Binance Halts Trading and Withdrawals
The Hong-Kong based Binance cryptocurrency exchange announced that it is performing system maintenance. The first announcement via its its official Twitter account came 13 hours ago from the time of writing. The tweet stated that its “users may experience a temporary decrease in exchange performance” due to system upgrades being performed on the back-end. Two hours later, another tweet from Binance said that the company was extending its system upgrade because of a large number of new users signing up and a lot more trading activity.
There had been rumors circulating that the exchange was hacked because its users had been unable to trade or withdraw funds from the exchange. The fear was probably amplified due to the recent hacks in the space. However, the popular crypto-exchange was quick to deny these claims. According to Binance, operations should have returned to normal by 2 pm GMT, when upgrades were expected to be completed, but “withdrawals and trading during this period will remain suspended”. However, it is now taking longer than expected for everything to return back to normal.
Unforeseen Slowdown in Data Sync
Zhao Changpeng, CEO at Binance, explained that there was a “server issue on our replica database cluster, causing some data to be out of sync” . Although Zhao claimed that no data had been lost, the server issue did end up requiring the trading platform to “fully resync from master”. Presumably, this could be causing the extended delay in the exchange’s trading system from returning to normal.
Although this just might be a typical server upgrade due to high demand, the crypto-community has become more fearful of cryptocurrency heists. Notably, Japan’s Coincheck cryptocurrency exchange was hacked recently during which over $500 million worth of digital currency was stolen. Due to several other damaging hacks, crypto-exchanges have been scrutinized by regulators and even fined for not implementing proper security measures.
Everything Should Be Probably Okay
Based on the series of statements that Binance has issued, mainly via Twitter, it doesn’t seem likely that the exchange was hacked. So, there’s no need to panic just yet. The reason we say this is because all of the system updates reported by Binance so far have given users a fairly clear idea of what the company is doing to resolve the issues. Additionally, the company has kept people informed about what to expect when the system comes back on. For instance, the company’s last tweet reads:
“Due to an unforeseen slowdown in the speed of our data sync, we now estimate for all trading activity to resume at 2018/02/09 4AM (UTC). In the 30 minutes prior to the commencement of trading, users will be able to use utilize all other account related functions”.
The exchange also mentioned that it would provide updates approximately every 2 hours until the issue is resolved. Had the company been in serious trouble, they would not have been confident enough to assert that trading would be returning back to normal. Furthermore, they certainly would not have provided a specific time by which they’d expect their website’s functions to normalize had there been something seriously wrong.
Nevertheless, any downtime experienced by a major crypto-exchange such as Binance does inconvenience its traders but it may be better to see the exchange down for a while than to see it up and lagging as this is one of the main complains from Poloniex users last year. Hopefully, this issue will be resolved smoothly without there being anything major to be concerned about.