Crypto Platform WazirX Crashes Due To Dogecoin Frenzy

WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty said that the outage lasted about an hour because its internal systems thought there was an attack, and hence shut down. It is back live now, however

May 04, 2021 / 10:45 PM IST

The use of Doge as official imagery for the digital currency has constantly connected it to memes on the internet (Image: Shutterstock)

WazirX, one of India’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms crashed for about an hour on May 4, 2021  due to a spike in Dogecoin’s price, resulting in frenzied trading.

Dogecoin, originally started as a joke in response to a meme about dogs, was popularised by Tesla CEO Elon Musk when he repeatedly tweeted about it.

From 8pm or so, users complained on Twitter about WazirX not working. However CEO Nischal Shetty told Moneycontrol that the website and app are back to normal now, and that it was down for about 45 minutes to an hour.

“What happened is that a ton of people suddenly came up because of the Dogecoin activity. Some of our systems thought it was an attack, and thus ended up preventing some people from accessing the platform,” he said.

Some people weren’t able to access their accounts at all, while others saw a delay in trades getting executed.

“Normally we have tens of thousands of people signing up everyday. Today that doubled. And active traders have also increased by 70%,” Shetty said. However he clarified that the crash was due to the system reacting as a security measure, and not because its servers could not handle the load. He did not specify the number of users who have signed up.

Dogecoin was created as a joke in 2013 by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, and was never meant to be a serious cryptocurrency. However it has risen in popularity due to celebrities such as Musk talking about it on social media. Dogecoin is currently trading at about $0.5 a coin, its all time high price. 

The spike in price and WazirX’s crash also comes at a time when cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin have become hotter than ever globally, after crypto platform Coinbase went public on Wall Street at a $100 billion valuation. This was seen as a sign of legitimacy by industry insiders and outside investors like.

M. Sriram