Investors take year-end profits in the stock market, and the cryptocurrency arena is no different. To the chagrin of users, popular U.S. exchange Coinbase felt friction from this dynamic as overwhelming withdrawal volume on the day after Christmas delayed bitcoin and ether withdrawals for hours.
Withdrawals Significantly Slowed
Around 10:30 AM PST on December 26th, America’s gateway cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase released a status update telling users that “high volume” had led to a “backlog of outgoing transactions for BTC and ETH.”
In the update, the Coinbase team noted that withdrawals would likely take hours instead of minutes as support staff worked through the backlog.
Many users trying to withdraw bitcoins were greeted with the following screen:
This end-of-season volume surge comes as no surprise, of course, as cryptocurrency markets typically sag this time of year as investors take profits at the year-end psychological milestone.
Also, the amount of users withdrawing their Coinbase holdings into new hardware wallet Christmas gifts like the TREZOR One and the Ledger Nano S was surely a contributing factor, even if to a much lesser extent than seasonal profit-taking.
Fortunately, at press time the backlog of ether withdrawals had been successfully combed through, leaving only bitcoin withdrawals with degraded service for now.
Coinbase’s Growing Pains on Full Display Again
It’s no secret that Coinbase has experienced logarithmic growth in 2017. But in being a cryptocurrency exchange, they bear the burden of being a properly functioning exchange at all times.
Alas, this latest withdrawal backlog once again highlights the struggles the San Francisco-based company has faced in meeting the exploding demand for cryptocurrencies this year.
Will they get their act together? There’s no reason to think not. But even still, withdrawal delays are just the latest thorn in Coinbase users’ sides that will surely have some looking at other exchanges as they consider their options.
Again, the team is talking the right talk — in the aforementioned status update, the exchange promised to do better going forward.
“Our team is working on increasing our capacity so that we can process transactions more quickly.”
What do you think? Does Coinbase have a lot to do in 2018 to counteract the many, multi-faceted growing pains they bore in 2017?
Images via Delay Divert Solutions, Coinbase