San Francisco based Crypto currency exchange Kraken is back to conducting business as usual after more than 48 hours of being offline. This is its longest service downtime since its inception in 2011. Kraken, known as the world’s biggest Bit coin exchange in terms of Euro volume, had scheduled an upgrade on Wednesday the 10th of January. It had termed the upgrade as a much awaited trading engine upgrade that the company had worked hard on. The scheduled downtime was estimated to be 2 hours. All trading and withdrawals were closed during this time. But the schedule went haywire and after 2 days of nervously waiting the customers were finally able to see Kraken back online on 13th Jan.
What went wrong?
Though the company is yet to come out with a detailed description of the things that went wrong during the upgrade, here are a few points that were deduced from their blog updates. According to company sources a new trading engine was to replace the old one. The company estimated 2 hours for the update.
From the beginning things didn’t go as planned. First the upgrade started late. Then it took longer than expected. And finally a bug was revealed. The new trading engine had already been tested in the development environment that is actually a replica of the production one. But, when the new engine was installed and final testing done, bugs were revealed in the system.
The Kraken team worked hard to resolve the issue and said that services will resume by Saturday morning. But it still took hours for the system to be back online and finally at 15:47 trading was started.
What could have been done to resolve the issue in a better way?
The company was much criticized on social media for its slow updates. The customers felt that the company should have resorted to regular updates. Many updates were posted after long hours of anxious waiting. Since trading as well as withdrawals were also affected the customers were highly inconvenienced.
Crypto currency market has always been rife with issues of stolen bit coins and bankruptcy. This latest delay of Kraken only made matters worse for its customers. With no phone numbers or email on the Kraken website customers were dependent upon Kraken blog updates to know about the situation. This not only frustrated the customers but also made them panic. The company could have better managed its communication with its clients.
What the company had to say?
Kraken apologized to its client for the delay, and to compensate for it, the company has waived trading fees for all its customers till the month end. The waiver is not for margin trades.
When the system went online for trading but not for withdrawals, the company assured its customers that their funds were safe and there is nothing to worry about. The company has said that this kind of system downtime was a first in the company’s history and that they were not proud of it.
The company also stated that the scheduled downtime was to make improvements in the system that the customers have wanted. The company said it had worked hard on developing the new engine.
Kraken has ensured its customers that no recurrence of the event will take place and that it is continually monitoring the new system. The company is keeping an eye on the performance of the new system and has cautioned its customers that if required the company will have to bring down the site without much notice. Hopefully, things will not take such a bad turn and for customers sake the new system will keep working smoothly and effortlessly.
Learning from the current fiasco the company should work on its communication network more thereby avoiding any unnecessary panic situation among the customers.