What was originally planned as a two-hour outage for popular cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, turned into a multi-day ordeal, and an emotional rollercoaster for customers.
On January 10th, Kraken announced that they would be performing system upgrades on that would take all of their existing systems offline. However, no one expected a multiple-day outage, as Kraken experienced plenty of hiccups during their upgrade process which lasted over 48 hours.
One of the largest issues with the situation was the lack of communication from Kraken. Kraken remained incredibly quiet on their official twitter account throughout the ordeal, as it didn’t tweet a single time during the extended outage. However, Kraken’s status page remained fully updated, and consistently informed users of the upgrade progress – including details as granular as how developers were “mainlining coffee.”
That, of course, didn’t stop the media-wave from expressing doubts about the situation, causing widespread panic as many began to believe it was possibly a hacking situation. The cryptocurrency space is no stranger to exchange hacks, considering that millions have been lost in the past between the Mt. Gox incident in 2013, Bit Stamp’s hack in 2015, and even the Bitfinex hack in 2016.
Call and Response
Although users took to social media to express their outrage, Kraken employee Max Kaplan took the stand to provide a bit of clarity and said “Kraken has never been hacked and still remains unhacked.” He also acknowledged that the team “dropped the ball on the upgrade,” but assured customers that their holdings were still safe.
One of the status updates on January 12th from Kraken acknowledged these faults – “Yes, this is our new record for downtime since we launched in 2013. No, we’re not proud of it.”
Thankfully, this ordeal has come to an end with a recent update released just a few hours ago from the Kraken team.
Much to the relief of customers, Kraken re-opened their doors today and announced free trading until the end of the month. According to the update, Kraken’s downtime was due to a replacement of their legacy trading engine, and issues that came along with the migration. Also announced was a blog post coming in the next few days that will provide more details on the service outage, along with plans to improve client-experience on the platform.
Although Kraken’s situation turned out to be a false alarm, this might keep newer cryptocurrency traders a bit cautious when dealing with centralized exchanges considering general track records.