Crypto traders got a good dose of fear over the weekend. Kraken, one of the biggest exchanges in the world, shut down late last week. The site was scheduled to go down for two hours for planned maintenance.
However, things didn’t go to plan, and the site remained offline for two days. Immediate thoughts turned to the worst possible outcome, with some veteran traders fearing a repeat of the Mt Gox incident. My Gox was a crypto exchange that collapsed in 2014, wiping out half a billion US dollars’ worth of bitcoin. Today that same amount would have been worth roughly US$7.8 billion!
No damage done
Everyone sighed with relief on Saturday (US time) as Kraken finally came back online. Everything was where it had been, and there was no visible damage.
The Kraken team even apologised for the delay, offering zero trading fees until the end of January to compensate.
It’s a key reminder that you should never keep your bitcoin or crypto assets on an exchange. Keep them safe by transferring them to a crypto wallet.
And while there is still a lot of criticism thrown at crypto exchanges, this weekend’s development demonstrates that they are at least trying to become more respectable.
They are after all the easiest way to get your hands on some bitcoin. Something that isn’t always easy for the average investor. That’s where our handy bitcoin buying guide can help — check it out right here.
Junior Analyst, Money Morning