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Coinbase, Binance, and Decentralized Exchanges Go Down Due to AWS Outage

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Decentralized exchanges suffer due to centralized service providers.
  • Major centralized exchanges were also impacted.
  • AWS controls around one third of the global cloud infrastructure.
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The decentralized derivatives exchange dYdX suffered an outage due to its reliance on centralized cloud services from Amazon. Centralized exchanges Coinbase and Binance.US were also impacted by the interruption of service.

On Dec 8, the dYdX derivatives DEX reported a service outage which it blamed on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The team tweeted that the centralized cloud services provider was down resulting in the dYdX front end not loading:

We are experiencing greater latency across services and impaired functionality with endpoints not working and the website not loading.

The outage and service disruption lasted around 8-9 hours. At the time of press, the dYdX exchange was back online according to its status page, but the incident has once again raised the issue of true decentralization.

Decentralized or not?

If a decentralized DeFi protocol has to rely on services from a centralized corporation, is it really decentralized?

The team admitted that the platform still has to rely on centralized services and apologized for the outage.

Unfortunately, there are still some parts of the exchange that rely on centralized services (AWS in this case). We are deeply committed to fully decentralizing and this remains one of our top priorities as we continue to iterate on the protocol.

There were a number of responses suggesting that the team runs the exchange on more decentralized cloud services, but they too are not immune from technical issues and outages.

The AWS service status dashboard was still reporting some issues with systems in the US-EAST-1 region at the time of press.

Mainstream media reported that the outage also caused problems in Amazon’s own warehouses. A raft of major websites, streaming providers such as Netflix and Disney+, Alexa, delivery providers, and government services were also affected. Coinbase, which is providing its own cloud services, and Binance.US also suffered an outage according to reports.

Statista estimates that AWS controls around a third of the entire global market for cloud infrastructure services. Too much reliance on one centralized service provider is not a great idea as many have just painfully found out.  

DYDX bounces back

The exchange’s native token took a bit of a dive down to $8.80 during the outage but recovered quickly when services resumed.

At the time of writing, DYDX was trading up 2.2% on the day at $9.33 according to CoinGecko. The token has taken a hit in the wider market retreat, however, dropping 26% over the past week. DYDX is currently down 66.5% from its Sept 30 all-time high of $27.86.

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Martin Young
Martin Young is a seasoned cryptocurrency journalist and editor with over 7 years of experience covering the latest news and trends in the digital asset space. He is passionate about making complex blockchain, fintech, and macroeconomics concepts understandable for mainstream audiences.   Martin has been featured in top finance, technology, and crypto publications including BeInCrypto, CoinTelegraph, NewsBTC, FX Empire, and Asia Times. His articles provide an in-depth analysis of...