For those operating a bitcoin exchange — where people can buy cryptocoins — you’d imagine that the current surge in value for bitcoin and others like Ethereum’s ether coin is a dream come true. The answer is yes and no.
Coinbase, the world’s most funded bitcoin exchange, was dragged offline by the massive increase in interest in the space. Users have reported issues with various aspects of the service this week, and things reached a head on Thursday when the Coinbase website and mobile apps were unavailable to users for hours due to “unprecedented” levels of trading and traffic, the company said.
Bitcoin crossed the $2,000 mark for the first time this past weekend, and the charge continued this week until yesterday when, after reaching a new high of $2,805 on the Coinbase exchange, the valuation fell to $2,307. The currency has since stabilized, but its current value of $2,475.23 represents a $116.41 drop over the last 24 hours.
“The market cap of digital currencies has increased ~50 percent to $91 billion in the past week. As a result, Coinbase has seen a dramatic increase in traffic and trading volume,” the company told TechCrunch in a statement.
“The Coinbase engineering and support teams have been working round the clock to keep up with this unprecedented volume. However, Coinbase.com has suffered a few outages including degraded performance and deposit/withdrawal delays for some users. We are actively working on resolving these issues and restoring our site to normal performance,” it added.
Things seem more stable today, with the Coinbase website and app functioning as usual. Having said that, at the time of writing, there are some minor issues with certain debit and credit cards, according to the company’s own status report.
According to Crunchbase, Coinbase has raised over $117 million from investors that include Bank Of Tokyo – Mitsubishi UFJ, the New York Stock Exchange, Union Square Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Andreessen Horowitz. Its $75 million Series C in 2015 was a record funding round for any bitcoin-focused startup.