For a brief moment, their worlds had changed.
On Tuesday afternoon a Coinbase “display issue” changed the balances of an untold number of customers’ accounts — making many of them billionaires in the process. Billionaires on paper, that is, because as Coinbase hastily pointed out in a statement on Twitter, no real trading was affected by the glitch.
“We’re aware some customers are seeing inflated values for non-tradable crypto assets on Coinbase.com and Coinbase Wallet,” read the Coinbase statement acknowledging the error. “This is a display issue only and does not impact trading.”
But that message came too late for those who saw their inflated accounts and, if even only for a heart-stopping minute, thought they were rich.
And while for some customers the sheer size of the sums involved would have been enough of a red flag, that a cryptocurrency could suddenly spike tens of thousands of percentage points is, itself, not impossible. After all, just this past October Shiba Inu coin (SHIB) was up 60,000,000 percent. So it’s perhaps understandable why some Coinbase customers might have believed, in error, that they had finally made it.
Others, however, knew from the jump that something on Coinbase’s end was busted and their gains were imaginary.
We reached out to Coinbase in an attempt to determine what went wrong behind the scenes. We received no immediate response. Perhaps its PR team saw their inflated Coinbase wallets and decided today was a good day to quit.