Robinhood has hit the headlines, and not for a good reason, with the stock trading app experiencing a system-wide outage, leaving many users unable to access their accounts. So what caused the outage?
The technical issues started on Monday, which was one of the busiest trading days of the year, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average enjoying the single biggest point-gain since 2009.
As Finance Magnates reported, there were a number of complaints from customers, namely from those who could not get into their accounts online. Complaints also included either slowness or lack of access to certain features, as well as problems trading some asset classes on the no-fee app. Others said they could not see their account balances.
Does Robinhood have a Leap Day bug?
There appear to be a few theories as to what caused the system outage, such as high trading volumes putting too much pressure on the system. Another theory to have surfaced is a Leap Day bug.
Hey @RobinhoodApp did someone forget to add isleap() to your python module? Imagine losing thousands of dollars because someone didn’t code for the leap year. It’s looking for 3/03 data and throwing errors out the ass. #robinhoodapp pic.twitter.com/t907LANcBo
— Jtech63 (@jtech63) March 2, 2020
An archived Reddit thread also shows that a similar glitch occurred on the 2nd of March, 2016, which was also after a Leap Day, which does give credence to the theory.
When Finance Magnates reached out to Robinhood, a spokesperson highlighted that the technical issue was not the result of a Leap Day bug.
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The outage was not caused by a failure to code for the leap year. We had instability in a part of our infrastructure that allows our systems to communicate with each other.
— Robinhood Help (@AskRobinhood) March 3, 2020
“On Monday, we experienced an issue with a part of our infrastructure that resulted in an outage, preventing customers from using our app, website, and help center,” the Robinhood spokesperson told Finance Magnates. “As of Monday night, Robinhood is back up and running. We’re testing through the night, and may observe some downtime as we prepare for Tuesday. We realize we let our customers down, and we’re committed to improving their experience.”
However, although Robinhood has denied that a 29th error was at fault, the company has yet to provide a reason for what has caused the outage. The company clarified to Finance Magnates that it did not lose customer data, information or funds.
Currently, Robinhood is reaching out to customers with information on how to contact the company, so it can work with its users on a case by case basis. According to the spokesperson, this may include billing credits and/or other potential compensation.
What a bug-ger
For some, this week’s issue might feel a bit like déjà vu, as this is not the first bug to cause problems for the stock trading app. Towards the end of last year, a trading glitch allowed certain customers to acquire an ‘infinite leverage’ while trading stocks on its millennial-targeting platform.
Finance Magnates has reached out to Robinhood for further details on what caused the technical glitch; however, as of the time of publishing, we have not yet received a response.