In the aftermath of its recent connectivity issues that deprived numerous users of access to their cryptoassets amid skyrocketing prices, major crypto exchange Coinbase has issued an apology to its Europe-based customers. While putting the blame for the difficulties at the recent market rally and regulatory obligations, the exchange also vowed to implement changes to improve its user experience.
Coinbase disclosed it was experiencing connectivity issues on January 6, freezing the crypto assets of an undisclosed number of users in the UK and the European Union as the price of bitcoin (BTC) was gearing towards USD 40,000. The issue is said to be identified at 08:28 am PST (16:28 UTC), when BTC traded at almost USD 35,000, and resolved by 01:41 pm PST (21:41 UTC), when BTC was already above USD 36,000.
Bitcoin price chart, January 6-7:
“Some of our customers in the United Kingdom and the EU have recently found it difficult to access their accounts, or have faced restrictions on some transactions. In some cases our customers have not been able to get these issues resolved quickly enough,” Coinbase admitted, adding that this was triggered by two factors.
“First, over the past two months we’ve seen a sustained market rally that has brought a significant number of new customers onto our platform and re-engaged many existing customers. Second, evolving regulatory requirements mean that we have to collect additional information from some of our customers, which has meant temporary restrictions being placed on their accounts as we request that information,” according to the exchange.
To prevent similar issues from happening in the future, Coinbase claims it is implementing a number of solutions to overhaul its systems. Among others:
- The exchange has prioritized pending customer information requests for resolution;
- Coinbase has enhanced its customer flow on mobile devices, including a path for customers to see and provide their missing personal data through the app;
- The exchange has re-enabled a feature to allow UK customers to directly convert their cryptoassets into GBP and EUR, and then transfer them to their PayPal accounts.
“We will soon be rolling out new solutions to reduce the time needed for customers to recover their accounts following account lock-outs,” according to the company.
Coinbase claims they have more than 35m users in over 100 countries, with more than USD 320bn total volume traded.
As reported, the company is preparing for its initial public offering.