Want to Know if the Bitcoin Price Is on the Move? Just Check if Coinbase Is Down …

Time is passing, but Coinbase seems unable to resolve these capacity issues.

Sylvain Saurel
Nov 25, 2020 · 4 min read
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Illustration by Sylvain Saurel

Coinbase is probably one of the best-known cryptocurrency exchange in the eyes of the general public. Many beginners start buying their first Bitcoins after registering with Coinbase.

At the heart of the Bull Run at the end of 2017, Coinbase was receiving up to 100,000 registration requests per day.

Since then, Coinbase’s success has continued to grow, to the point where it has become one of the leading platforms with Binance. I myself have frequently recommended Coinbase to new entrants in the past.

Their platform is serious and easy for beginners to use. The fees may be a little higher than elsewhere if you don’t use Coinbase Pro, but for beginners, Coinbase can be reassuring.

Given the financial power of the Coinbase platform, users are entitled to expect maximum availability. Unfortunately, the year 2020 shows us that Coinbase is not capable of offering this to its users.

Since the beginning of the year, the Coinbase platform has therefore frequently been temporarily down. Generally, Coinbase is down when the price of Bitcoin is on the move.

Users then have the unpleasant surprise of seeing this error message displayed when they want to access their Coinbase account to make a transaction:

Screenshot “Coinbase is down right now”

In the Bitcoin world, a proverb is emerging:

Want to know if the Bitcoin price is on the move? just check if Coinbase is down …

Exasperation is palpable among many users. Since March 2020, Coinbase has encountered at least nine issues leading to the inaccessibility of its platform.

Generally, this happens when the Bitcoin price rises sharply:

  • On April 29th, between 10:30 am and 12.30 pm PDT, the Bitcoin price increases by +4.54%. Coinbase users encounter problems accessing the platform on several occasions.
  • On May 9, Coinbase published a message regarding access problems: “Coinbase.com is experiencing connectivity issues”. The Bitcoin price increases by 15.26% between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm PDT.
  • On June 1st, the Bitcoin price increases by +6.94% between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm PDT. The incident happened again. In the aftermath, after multiple complaints, many users announced they were leaving Coinbase.
  • On July 28th, between 2:00 am and 4:30 am PDT, the Bitcoin price increased by +3.82%. Coinbase is experiencing connectivity issues that are impacting its users.
  • On November 11th, a similar problem is again encountered by Coinbase.
  • On November 16th, Coinbase publishes the following official message: “Website and mobile apps not loading”.

In the midst of the current bull market rally for Bitcoin, it would appear that Coinbase’s infrastructure is under severe strain and is unable to absorb the flow of new entrants.

The only positive aspect of the deal is the transparency of Coinbase. Indeed, all these incidents are listed publicly on the “Coinbase Status” website. For example, for the incident of 16 November 2020:

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Screenshot from Coinbase Status

While Coinbase never responds directly to the anger this unleashes in the community, Brian Armstrong, the firm’s CEO, did end up publishing a tweet on November 18, 2020, to indicate that Coinbase is working hard to increase its capacity in terms of servers but also in terms of customer support:

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Brian Armstrong Tweet

Brian Armstrong’s communication does not mislead anyone in my opinion.

If Coinbase’s unavailability problems were understandable at the end of 2017 when euphoria had gripped the market, the situation is quite different in 2020.

Everyone is well aware that Bitcoin is set to see its price explode. Coinbase is regularly going down while the Bull Run has not yet started. The bullish rally we are currently witnessing is due to smart money.

Nothing comparable to the massive arrival of retail investors at the end of 2017.

If Coinbase is unable to hold its own at the moment, what will happen when the Bitcoin price rises above $50K and then moves towards $100K at the end of 2021?

Given Coinbase’s huge financial means, users have the right to expect the firm to invest properly in its infrastructure so that this type of inconvenience does not occur. It may happen once, but almost ten times since March 2020, that’s far too many.

Some even end up doubting Coinbase, thinking that these repeated issues, when the Bitcoin price is on the move, are not just a coincidence:

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Alex Cobb Tweet

I will let you make your own opinion on such insinuations, but for the time being, I can no longer recommend Coinbase to new entrants. There are many more reliable alternatives available, and you should turn to them.

To end this story, I would like to know if any of you have ever been penalized by these issues concerning Coinbase? If so, please feel free to leave a comment so we can discuss it.

In Bitcoin We Trust

In Bitcoin We Trust is a place where Bitcoin believers…

Sylvain Saurel

Written by

Entrepreneur / Developer / Blogger / Author. In Bitcoin We Trust: https://www.inbitcoinwetrust.net

In Bitcoin We Trust

In Bitcoin We Trust is a place where Bitcoin believers share their ideas about the upcoming revolution. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are also covered in this publication.

Sylvain Saurel

Written by

Entrepreneur / Developer / Blogger / Author. In Bitcoin We Trust: https://www.inbitcoinwetrust.net

In Bitcoin We Trust

In Bitcoin We Trust is a place where Bitcoin believers share their ideas about the upcoming revolution. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are also covered in this publication.

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