Coinbase's cryptocurrency exchange crashes briefly

Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for TechCrunch
  • The Global Digital Asset Exchange, the cryptocurrency exchange run by Coinbase, was down briefly Monday afternoon.
  • The exchanged resumed trading at 2:57 p.m. ET.

Coinbase, the US-based cryptocurrency trading platform, saw its Global Digital Asset Exchange crash for a brief time Monday afternoon.

The exchange stopped executing trades for clients at around 2:50 p.m. ET, according to an alert on its website, citing issues relating to their application programming interface, the technology that communicates information between computers.

“All markets are now in post-only mode and we are preparing to re-enable trading,” the company said. “New maker orders will be accepted, but no matches will occur.”


The company had things back up and running by 2:57 p.m. ET.

This isn’t the first time Coinbase’s exchange has experienced an outage. When bitcoin soared over $US11,000 per coin in November, Coinbase experienced a “partial system outage,” during which time many users found themselves locked out of their accounts. It also experienced issues during a wild-trading session Thursday.

Cryptocurrency exchanges, which don’t have the industrial infrastructure of traditional exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq, are under pressure to handle record-trading volumes.As such, they are building out their infrastructure and hiring more developers. Here’s Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong on his company’s expansion:

“Over the course of this year we have invested significant resources to increase trading capacity on our platform and maintain availability of our service. We have increased the size of our support team by 640% and launched phone support in September. We have also invested heavily in our infrastructure and have increased the number of transactions we are processing during peak hours by over 40x.”

Still, Monday’s crash occurred during a relatively calm trading session for bitcoin. Volumes for bitcoin were nearly half of what they were during the previous outage, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

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