Let’s say you were Thevamanogari Manivel, a woman in Melbourne, Australia with an interest in crypto, and you allegedly used Crypto.com to request a refund of 100 Australian dollars, but instead received $10.5 million (about $7.2 million in U.S. dollars) by mistake. Would you immediately transfer the funds back? Or would you — again, allegedly — go on a buying spree, including the purchase of a five-bedroom home for your sister?
Don’t answer yet!
First, listen to a few words of advice from Hollywood actor Matt Damon, spoken on behalf of the very company you just received a massive payday from:
“Fortune favors the brave,” indeed.
Life-changing windfalls caused by glitches happen so often in the crypto world, it sort of seems like they’re now part of the thought process that leads people to invest in decentralized finance in the first place.
For instance, in 2017, a crypto wallet service called Parity accidentally gave a single user control of all of the wallets of a certain type, meaning that user was suddenly able to seize about $300 million in the cryptocurrency ether. That user, who wasn’t actually trying to perform some sort of heist in the first place, attempted to reverse what they had done in a panic, but, instead, accidentally stranded the funds permanently — in effect destroying $300 million.
And last year, the crypto firm Compound accidentally deposited seemingly random amounts of cryptocurrency in multiple accounts, which, all told, ended up totaling about $90 million. In the immediate aftermath of the initial reports, Compound CEO Robert Leshner tried to claw back all that money by asking nicely and then threatened to report the users to the IRS.
This is just a small sample of what happens when people win the “Accidental Crypto Millionaire Sweepstakes.” And notably, these are all cases that became publicly known.
Crypto is caving in. What’s up?
In any case, it appears Manivel did exchange all that crypto she received in May of 2021 for regular Australian money, and did spend a great deal of it on things like real estate. Then Crypto.com — which is known as “Foris GFS” to Australian users — took legal action against Manivel this past February after discovering its mistake during an audit in December of last year. Her bank accounts were frozen and she was forced to sell the house she gave her sister, and give the proceeds to Crypto.com plus interest. All this is according to The Guardian.
But hey, if you listen to Matt Damon, you don’t want to be one of those losers who don’t take that big step into the unknown. Better to be one of “the ones who embrace the moment and commit.” Isn’t that right, Crypto.com?