Earlier this week the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken scheduled some downtime to upgrade the trading platform’s system. The upgrade for one of the world’s largest digital asset exchanges was supposed to last for only two hours, but the website remained down for well over 24 hours. Kraken is now back online and plans to offer zero fee trading until January 31 to make up for its customers’ inconvenience.
Kraken Exchange Goes Offline for a Record Amount of Time Since 2013, Freaking Out Customers
The Kraken exchange is one of the biggest digital asset trading platforms, with a vast quantity of customers. On January 10, the exchange told the public that it was “performing a system upgrade on Thursday, January 11 at approximately 5:00 UTC (Wednesday, January 10 at 9 pm PT).” The upgrade was initially only supposed to last two hours but that time passed with no restoration of service and customers started getting irritated. Kraken users on forums and social media complained as each hour passed during the day. As the day progressed the exchange updated the public via Twitter:
“We are in the final stage of installing the upgrade now — We are getting close but hard to give an exact ETA since it depends on how the final testing goes,” explained Kraken.
Yes, this is our new record for downtime since we launched in 2013 — No, we’re not proud of it.
Back Online But With Many Changes
Finally, on January 13 the San Francisco trading platform announced that the website and the trading engine was back online. However, during the upgrade certain things had changed such as the new account verification process would be delayed to its “lowest priority.” Further higher tiered accounts will have priority over new accounts looking for first time verification, says the exchange. Withdrawals are still suspended for the next 12 hours and all prior orders were canceled. Alongside this, deposits can take up to two additional business days for funds to be credited to trading accounts.
“All funds in previously open orders have been returned to your available balance — Margin liquidations will be paused for at least 48 hours, and the creation of new margin positions is disabled for at least 48 hours,” explains Kraken’s blog post and email to customers.
With trading now resumed, the engine’s performance will be closely monitored — The site will come down if needed, which may occur with little to no notice.
The Recent Crypto-Bear Market and Fallen Exchange Nightmares from the Past Get Traders Edgy
Kraken surely noticed its users upset over the downtime, especially when markets have been extremely bearish so the company apologized for the downtime. For this reason from now and until January 31, the trading platform is giving customers zero fees for all unleveraged trades until January 31, 2018 (UTC). Additionally, the exchange is reducing margin position fees to 0.005 percent until the end of the month as well.
The experience has reminded cryptocurrency proponents that exchanges can go down at any time and for very long periods. Unfortunately, many people also have memories of exchanges that never came back online and their funds are now gone forever. This made the Kraken experience unnerving for many of its users, as one customer writes:
Can someone in the Bay area please stop by Kraken headquarters and see if there is anyone there or if it looks like they skipped town?
What do you think about trading platforms going down for extended periods of time? Do you think cryptocurrency traders need to be patient or do you think the past exchanges that have fallen by the wayside give users the right to complain? Let us know what you think of this situation in the comments below.
Images via Pixabay, Kraken, and Twitter.