An in-depth analysis of the recent malfunction and performance issues suffered by the Binance crypto exchange.
As Cointelegraph reported on Feb. 19, Binance temporarily suspended most of its crypto trading platform activities due to unscheduled system maintenance. For several hours the exchange’s users were unable to perform most basic functions including deposits, withdrawals, spot trading, margin trading, P2P trading, lending, redemption, as well as asset transfers from sub-accounts, margin accounts, futures accounts, and fiat wallets on the platform.
During the outage, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao explained that the root cause of the trading halt was a technical issue with one of the market data pushers. In the end the exchange solved the issue the same day, waived the day’s margin trading interest, and resumed trading after allowing a thirty minute window for canceling orders. The firm reassured Cointelegraph that no malicious activity was involved in the malfunction.
Binance’s maintenance allegedly caused a market downturn
An experienced trader who found himself unable to access the platform during the stoppage told Cointelegraph that the unscheduled maintenance proved to be a major issue. He pointed out that shortly after trading on the platform resumed after the halt, a major market downturn took place:
“While I have to admit that I prefer to trade on Binance rather than on the other exchanges, starting unscheduled maintenance caused turmoil in the market since traders encountered unexpected difficulties in position management. In fact, I noticed that after a few hours the market has seen a downturn. I hope that in the future Binance won’t encounter such problems and will maximize its performance.”
Binance proved unable to manage the increased traffic
According to a Feb. 17 Binance report, the week before the unscheduled maintenance took place the exchange also reported “a number of performance issues.” The firm suggests that the reason is the higher-than-usual number of users active on the trading platform:
“The difference between BTC at $10,000 this time around and the previous times is, there are a lot more users now. While this is a solid sign of strong recovery for the crypto market, it also puts on significant load for our systems.”
The exchange’s users ran into user interface errors and trading API timeouts because of the middle-layer service being overloaded. Users that were unable to have their orders carried out also often retried right away, resulting in overloading Binance’s infrastructure even further.
Binance’s short-term solution was to increase the computing resources, but the firm admits that the impact of this approach was limited. The firm also attempted to scale up the performance in other ways, but the improvements were not ready for implementation before the traffic spike.
The performance issues also caused a delay in data, order and balance updates. Per the report, Binance is working on longer-term solutions for this issue that should multiply the throughput of the system more than tenfold. Overall, Zhao claims that all those issues can be solved, and promises:
“We will solve these issues quickly, short, mid and long term fixes. I won’t be able to guarantee all smooth sailing from here. We are bound to run into issues in the future as well, and we are confident we will solve them quickly.”
Binance expands its operations aggressively
Earlier this month, Binance added Hong Kong dollar support shortly after adding 15 additional fiat currency options for Visa and Mastercard purchases on its platform. Shortly before those announcements, the firm also added Russian ruble pairs for its peer-to-peer trading platform.
The increase in traffic claimed by Binance in its report apparently suggests that this approach is working — and the company clearly intends to scale its infrastructure to match.