How should the doctrine of unilateral mistake apply when a programming error results in a buyer’s algorithmic trading programme accepting an offer generated by the seller’s trading programme to exchange cryptocurrencies at 250 times the current market rate? How should the knowledge element be adapted given that algorithmic trading necessarily means that the traders’ minds were not engaged at the moment the contract was formed? These novel issues came before the Singapore Court of Appeal in Quoine Pte Ltd v B2C2 Ltd. The decision further cautions customers of cryptocurrency exchanges not to assume that they have property rights in the cryptocurrencies held by the exchange and to examine carefully the nature of asset holding arrangement found in the documentation.
Alexander Loke, Mistakes in algorithmic trading of cryptocurrencies, Modern Law Review, https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.12574. First published: 11 August 2020.