[Forbes, Getty Images]
Bitcoin, after rallying to over $10,000 per bitcoin in the last few days, has suddenly crashed back.
The bitcoin price lost more than 10% in a matter of minutes yesterday evening, dropping to lows of $8,100 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange before rebounding to settle around $8,600.
However, an outage on major U.S. bitcoin and crypto exchange Coinbase just after bitcoin’s price plummet left many users unable to trade—the second time in less than a month Coinbase has buckled under stress.
“How many times do we have to say take your bitcoin off of Coinbase if you want to have access to it,” Rachel Siegel, a bitcoin and cryptocurrency content creator, warned via Twitter, adding, “this is not the first time Coinbase has gone down and it surely will not be the last.”
“Coinbase acting like the NYSE circuit breaking,” joked Jason Williams, cofounder and partner at bitcoin and crypto hedge fund Morgan Creek Digital, suggesting that Coinbase outages could dampen spikes and dips in the bitcoin price.
Coinbase acknowledged the outage and said it was “investigating this issue” before declaring the incident resolved three hours later. Coinbase has been contacted for further comment.
Intermittent Coinbase outages are becoming a predictable problem for users of the popular San Francisco-based bitcoin and crypto exchange.
At the end of last month, just as bitcoin rallied some 15% to around $9,000, Coinbase experienced a similar outage—despite data provider Skew finding Coinbase volume was not excessively high relative to other peaks in trading volume during the past two weeks.
Coinbase also went down in March, leaving users locked out of their accounts during the broad coronavirus crash that wiped more than 20% from bitcoin’s value in mere minutes.
Users reported at least two similar issues over the course of 2019.
Problems for Coinbase come as the bitcoin and crypto community is gearing up for next week’s highly-anticipated bitcoin supply squeeze, known as a halving.
The looming bitcoin halving, set for early on May 12, will be the third since bitcoin was created just over a decade ago, and will see the number of bitcoin rewarded to the so-called miners that maintain the bitcoin network halved—dropping from 12.5 bitcoin per block to 6.25.