Coinbase and Bitfinex Go Down as Bitcoin Climbs ‎Back to $17,500‎

The outage kept many users from accessing their Bitcoin wallets.

Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, is now completely offline, ‎though the outage appears to have begun several hours earlier, with ‎investors reporting problems on forums and social media channels. ‎

The outage kept many users from accessing their Bitcoin wallets as prices on the digital coin fluctuated wildly but rose today to hit the $17,500 threshold.

A status update on the website said “the service [is] unavailable” and that the company would perform maintenance on the site starting at 22:00 Pacific Time. At 23:22, the company said on Twitter that maintenance was complete, though some users responded that they still couldn’t log in.

Some users blamed ‎heavy traffic, likely caused by the recent Bitcoin climb, for ‎crashing the website and its exchange gdax.com, which remains ‎down, although it is still quoting prices.‎

Hong Kong-based Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex also said that its platform was ‎under distributed denial-of-service attacks, or DDoS, that attempted to ‎paralyze its system with a flood of information.‎

The second largest US dollar-based Bitcoin exchange saw a spike in traffic ‎this Tuesday morning and the number of connections attempting to reach ‎the website was enough to temporarily disrupt its activity.‎

At 06:44 ET, on Twitter, Bitfinex stated that its website was under a ‎massive DDoS attack, which managed to take it down.‎

DDoS attacks are fairly common against ‎cryptocurrency exchanges, especially the popular ones. However, DDoS ‎attacks are a bit less scary than hacks that cause clients to lose funds.‎

The hackers use cyberattacks mainly to manipulate the cryptocurrency ‎prices. Since the prices are set by several exchanges ‎around the world, temporarily shutting off an exchange can allow attackers ‎to find arbitrage opportunities, taking advantage of price differences.‎

The sustained problems in such big cryptocurrency exchanges raise concerns about whether they will be able ‎to reliably provide prices for upcoming crypto derivatives in regulated bourses, and how they ‎will be able to cope in the long run with the higher trading volumes that could come if institutional players ‎start transacting with digital assets.‏

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