Nearly 40 Hours Later and the Kraken Exchange is Still Down - No ETA, No Need To Panic, All Right To Be Angry

in #trading4 years ago

Kraken 2015.png
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"We can't launch like this. We don't know when this hell will be over." I hear the developers scream after nearly 2 days trying to make this 2 hour update work. Up front I'll say I still have deep sympathy for the devs here. Someone messed up, but management should have had a contingency in place to prevent the exchange from being down this long in case of a massive failure like this. At least they didn't go live without noticing whatever this problem is, but what happened to the old platform? Surely a 2 hour update would have only taken 2 hours to undo (I say knowing full well a few circumstances where that is not the case).

Twitter, and I'm sure Reddit and other social apps that I don't get notifications for, is going crazy. There are calls for lawsuits, accusations of Kraken being hacked and further accusations of them running off with the money. I'm doubtful of any lawsuits working on an unregulated exchange like this, not if they get things running within a week at least, but I'm no lawyer nor judge. Let's take a look at the other scenarios though.

First, Kraken almost certainly wasn't hacked. They had announced this maintenance through their twitter feed several hours before it happened and the site went down as expected. They're very likely upgrading their server infrastructure, so the servers need to go down. I started monitoring the situation when those servers went down and they have not been up since.

Know how not to get hacked? Unplug your internet. An old joke I remember from my High School computers teacher. But while there are some upgrade methods that would leave open a back door while they were upgrading this is a highly unlikely scenario. The servers are down, no one can access the site or API - no hacker is getting through that solid defence.

So are they running away with the money? Also unlikely. At 40 hours they would have easily gotten out of the country if that was their plan and there would really be no reason to keep these updates coming. Should they update more frequently and with more transparency? I think so, but then I suspect the person writing these updates is a developer that's working double or triple duty. If someone knows what the Kraken team really looks like please correct me, but I'm imagining a team of 5-10 who are understaffed, overworked and not getting nearly enough sleep because the people running the place didn't want to spring for a few more senior developers. I wouldn't be surprised if one or two people quit after this regardless of what the team looks like.

So, unless their assurances that the transaction records are safe is false, our money is safe.

It's odd reading through Twitter. For me this is a nice and needed vacation so it hasn't bothered me too much, but I do have pretty much everything invested in Kraken right now. It's not much, but it's rent for a couple of months that I otherwise don't have right now. So on one hand I understand how angry many people are getting and how nervous they are at the safety of their funds. On the other, Kraken has been such a flakey platform this past year that I kind of predicted an extended downtime due to some error or another. I never imagined it'd go longer than maybe 12 hours, but here we are. Expect people and companies to be consistently unreliable.

Assuming this doesn't force Kraken's doors closed, I still hold out hope that they will launch with a great platform when this is all over. Going to be cautious the first day it's up since who knows what else they might have missed, but I'm completely on board with continuing to use their platform if they start keeping up with the necessary upgrades. I suspect this will be the straw that broke the camel's back for many people though so there will likely be a lot of withdrawals once those are functioning again. I don't recommend doing so immediately just in case stability issues are a problem; don't be part of the guinea pig group that rushes in to test the system.

If you're looking for a more reliable platform right now I do have a couple of suggestions (because they offer referral links and I'm totally willing to be a sellout for a good product).

QuadrigaCX
https://www.quadrigacx.com/?ref=oohvdrx6yh6pl6s5b4f242rg
Canadian based QuadrigaCX is perfect for beginners in North America. It was my first exchange. It offers a very simple trading platform that shows live offers. Clicking on an offer allows you to autimatically fill out your trade order for a faster trading experience. Being a smaller (and competent) exchange they handle orders pretty much instantly. They trade in BTC, LTC, ETH, CAD and USD. Trading fees are at 0.5%.

Binance
https://www.binance.com/?ref=17951538
So anyone that's taken the time to look into exchanges probably knows about the giant that is Binance. They offer crypto trading only, but have a pretty wide variety. I use them mostly for long term investments. Diversify my portfolio with whatever I don't want to use daytrading and hope that my picks do well over time. If you're looking for a diverse coin portfolio, as any good trader should, you could do much worse than signing up to Binance.


Thanks for reading! I'm somewhat new to the crypto news scene, but since I've been using Kraken for quite awhile I figured I'd dip my toe in the pool for this one. Any feedback or questions you may have please stick them down in the comments and I'll be sure to reply.

If you're feeling generous today and would like to help out a poor, down on his luck writer you can help me buy a tiny violin to play a very sad song by donating:
Bitcoin: 3AB1rgRR3gTDZrZjG87mN9w9mSJRNaADH8
Ethereum: 0x2B3B2352760d1fbdC77db9494778457400811a15
https://streamlabs.com/johnyliltoe (I do live streams over on my YouTube channel and DLive, so I set this up)

Whoever you are out there, wherever you may be and whatever you may be doing I hope you're having a fantastic week!

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I am not saying that you are wrong in your optimism, however as you mentioned, "They had announced this maintenance through their twitter feed several hours before it happened and the site went down as expected". Several hours notice is not scheduled maintenance, but more like a major fire.

While pulling the plug is sometimes the best option, it implies a real issue. It seams to me there would have been a contingency where trading is stopped to reduce load and isolate systems, while account balance and wallets are available to move funds.

However it is possible, as advertised, this is a bug that did not show until it was launched on production. It seems you would put the system back and work on it in the development environment.

I am leaning towards database corruption that is compounded by backups that do not reflect the stable state. It is possible backups are corrupted with how long they have been running at max capacity. They might eventually get it right, but wow what a headache for the team working on this. Obviously not much fun for the users either.

I have not looked, but if they have been hacked, seems the transfers would show on the ledger.

Time will tell. Thanks for the article!

Thanks for the reply!

I'm assuming the same theory now actually, although not so well thought out. Something preventing the rollback of certain systems, therein preventing a full rollback. Like new hardware that is set up in a RAID format with the old hardware? Grasping at my reaches of computer science.

I'm optimistic regarding a hack or a "take the money and run" scenario but how long Kraken is going to be down for and the integrity of each set of data is something I grow increasingly concerned about.

I went to Kraken, only to get the familiar Maintenance page. However upon looking at the Status, it reads they are back on-line. So I refreshed a couple of times, and got the Kraken home page.

Once logged in the site ran really smoothly.

My Kraken balance shows correct, so that is good. The interesting thing is I went to Withdraw LTC and that feature is currently disabled.

I wonder if the pages flow so smooth because of less traffic, as I am not very optimistic about placing trades. It does seem like they are making progress. Makes me wonder if they could have got back to this state sooner, but bean counters were pushing to get back on-line.

--The fun continues.

EDIT: I had only read the most resent status update, as a few updates below it reads Withdraws are offline. hahaha, They know most people are ready to run away. I find it interesting that the deposit address works just fine.

It's actually good sense to prevent withdraws and deposits during the first day. If something goes wrong those are the areas most prone to causing money loss, so you want to prove the system is stable in the live environment before turning that on.

Trading has been going smoothly for me so far, though traffic doesn't seem too extreme right now. We'll see what happens in the next big movement in the market.

I see your point, but I disagree. Keep in mind, all I want to do is use the LTC wallet. Kraken has not stoped deposits, as I can create new addresses for sending funds to the exchange. However, the withdrawal feature is still down.

If their services are up to scale to handle trading, then certainly the wallet feature would be reliable. After-all the wallet is part of the true decentralized ledger, and not as dependent on their centralized servers.

I do not have a fiat account linked, and fund and withdrawal only in crypto.

Thanks again for the coverage, and sorry I missed the live stream. It is good to hear the trades are running smooth.

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