Coinbase Crash: A $100 Billion Market Cap Wipeout

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Last Updated on March 28, 2024 by Ashish

Update at 3:20 PM EST, 28th Feb 2024:

Coinbase CEO gave an update by tweeting that Apps are currently bouncing back. They had anticipated a tenfold increase in traffic and conducted load testing. The actual surge surpassed our expectations. Maintaining services with excess capacity is costly, but we will focus on developing auto-scaling solutions and addressing any remaining bottlenecks. He appreciates the patience during this time.

“Apps are now recovering. We had modeled a ~10x surge in traffic and load tested it. This exceeded that number. It’s expensive to keep services over-provisioned, but we’ll need to keep working on auto-scaling solutions, and killing any remaining bottlenecks. Thank you for bearing with us.”

Brian Armstrong, CEO, Coinbase

What Happened?

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase faced a significant outage as Bitcoin surged to nearly $64,000, resulting in a crash that erased $100 billion of Bitcoin’s market cap in just 15 minutes. Between 12:15 PM ET and 12:30 PM ET, Bitcoin plummeted from $64,000 to $59,000, marking a significant 9% swing in a short timeframe. This crash coincided with many Coinbase users noticing a $0 balance in their accounts, highlighting the impact of the sudden market turbulence.

Coinbase Crash: A $100 Billion Market Cap Wipeout

CEO’s Response and Exchange Status

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong attributed the crash to a massive surge in traffic that overwhelmed the exchange. Despite the issues faced by users, Coinbase reassured customers that their assets were safe and that the team was actively working to resolve the situation. The exchange’s status page indicated that some users might see a zero balance in their accounts and that investigations were ongoing to address the problem.

Coinbase Crash: A $100 Billion Market Cap Wipeout

Market Reaction and Investor Sentiment

The outage occurred amidst a bullish period for Bitcoin, with the cryptocurrency nearing an all-time high and experiencing significant trading volume growth. The market reaction to the crash was mixed, with some investors viewing it as a potential catalyst for a Bitcoin bull run ahead of the halving event. Despite the market volatility and loss of market capitalization, enthusiasm among investors remained high, with some seeing this as an opportunity to enter rather than exit the market.


In summary, the Coinbase crash during Bitcoin’s rally underscores the inherent volatility and challenges faced by cryptocurrency exchanges during periods of intense trading activity. The incident serves as a reminder of the risks associated with digital asset investments and the importance of robust infrastructure to support growing demand in the crypto market.

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