San Francisco based global cryptocurrency exchange Kraken had scheduled a two-hour maintenance this week which also involved the site being inaccessible in order to upgrade back-end infrastructure of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange to meet increased demand as well as increase reliability of its systems. But the website was down for more than 24 hours, which created quite a stir.
The Kraken exchange is used by thousands of cryptocurrency traders, and a lot of funds pass through them every day. On January 10th, the website started displaying a message which revealed that the site would be down for maintenance on January 11th at 05:00 UTC for maintenance with restoration of service under 2 hours. But as the hours trickled by and no signs of the website being online, its users started getting annoyed and took to social media to air their concerns.
We are performing a system upgrade on Thursday, January 11 at approximately 5:00 UTC (Wednesday January 10 at 9 pm PT). Follow our status page for additional details before and during the upgrade. https://t.co/We6nN0WNNh
— Kraken Exchange (@krakenfx) January 10, 2018
The company, sensing the situation, started posting status updates on Twitter in order to inform their users of the current status. In one of their Twitter messages, Kraken themselves admitted that this has been their worse downtime since 2013.
“Yes, this is our new record for downtime since we launched in 2013 — No, we’re not proud of it.”
Finally the website came online on 13th January, sporting a completely new avatar. The company announced changes on several aspects of the website. For starters, the account verification process was downgraded to lowest in terms of importance. High-tiered accounts would get more importance over new accounts for verification. The website has also suspended all withdrawals for the next 12 hours and cancelled all prior orders and returned back the balances to their original accounts. It also said that deposits would also take more time to be credited to trading accounts.
Kraken realized the inconvenience their customers faced during the maintenance and has therefore announced that they would not be imposing fees on unleveraged trades until the 31st of January 2018. In addition to apologizing for the inconvenience, the company also announced plans to reduce margin fees to 0.0005 percent till the same day.
The experience made cryptocurrency traders realize the fallacy of these exchanges. Some were alarmed that the company has gone down for good, and had taken their funds in the process. Overall, Kraken handled the situation well, but it gives traders food for thought to think about their dependence on these exchanges.