The Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange has been experiencing a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack since the morning of 5 June 2018, according to an announcement on its Twitter account. The attack started this morning during unplanned maintenance due to problems with its trading engine, and is causing extreme load and poor performance on its servers.

It’s unknown if the problems with Bitfinex’s trading engine and the DDoS attack are related. The exchange was offline during the maintenance when the attack started. It is possible that the party or parties behind the DDoS attack wanted to hit Bitfinex at a time of weakness.

In a DDoS attack, hackers flood a victim with data from many different IP addresses, making the attack impossible to stop by blocking any single source. The goal is to make a website inaccessible by customers. The physical equivalent of a DDoS is blockading the front of a store with a group of people so customers can’t get in. While bad for business, the security of the cryptocurrency that Bitfinex holds does not appear to be compromised by a DDoS attack.

Bloomberg reports that the attack is preventing users from accessing the exchange. Bitfinex is the largest exchange in the world by trading volume between USD and Bitcoin, with trading volume on an average day of BTC 20,000 (some USD 150 million). Trading volume has floored today due to the exchange being offline during maintenance and the following DDoS attack.

Events like these can cause uncertainty and fear in Bitcoin markets but so far its price has barely reacted and is holding steady above USD 7,400.


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