Increased Interest in Bitcoin Reveals Flaws in Underlying Infrastructure
Thanks to a surge in consumer interest and the rise of the first Bitcoin futures market, cryptocurrencies are doing better than ever. However, that increased interest has brought with it some problems in meeting consumer demand.
Reuters has reported that one of the world’s largest providers of crypto-wallets, Coinbase, was forced to shut down due to the increased traffic the site received. This meant that millions of people were unable to access their currencies.
As if that weren’t bad enough, one of the world’s leading Bitcoin exchanges, Bitfinex, was forced to deal with a large amount of denial of service attacks. Bitfinex’s problems have been occurring since at least the 7th.
Bitfinex has been under significant denial-of-service attack for the past several days. The attack has recently worsened. Please monitor https://t.co/u3pYCWdhHY for ongoing updates.
— Bitfinex (@bitfinex) December 7, 2017
We are currently under heavy DDOS. API is also down. We are working on further mitigation.
— Bitfinex (@bitfinex) December 12, 2017
As of right now, it’s unclear why Bitfinex was being attacked. It may have been simple trolling or something with more financial motives. Regardless, the company hasn’t reported any issues with the security of customer’s trades or currencies.
Regardless of the exact reasoning behind these problems, it does serve to highlight the growing pains that the cryptocurrency market is facing as it enters the mainstream. Bitcoin, in particular, is seeing increased interest from the public and mainstream investment firms. This may drive up the cost of the coin, but it remains to be seen if the infrastructure underlying Bitcoin is ready for this much attention.
All of this together also serves to highlight the general instability of cryptocurrencies. In general, most investors prefer to avoid taking major risks so it will be interesting to see how they adapt to a system as volatile as Bitcoin.
Eric is an avid tech junkie, gamer, and comic fan. When he's not working on his PC, you'll find him at your local comic book shop.