing payments in Bitcoin since 2014. However, Bitcoin Cash was a late addition.
“I had just made a USD 78 purchase by sending approximately USD 12 worth of Bitcoin Cash. Crypto-currency alchemy at last!” writes Krebs on his blog.
Furthermore, when Krebs asked for a refund after cancelling the order for the product, Overstock returned the full value of purchase in Bitcoins! That means, it was USD 66 worth of profit for Krebs.
However, Krebs immediately informed Overstock and offered to return the money. The company said “the issue was caused by the merchant partner improperly using the return values in our merchant integration API. No other Coinbase customer had this problem.”
“After being made aware of an issue in our joint refund processing code on Saturday, Coinbase and Overstock worked together to deploy a fix within hours,” it added.