Why people are apprehensive about the upcoming Bitfinex downtime

06 Jan, 2019 | Updated: 07 Jan, 2019
by Will Heasman
Why people are apprehensive about the upcoming Bitfinex downtime

On the 7th of January, Bitfinex has planned “up to 7 hours” of maintenance while it migrates its data to a dedicated server. This has caused a ripple of mixed emotions throughout the crypto space, due to one thing and one thing only… volatility.

Historically planned maintenance has played havoc with the market, initiating either a pump or a dump and leaving some investors to speculate that manipulation had occurred. One instance of this happened in August last year when the popular exchange BitMEX scheduled maintenance which caused prolonged downtime. During the time in which the exchange was offline, $12 billion was added to the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies, giving Bitcoin (BTC) alone a boost of $300. 

It's not entirely clear why this phenomenon occurs, some say its due to a lack of access to BTC short positions, which typically bring the price down. The more conspiratorially-minded among us believe that it may be due to foul play from the exchanges themselves. 

Despite the community’s concerns, it appears that fears are fairly unfounded. BitFinex’s BTC transaction volume is relatively low when compared to the entirety of BTC trade volume, meaning that volatility (if any) probably wont be enough to dramatically affect the market.

Read more: Bitfinex plans major maintenance, with 7 hours downtime; BitMEX goes offline, Bitcoin spikes by $300; what does this mean for the market?

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