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Coinbase Stops Working–Again, Time To Consider Decentralized Alternatives?

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Coinbase Down? Leading crypto exchange stopped working for 3 hours due to server overload. This is not the first time the exchange is down.

Is Coinbase Down? Leading crypto exchange stopped working for 3 hours, possibly due to server overload. However, as this isn’t the first time the exchange has gone down – lets dig in.

Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and legacy blockchains have been online till launch. They are secured by the community, and distributed nodes keep them operational every day of the week.

Not much can be said about centralized systems, including exchanges like Coinbase, that are becoming increasingly reliable.

Millions across North America and Europe use Coinbase, yet the exchange has not been immune to inconveniencing outages.

Whenever Bitcoin prices rally, Coinbase tends to “stop” working, often leading to millions in losses.

Coinbase Stopped Working For 3 Hours: Unpacking Crypto Exchange Down Time

However, the outage of early May 14 was unique: Bitcoin was under pressure, but Coinbase wasn’t inaccessible at some point.

Clients couldn’t access their accounts for three solid hours.

The outage began at 4:15 am UTC on May 14, impacting users attempting to access Coinbase via desktop or mobile app. 

Those visiting the website were greeted with a “503 Service Temporarily Unavailable” error message. This shows that Coinbase’s servers were either overloaded or down. 

The exchange promptly acknowledged the outage on its official status page and X, assuring users that funds were safe and investigating the matter. 

A post on their official incident page read:

“Some users may still experience failures when sending crypto or withdrawing fiat. We are continuing to investigate this issue and will provide an update shortly. Rest assured, your funds are safe.”

Coinbase resumed operations at 7:42 am UTC. 

Coinbase stopped working for 3 hours possibly due to server overload. This is not the first time the exchange is down

While online, Coinbase said users might still experience “degraded performance” when sending crypto or withdrawing fiat.

DISCOVER: Best Exchanges to Use in May 2024 for Low Fees and Deep Liquidity

This Is Not The First Time; Decentralized Alternatives Are More Robust

Coinbase has yet to provide a detailed report explaining the cause of this disruption, adding another layer of concern. 

The outage highlights the need for robust infrastructure, especially now that this is not the first time. 

On May 6,  users relying on the Lightning Network had to search for alternatives after an outage

“The lightning network is currently experiencing an outage on Coinbase.com. Due to this, transactions on the Lightning network will fail.”

It took more than seven hours for the problem to be fixed.

Decentralized alternatives (and most protocols) like Uniswap and PancakeSwap have higher reliability levels. Their accessibility (besides hacking) depends on whether the base layer, in this case, Ethereum or the BNB Chain, is operational.

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Disclaimer: Crypto is a high-risk asset class. This article is provided for informational purposes and does not constitute investment advice. You could lose all of your capital.

Dalmas is an experienced journalist with over a decade in crypto, technology, and blockchain. His work and that of his partners have been featured in top news outlets, including Forbes, investing.com, and Entrepreneur, among others. He is passionate about crypto and is always on the lookout for the latest trends in these fields. Connect with Dalmas on X @Dalmas_Ngetich

View all Posts by Dalmas Ngetich

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