San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has revealed in a post-mortem report that it went down on June 1, when the price of Bitcoin reached $10,000, after it “experienced a 5x traffic spike over 4 minutes.”
According to the report, Coinbase’s autoscaling was unable to keep up with the traffic increase and as a result its main Coinbase.com, the Coinbase Pro, and its mobile applications were all affected. Trading through its API, which according to Coinbase accounts for the majority of its trading volume, reportedly remained functional through the outage.
The spike affected some of Coinbase’s internal services, which worsened the situation:
This led to process saturation of the web servers responsible for our API, where the number of incoming requests was greater than the number of listening processes, causing the requests to either be queued and timeout, or fail immediately
The request rate, according to Coinbase, rose 50% at the time which led to errors when users when interacting with Coinbase’s platforms. Later on, another outage was caused when the exchange was trying to deploy a solution that would help its autoscaling handle the situation.
Coinbase, it’s worth noting, has a history of outages when the price of bitcoin moves significantly, and has already gone down four times in the last three months. These outages stop users from being able to manage their portfolios when they need to during volatile periods, and have seen the community criticize the platform on various occasions.
On its report Coinbase revealed that, looking forward, it will be working on a “number of improvements” to stop its platform from going down. The exchange revealed it’s working on “reducing the impact of price-related traffic spikes though pre-scaling and caching.” Longer term, Coinbase is looking to improve its deployment process, to “mitigate some of the autoscaling issues” it experienced.
At the end of the report, the San Francisco-based exchange reiterated it’s committed to being the “easiest, most trusted” place to buy, sell, and manage cryptocurrencies.
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