Coinbase Explains The Reason For The Outage When Bitcoin Surpassed $10,000 Last Week

The most widely used US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase went down during Bitcoin’s latest surge above the $10,000 mark. After a few days of discontent from the community, the company recently published a statement claiming that the unusually high traffic prompted technical difficulties.

Traffic Brings Down Coinbase

As CryptoPotato reported recently, the US-based exchange went offline for nearly an hour when Bitcoin conquered the coveted $10k level. Unfortunately for Coinbase, this was another example in which the platform was unable to serve its millions of customers during a time of severe volatility within the cryptocurrency market.

According to the company’s explanation on what precisely transpired, the issue came from a “5x traffic spike” in about four minutes:

“This traffic spike affected a number of our internal services, increasing latency between services. This led to process saturation of the web servers responsible for our API, where the number of incoming requests was greater than the number of listening processes, causing the requests to either be queued and timeout or fail immediately.

Our request error rate spike to 50%, causing customers to experience errors when interacting with coinbase.com and our mobile apps.”

Although trading through the API remained functional in those hours, the sudden surge of traffic, viewed in the graph below, impacted not only the main website – coinbase.com – but also pro.coinbase.com and the mobile applications.

Traffic Spike On Coinbase. Source: Coinbase
Traffic Spike On Coinbase. Source: Coinbase

To tackle the problem, Coinbase noted that it redeployed the API at 16:20 PDT (shortly after it began) to increase the machines serving the traffic. Upon its completion, “the previous deploy’s instances were taken out of rotation, leading to another two-minute outage due to instances saturating and being market unhealthy.”

Future Improvements And Solutions

The exchange, which suffered a few publicity setbacks as of late, plans to employ “a number of improvements” to avoid such incidents in the future.

The company has “fixed the health endpoint to ensure that saturated instances don’t get taken out of rotation,” and its working on reducing the impact of price-related traffic spikes through pre-scaling and caching.

Other developments include improving the entire deployment process to mitigate some of the autoscaling issues.

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