July 12, 2024
Bitcoin's so high, it crashed Coinbase today

Bitcoin’s rally is turning out to be bad news for Coinbase, the crypto trading app that has just confirmed some of its customers are seeing a zero balance across their Coinbase accounts. “Your assets are safe,” the firm assured the app’s users via a Status page on its website, adding that its team is investigating the issue and will provide an update shortly. [Update: The company has since said the issues are improving but the app is seeing “heightened traffic.”]

The app’s crash today has to do with the recent demand for Bitcoin, the popular cryptocurrency that recently surged to $60,000 — close to its all-time high last seen in 2021. The price of Bitcoin climbed in the wake of U.S. bitcoin spot ETFs, driving a 42% price rally this month. According to Reuters, this was the largest monthly gain the digital asset had seen since December 2020. As of the time of writing, Bitcoin was up above $61,448, or a 7.66% increase today.

The sharp rise has fueled renewed interest in apps like Coinbase, which allows users to buy, sell, and hold crypto products in a digital wallet. This rapid increase in demand, including from more casual crypto investors, have seemingly contributed to the app’s current issues, as Coinbase says the app is experiencing issues from high traffic.

Users of the Coinbase app grew concerned on Wednesday as they logged in to find their accounts showing a zero balance, despite owning crypto assets.

Meanwhile, the company’s tech support channel on X (formerly Twitter) was still replying to users with a set of standard troubleshooting steps, instead of acknowledging the problem is on Coinbase’s side — a now far too common problem with automated customer support accounts that seem to be disconnected from the larger organization’s ups and downs. The company has only just now begun to tell users it’s aware of the issue and that it’s working to resolve the problem quickly.

Coinbase’s own Status page was first updated at 9:40 a.m. PST to acknowledge it’s looking into the issue.

“We are aware that some users may see a zero balance across their Coinbase accounts & may experience errors in buying or selling,” the company wrote in a new post on X. “Our team is investigating this & will provide an update shortly. Your assets are safe.”

The issue arises at a bad time for Coinbase, when a number of more casual investors have returned to the crypto trading market only to find they have, seemingly, no assets.

Remarked one user on X, who shared a picture of a zero balance, “My mom called and asked me and mine was at zero also,” they said.

At 10:44 a.m. PST, Coinbase also noted that some users were experiencing increased latency across its Help Center as well, leading to longer than normal wait times or the inability to open a new support chat.

Coinbase updated again at 11:29 PST to indicate it’s “beginning to see improvement in customer trading.” Here, the company comments that “increased traffic,” is to blame, leading some customers to still see errors in logins, sends, receives, and with some payment methods.

At 12:15 PM PST, Coinbase said customer login has recovered and sends are improving. It’s also seeing improvement in trading on the platform, but some customers may still see errors to due “heightened traffic.”

Developing . . . 

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