$ 850 billion bitcoin was another crypto joke. Here’s why it matters.

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Vladyslav Yushynov / Dreamstime

Bitcoin briefly hit $ 850 billion on Tuesday while Ether hit $ 179 billion per token. The prices were not real, of course, related to issues on CoinMarketCap and


They have since been resolved.

But they highlight the fact that crypto data providers and exchanges can still be vulnerable to glitches, misinformation or hacks, leaving investors to wonder what’s true and what’s false.

What exactly happened remains a bit of a mystery. About 18 hours ago, Coinbase (ticker: COIN) said on Twitter that “some customers are seeing inflated values ​​for non-tradable crypto assets on http://Coinbase.com and Coinbase Wallet. This is only a display issue and has no impact on trading.

An hour later, Coinbase said the issue was resolved and the assets on the Coinbase site and wallet “should reflect the correct market value.” Again, this did not impact trading.

Coinbase later added that it was experiencing trading difficulties, but said all issues were resolved by Wednesday morning.

A Coinbase spokesperson declined to comment further, referring to Barron to the company’s Twitter feed.

CoinMarketCap, owned by the Binance exchange, was also posting normal prices on Wednesday, after a brief period of price crashes on Tuesday. According to screenshots from the site, Bitcoin was priced at $ 850,867,136,053, Ethereum at $ 179,598,602,169, and USDC stablecoin at $ 42,042,904.

CoinMarketCap’s Twitter feed reported that the issue was resolved quickly.

“Following the irregularities we observed on our platform this afternoon, although the issue has been resolved, we will restart our servers as a final step in accordance with our internal remediation plan,” the company said. “Apologies for the inconvenience.”

A spokesperson for CoinMarketCap noted that the company provides a data feed to Coinbase. She also shed light on the situation, saying Barron, “When the price of Bitcoin suddenly makes half the world a billionaire, it’s almost impossible to keep a straight face.”

Indeed, CoinMarketCap laughed at the problem almost instantly, Tweeter “How does it feel to be a billionaire for a few hours?” CoinMarketCap also posted numerous joking tweets referring to ‘Squid Game’, a sad


frog and a Shiba Inu dog trying to bite a hot dog.

Yet crypto is no joke for the millions of Americans who are now investing in space. And sites aiming to be credible data providers are doing themselves a disservice by joking about out of whack prices. CoinMarketCap, for example, calls itself “the world’s most trusted cryptocurrency data authority.”

Coinbase, for its part, has had connectivity and trading issues on several occasions, according to its support site.

On November 23, for example, the company said connectivity issues can “cause failed transactions, delayed transactions, and unexpected behavior on the webpage and mobile apps.” Days earlier, on November 19, the company reported trading issues with GYEN and Powerledger tokens. Trading was delayed on the exchange on October 27, and the site encountered client connection issues on October 6.

The lesson in all this? Crypto prices may not be what they appear, even on some of the more established sites. And exchanges can crash during times of market stress or when the site is being maintained by the exchanges. As with anything crypto-related, the emptor caveat remains the key.

Write to Joe Woelfel at [email protected] or Daren Fonda at [email protected]

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