In a Medium post, the CEO of Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges out there, is urging users to be responsible about their investments. “We also wanted to remind customers of some of the risks associated with trading digital currency,” CEO Brian Armstrong wrote. “Digital currencies are volatile and the prices can go up and down.”
The startup, which is currently valued at $1.6 billion — though undoubtedly soon to be worth a whole lot more if current trends continue — had a rough day yesterday as the exchange buckled under the pressure of a particularly hefty day of trading. For large swaths of time, the app was unavailable for many users who were unable to even check their account balance. This came as the Coinbase app skyrocketed to temporarily holding the No. 1 downloaded free app spot in the App Store.
Armstrong says that the resurgence of bitcoin’s popularity and recent dramatic rally has caused a strain on the startup’s infrastructure, but that they’re rapidly scaling to meet the demand. The company said it has increased the number of transactions it’s able to handle at peak hours by 40 times, and has scaled up its support team 640 percent while adding features like phone support.
Nevertheless, Armstrong said that service disruption may still continue. “Despite the sizable and ongoing increases in our technical infrastructure and engineering staff, we wanted to remind customers that access to Coinbase services may become degraded or unavailable during times of significant volatility or volume,” he said. “This could result in the inability to buy or sell for periods of time.”
The price of a bitcoin is currently resting around $15,000, down nearly 11 percent over the past 24 hours, according to Coindesk.