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Business News/ Markets / Cryptocurrency/  Crypto trade halts amid crash

Platforms of leading cryptocurrency exchanges such as WazirX and CoinDCX crashed on Wednesday evening on a surge in trading volumes as some investors moved to cut losses amid the rout in the crypto market while others looked for value buying options.

After many users complained of issues on Twitter, WazirX acknowledged the problem, and said that it is investigating the issue and working on a fix. “We’ve received reports that you’re facing delays in trading, viewing order book and trade history on WazirX app and website," the company tweeted.

Moreover, CoinDcx in a statement said that their team has identified the issues and were working to resolve them at the earliest. “Due to high user traffic, we are aware some of our users like you might be experiencing issues related to services on our website and our apps," the statement further read.

Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ether and dogecoin cracked on Wednesday after China banned its financial and payment institutions from dealing in digital assets. The sentiment took a further hit on inflation worries in the US.

Reportedly, global crypto exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase also crashed amid a trading volume surge. Users of CoinSwitch Kuber also complained about issues with the platform on Twitter. The crypto exchange tweeted that its team was working on the issue.

“The heavy price dip in the market has encouraged more people to buy into the dip thereby causing a tremendous surge in our traffic. We’re seeing approximately 400% more traffic than what we witnessed in the previous month. Our team is working on bringing WazirX back up," said Nischal Shetty, CEO, WazirX.

“To accommodate the rapidly growing traffic and volume, we’re working on an upgrade for the WazirX trading engine named Project Raftaar. The first version should be ready soon," he added.

Another crypto platform, BuyUcoin, whose app was working slow, said they witnessed a sudden surge on their platform when a large number of users were trying to buy the dip in crypto prices. “Cryptocurrencies were selling at 30-50% sale, which resulted in high user traffic," said Shivam Thakral, CEO, BuyUcoin.

This is not the first time when crypto platforms have crashed. Earlier this month some exchanges, like WazirX, had faced issues when Dogecoin has seen a sharp rise in prices.

Bitcoin tanked as much as 30% to near $30,000 level, while ether tested the $2,000 zone. This was the biggest fall in digital assets since March last year, which wiped of nearly $1 trillion in market capitalization.

“What we are witnessing now are panic-exits by investors who are bogged down by sentiment in the market over the debate about environmental concerns expressed by the electric car maker Tesla. You have to know that unlike the stock market, which is around $170 trillion, the crypto market is only at $2 trillion. Thin markets such as crypto, still in their nascent stages, can experience such volatility because the order books aren't too deeply populated," said Ashish Mehta, co-founder of DigitX, a B2B Crypto trading exchange.

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Abhinav Kaul
Abhinav Kaul writes on cryptocurrencies and mutual funds at Mint. His previous stints include ETMarkets, Reuters Bangalore and Press Trust of India.
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Updated: 19 May 2021, 09:57 PM IST
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