Amazon Web Services Outage Disrupts Bitcoin Exchange Operations

When popular web services go offline all of a sudden, a wide range of popular platforms will be affected as well. In the case of the most recent Amazon web server outage incident, a  lot of bitcoin companies were caught in the crossfires as well. Relying on centralized services remains a critical problem very few companies successfully circumvent these days.

AWS Outage Causes A Lot of Problems

It is evident the AWS outage has caused problems for quite a few companies and service providers in the world. A lot of enterprises use AWS services for part of their services, including multiple bitcoin exchanges. To be more precise, both Coinbase and GDAX were affected by this outage, effectively bringing their exchange services to a halt. It is important to keep in mind this does not hinder the bitcoin protocol itself, but only the companies who facilitate access to the bitcoin ecosystem.

Amazon’s web hosting services are the most widely used in the world. With their wide range of scalable options, as well as their affordable pricing, it is not hard to see why AWS has become a household name in the corporate sector as of late. Unfortunately, when these servers go down, they cause a lot of issues for companies all over the world. Moreover, there is very little these companies can do unless they have backup servers from a different company at their disposal.

One particular region hosting Amazon’s web services was hit in particular. This caused a lot of servers in other data centers to be impacted as well, although that damage could have been worse in the end.Among the affected services – other than the bitcoin exchanges – are sites such as The Verge, Amazon’s Alexa service, Trello, IFTTT, and Wix. All of this goes to show far too many companies rely on this centralized business model of offering web servers. This is not good by any means, as incidents like these could happen again at any time.

It is not the first time Amazon’s web services suffer from brief outages. That is only to be expected, as the growing number of servers they use will attract more clients in the process. Unfortunately, most databases can only contain so many servers, and creating new data center location out of the blue is virtually impossible. Even if only one of Amazon’s web services data centers is affected, the others will take a performance hit as well.

During its previous brief outage, AWS servers caused issued for popular online services such as IMDB and Instagram. It is unclear what causes these outages in the first place, or what the company can do to prevent these from happening. It is apparent something has caused these problems in the first place, although it does not appear the data center itself was compromised in any way. That is somewhat comforting, as some people were concerned regarding this outage being a hack.

Perhaps the biggest concern in all of this is not knowing how and when services will be operational once again. Right now, there is no official ETA on having all AWS services restored. Amazon is actively working on the situation, and we can only hope to see all affected services back online sooner rather than later. Coinbase and GDAX seem to be operational again for the time being, albeit users may experience some minor delays while using the platforms in question.

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