Investors face losses amid outages in crypto bourses

Indian crypto investors were left in the lurch amid crashing prices, as domestic cryptocurrency exchanges WazirX and CoinDCX saw outages late on Wednesday.

Crypto investors took to social media to complain that their deposits were not getting reflected and that they were unable to invest during dips. Some users also complained that they could not log into their accounts while others said mobile apps were not working.

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Many of these cryptocurrency investors were keen on taking advantage of the falling Bitcoin prices to invest more, while others wanted to offload their holdings by converting them into rupee and withdrawing them.

Services of both the exchanges were restored within an hour or so.

Cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin have seen massive volatility in the last few days; a sharp drop in prices was witnessed on Wednesday. Bitcoin plunged by nearly 30 per cent to $31,000, erasing over $500 billion in value from its peak market value.

“The heavy price dip in the market has encouraged more people to buy, thereby causing a tremendous surge in our traffic. We’re seeing approximately 400 per cent more traffic than what we witnessed in the previous month,” said Nischal Shetty, CEO and Founder, WazirX.

To accommodate the rapidly growing traffic and volume, the exchange is also working on an upgrade for the WazirX trading engine named Project Raftaar, he said in a statement, adding that the first version should be ready soon.

This was the second such glitch on WazirX’s platform this month.

“Due to high user traffic, some of our users might be experiencing issues related to services on our website and apps,” CoinDCX had said.

Regulatory uncertainties

Despite regulatory uncertainties around its future, crypto currencies have been gaining popularity in India in the last one year since the Supreme Court lifted the ban on its trading.

Most exchanges have reported a large number of users signing up. Wazir X and CoinDCX are two of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.

But cryptocurrency exchanges and investors are facing a new challenge with most banks unwilling to process such transactions.

According to sources, the issue began cropping up late February and, in recent weeks, some banks have directed payment gateways not to process cryptocurrency-related transactions.

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