Bitcoin surges, exchanges run hot, and Coinbase glitches—lather, rinse, repeat. Following widespread reports that Coinbase users were logging in to see zero balances in their wallets, CEO Brian Armstrong said Wednesday afternoon that the problem had been fixed.

Coinbase’s history of going down during surges in traffic prompted crypto Twitter another opportunity to poke fun at the exchange, designating the familiar technical difficulties as a positive market indicator.

“Coinbase app is down,” Reflexivity Research co-founder Will Clemente wrote on Twitter. “We are SO back.”


Cryptocurrency exchanges often experience outages during Bitcoin rallies, which bring massive surges in user traffic and trading activity along with intense unpredictability in Bitcoin's price.

“We had modeled a ~10x surge in traffic and load tested it,” Armstrong said on Twitter. “This exceeded that number.

“It's expensive to keep services over-provisioned, but we'll need to keep working on auto-scaling solutions and killing any remaining bottlenecks,” he continued. “Thank you for bearing with us.”


Armstrong had said earlier in the day that Coinbase was dealing with “a LARGE surge of traffic,” apologizing for any issues encountered.

Crypto watchers seized on the news as a reason to snark.

“Coinbase crashing is a bullish signal,” Chateau Capital co-founder and COO Alex Valaitis said. “Retail is coming back!”

“This is like the canary in the coal mine that the giga bull is just getting started,” Zen Academy founder Zeneca said. “Retail... is coming?”

Competing exchanges couldn't resist joining in.


The history of bad days for Coinbase coming with good days for Bitcoin is well established. In 2017, Coinbase crashed as Bitcoin surged toward its then-all-time high of $19,345. Coinbase again crashed in April 2020 as the price of Bitcoin rose 15% overnight on April 29 as Bitcoin investors prepared for the Bitcoin halving in May and FOMO set in.

Coinbase crashed once more in January 2021 as the price of Bitcoin approached $40,000 before falling 25%, $8000, to $32000 the next day. When the value of BTC fell more than 30 percent in 24 hours in May of that year, another crash. What about when Bitcoin hit its all-time high in November 2021?

Coinbase reported ”connectivity issues again” a couple of weeks later.

Traditional exchanges operate for 6 to 8 hours a day, five days a week, giving their developers ample time to address technical issues. Crypto exchanges generally operate 24/7, making it much more challenging to maintain the system, especially during times of high traffic.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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