Crypto Exchange FTX Freezes Under Strain of CPI Volatility

More than $110 million was liquidated across crypto exchanges in the hour following the U.S. inflation report.

AccessTimeIconSep 13, 2022 at 1:40 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:18 p.m. UTC

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX was unusable for some customers Tuesday amid a closely watched economic report on U.S. inflation, prompting a flurry of frustration from traders.

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried confirmed that the exchange faced issues, stating that the "website did wonky auto-refreshing for a lot of people."

Traders on Twitter reported that the FTX interface was intermittently freezing at 12:30 UTC, which is when the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) report was released. Bankman-Fried responded and said that the issue had been fixed as of 13:25 UTC.

"The resulting CPI volatility caused some users who were accessing the exchange via browser found that their webpage frequently refreshed, which made using it slower and more cumbersome," a FTX spokesperson told CoinDesk in a statement. "There was no downtime as a result of the volatility and the exchange remained running the entire time."

"This was the only significant issue with FTX during the time, and only affected the website, not the API," said the person.

The price of bitcoin slumped from $22,700 to $21,400 after the CPI report showing inflation rose by 8.3% in August from a year earlier, exceeding expectations of 8.1%.

The volatility caused more than $110 million in liquidations in a one-hour period across crypto derivatives exchanges, according to Coinglass.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Oliver Knight

Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.

Read more about