Binance Routine Maintenance Caused Panic, Hacking Fears
The exchange is undergoing routine maintenance, but still caused fears due to going dark without prior announcement.
Binance will be down for a few more hours, but should go back online for the most active hours of American trading. The exchange, which is gaining ever more popularity for listing hot new digital assets, is undergoing an update, planned to go on for a total of 24 hours.
The site has also been overwhelmed by requests. The exchange's founder, known as CZ, has signaled the update may take more than expected:
Still waiting on data copy, it will take a while, another 10 hrs at the current estimate. Due to the unexpected length of time, we will allow 30 mins for people to withdraw orders before trading resumes when system is back.— CZ (@cz_binance) February 8, 2018
Binance restricted new accounts a month ago, as the sudden popularity of the exchange caused the need for scaling. Still, Binance cites a capability of 1.4 million transactions per second, and has not seen any significant withdrawal problems.
Binance has received some criticism for its relatively high fees, especially when withdrawing rapidly-appreciating tokens. The recent update has also angered investors:
System Upgrade Extensionhttps://t.co/ZLHuhnswTm— binance (@binance_2017) February 8, 2018
Some saw the sudden blackout of the exchange as potentially coming from a hacking, causing more panic:
I love Binance. Favorite cryptocurrency exchange for sure. But, when doing a maintenance, release an announcement before it happens. Traders are freaking out because they think @binance_2017 is hacked.https://t.co/CjkQTpBJYg— Joseph Young (@iamjosephyoung) February 8, 2018
Reddit users calmed down the community quickly, pointing out that Binance in fact revealed surprising robustness in handling its server operations:
"As a software engineer, I can appreciate the amount of careful planning it took to implement a "lock down" procedure like this that doesn't scare the shit out of users. If their engineering team wasn't as good as it is, you'd probably be looking at a blank white page that says "500 Server Error" and reading FUD on reddit about an exit scam," wrote Redditor ajp427.
The latest event has been the first more serious outage for Binance. Increased volumes have led to crashes and outages in Coinbase during peak Bitcoin activity, and Kraken has been known for much more frequent outages. Some exchanges, like Poloniex and Bittrex, have had troubles with DDOS attacks.
But the Binance Coin (BNB) digital asset has remained robust in the past days. BNB has slid from a peak above $20, but remains somewhat robust against BTC. The chief role of the BNB token is to offer additional trading pairs with smaller fees.
Recently, Binance announced another token burn, an event that distributed dividends. Binance also distributed GAS to those who hold NEO tokens on the exchange.