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Two of the leading exchanges for bitcoin trading suffered partial service outages on Tuesday, injecting further turmoil into the market for the cryptocurrencies, where prices have already seen wild swings in recent days.
Bitfinex said via Twitter than it was “under heavy” denial of service attack and that its application programming interface was down.
Rival exchange Coinbase said on its website that it was suffering from a “partial system outage”.
Both companies have struggled to keep up with the surge of interest in bitcoin trading. Bitfinex has been saying it’s under attack for a number of days and has gone down periodically during that time. Coinbase was as offline for an hour yesterday for maintenance.
Coinbase’s chief executive had warned in a blog post on Dec 7: “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.”
The tumult comes just a day after the widely-anticipated first bitcoin futures contracts started trading on Cboe Global Markets, the US derivatives exchange.
Bitcoin, which was trading at only around $1,000 at the start of the year, has seen its value increase exponentially over the past two months and was trading at $17,117 on Tuesday, according to Reuters data.