Cryptocurrency lending platform BlockFi accidentally deposited significant amounts of bitcoin into users’ accounts while apparently intending to deposit less valuable amounts of a USD stablecoin as part of a promotional rewards program, according to users on Reddit.
In a message on BlockFi’s subreddit, a company spokesperson described the large BTC bonuses as mistakes in its promotional payouts.
“On May 17, 2021, fewer than 100 clients were incorrectly credited with cryptocurrency associated with a promotional payout that did not belong to them,” they wrote. “BlockFi has contacted these clients and is working with them to rectify the issue. The situation does not affect any of BlockFi’s ongoing operations and measures have been taken to ensure that an error like this will not be possible in the future.”
On Twitter, BlockFi CEO Zac Prince indicated that the platform mistakenly credited a “couple hundred BTC,” and clarified that “at risk is a fraction of the BTC we own with equity capital and a fraction of loss reserves we carry for this exact purpose.”
One unverified screenshot, posted by u/donkumon, indicates a 701.4 BTC “bonus payment” described as a “promotion,” giving them an apparent total BlockFi account value of more than $34.8 million.
Another user wrote that, “This happened to my friend with 5 BTC that he thought he’d won. It says promo after all. He was able to move it and now BlockFi is threatening for him to return it.”
Still another Reddit user has claimed that BlockFi has sent them an accusatory email regarding promotional rewards they were credited but should not withdraw. Bitcoin transactions that are recorded on the blockchain are irreversible.