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Coinbase Redoing Infrastructure to Prevent Outages During Peak Times

The exchange is also working to improve its customer service response time, another source of complaints.

Jan 17, 2021 at 6:42 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:57 a.m. UTC

Coinbase will break apart certain parts of its Coinbase.com and app infrastructure in a bid to keep the cryptocurrency exchange from going down during periods of high volume.

During the recent bitcoin bull run, Coinbase has struggled to keep itself up during stretches of heavy volume, leading to snarky comments on Twitter and Reddit that it’s only news when the exchange doesn't go down during peak periods. Given the exchange has filed preliminary documents for a public listing of the company’s shares, fixing its infrastructure has undoubtedly taken on an even greater urgency. 

According to an updated Jan. 8 post mortem on the Jan. 6-7 outages, Coinbase said it will break its “monolithic” backend into “discrete” parts in order to limit individual parts breaking and taking down the whole system. 

“We are further decomposing our monolithic application server into separate discrete services. This will allow us to have different scaling profiles for different sections of our API surface that receive heterogeneous load,” the exchange said in the blog. “In addition, this will reduce the blast radius if we have issues in any one surface, as it will only affect the APIs or functionality that it is responsible for.”

Coinbase specifically cited record-breaking exchange volumes on Jan. 7 that were “easily 6x what had already been an elevated steady-state request rate.”

The exchange said trading and buying was still available during this period, but other dependencies related to the function limited the apps functionality.

In another blog, Coinbase’s customer service desk apologized for “delays in response time,” another source of frequent complaint on the internet. The exchange committed to hiring more team members, rolling out a chat feature with customer support along with being more vocal on major social media accounts.

The two blogs follow a Jan. 12 post apologizing to U.K. and European Union customers for system outages and trading restrictions.

DISCLOSURE

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.

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