Review: Bitcoin’s Tough Week
One of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges has been down for hours and its clients are starting to stress.
Kraken went offline at 9:00p PST Wednesday for maintenance that was initially scheduled to last 2 hours, plus an additional 2-3 hours for withdrawals, according to an announcement on the San Francisco-based company’s website.
“We are still working to resolve the issues that we have identified and our team is working around the clock to ensure a smooth upgrade,” according to a status update on Kraken’s website posted earlier Friday. “This means it may still take several hours before we can relaunch the site.”
Kraken mentioned it’s working on “unexpected and delicate issues” and assured clients their funds were secure, adding that “Yes, this is our new record for downtime since we launched in 2013. No, we’re not proud of it.”
The short history of cryptocurrencies has been filled with hackers and stolen Bitcoin, so issues with exchanges are quick to unnerve investors.
In the most famous case, Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy in Y 2014 after losing hundreds of thousands of its clients Bitcoins.
Popular websites such as Coinbase have frequently crashed or slowed down in the past few months as they have been unable to handle the increased traffic coming from the growing number of investors trying to cash in on crypto mania.
Kraken is one of the exchanges that the CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CME) is using to price the Bitcoin futures it introduced last month.
Lack of communication from these new companies, delays in withdrawals and transfers, high fees, and the creeping fear of a malicious attack are some of the issues largely retail investors face, and discourage many more from jumping in.
With not even a phone number or e-Mail listed on Kraken’s status page, the exchange’s clients vented on Twitter.
One Tweet stated, “…due to the length of down time can you at least assure us that our coins and accounts are safe and haven’t been hacked or stolen please, seems beyond any normal circumstance at this point when people are worried sick!”
Bitcoin traded at: 14,240.0049, -127.98, or -0.89%, at the close: 9:07a GMT