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Overstock and Coinbase Briefly Mix Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

A problem on the Overstock website allowed users to send Bitcoin Cash amounts to Overstock when the system was waiting for Bitcoin, resulting in drastic cuts on many items. Since BTC is about $ 14,000 and Bitcoin Cash is $ 2,400, the mistake could have been very expensive.

Initially reported by Brian Krebs, the exploit allowed you to send the required amount of BTC in Bitcoin Cash. Then, when you asked for a refund, the system would refund you in Bitcoin. That meant you could send, say, .048 ($ 135.91) in Bitcoin Cash on a .048 Bitcoin object ($ 700), cancel the order, and receive .045 BTC back.

Wrote Krebs:

Upon entering Coinbase, I took the bitcoin address and I pasted it into the "pay to:" field, then asked Coinbase to go back to it. send 0.00475574 in bitcoin instead of bitcoin. The site responded that the payment was complete. In a few seconds, I received an email from Overstock congratulating me on my purchase and stating that the items would be shipped out shortly.

I had just made a $ 78 purchase by sending about $ 12 US in bitcoin money. Crypto-monetary alchemy finally!

Krebs noted that this scam could have made a profit. If a user had paid the BTC equivalent of a $ 100,000 diamond ring in Bitcoin Cash, he could have sent over $ 15,000 and, after a refund, get $ 100,000 from Bitcoin. It's a funny and scary glitch that Coinbase has corrected since.

Featured image: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch