Trading giant BitMEX is at the center of attention after unexpected downtime sparked rumors of foul play as Bitcoin (BTC) fell as low as $3,700.

According to a tweet from the company, problems arose during frenzied trading activity on the evening of March 12.

 

BitMEX “hardware issue” sparks delays

As a result, BitMEX was offline for around 25 minutes, managing to address the issue by 3 am UTC. The tweet stated:

“Between 02:16 and 02:40 UTC 13 March 2020 we became aware of a hardware issue with our cloud service provider causing BitMEX requests to be delayed.”

The exchange saw more liquidations than any other day over the past year, while aggregate volumes for Bitcoin futures also broke records.

Bitmex

BitMEX liquidations chart. Source: Skew.com

 

Exchange rejects “conspiracy theory”

Against a backdrop of heavy losses for Bitcoin traders everywhere, however, BitMEX is currently fielding intense criticism. Aside from technical reliability, one theory even suggests the exchange contributed to BTC/USD’s record daily losses.

“Insane theory of the day: there was no BitMEX hardware issue,” Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of research outfit Alameda and competitor exchange FTX wrote as part of a series of tweets following the turmoil.

For Bankman-Fried, it was BitMEX’s unwillingness to address market conditions which hastened Bitcoin’s fall. After the platform went offline, Bitcoin recovered, he noted.

“BTC rallied without the gigantic sell wall of the BitMEX liq,” he summarized.  

“And even more than that--BTC rallied, so fewer people *had* to be liquidated.....  Creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we could will BTC up above $5k, maybe then it would no longer *need* to go down.”

BitMEX responded by calling the allegations a “conspiracy theory.”

“‘Insane’ is right. Sam, you know better than to deal in this type of conspiracy theory, especially since you operate a platform in the space and understand what kind of problems can occur at scale,” staff wrote. 

Bankman-Fried later said that he “believed” BitMEX’s denial of his version of events.

BitMEX’s insurance fund, as of Thursday, was down 1,600 BTC ($8.6 million) in 24 hours in what appears to be its biggest drop on record.

Cryptos feed

Latest Crypto News & Analysis

Editors’ Picks

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Saturday’s closing below $9700 unnerves BTC bulls

Having failed several attempts to hold the upside above the 9700-mark, Bitcoin (BTC/USD) is consolidating in familiar ranges around 9650 amid quiet trading so far this Sunday. Range play to extend as long as it remains trapped between two key HMAs.

More Bitcoin News

XRP/USD: Path of least resistance appears to the downside

XRP/USD is struggling to extend its recovery beyond 0.20 on Saturday, as the bulls remain in a wait-and-see for the fourth straight session. While extending the range play, the bears are seen fighting back control, as suggested by the near-term technical set up.

More Ripple News

BCH/USD: Bulls eye $280 amid falling wedge breakout

Bitcoin Cash (BCH/USD) is consolidating the latest uptick to a daily high of 257.50, having recovered losses following a dip to 253.47. The No. 5 coin has charted a bullish breakout on the hourly chart. The bulls look to extend the upside break to $280.   

More Bitcoin Cash News

Crypto Market Update: Ethereum outperforms its main rivals on the road to recovery

Crypto bulls are trying hard to extend the recovery on Saturday. Ethereum outperforms Bitcoin and Ripple, looking to settle the week with 4.50% gains. The top 2 widely traded coins are poised for additional upside.  

More Cryptocurrencies News

BEST CRYPTO BROKERS/EXCHANGES

Bitcoin Weekly Forecast: BTC/USD needs to go down again before it goes up

After a head-spinning volatility at the beginning of the week, BTC/USD settled above $9,600 with minor gains on a week-on-week basis. A shall Doji candle on a weekly chart is an alarming signal that the bulls are exhausted by uncertainty and large price swings. 

Read the weekly forecast

BTC

ETH

XRP