Crypto Exchange Kraken Encounters a Bug, Allowing People to Buy BTC at $8k


  • The bug resulted in order prices matched against the wrong side of the book
  • “All the bugs can’t be find all the time,” CEO Jesse Powell

On Sept. 13, a test of an unreleased advanced order type encountered a bug on Kraken, shared the cryptocurrency exchange on Twitter:

As per the details laid down by the digital asset trading platform, this bug resulted in the order prices to be matched against the wrong side of the book.

As such, some clients bought Bitcoin from the tester at $8,000 while the actual BTC price at that time was around $10,390. Also, others were able to sell BTC at $12,000, “without clearing the intervening liquidity.”

As per the screenshot of BTC trade on Kraken shared by the exchange, users in the Trollbox can be seen talking about 470 BTC changing hands during the “wicked 1m wick.”

“While the candle gives the impression that liquidity was exhausted between $8-12k, the wicks on either side are hollow. A trade executed at the high and low but there were not trades throughout and there were no other orders that were not matched that should have been,”

the exchange reported.

The tops in the range of $8,000 – $12,000 were that triggered while stop market orders correctly filled at market price.

“All the bugs can’t be found all the time,” CEO Jesse Powell

In response to a user calling out the exchange for having “shit unit tests” or none at all, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell fired back saying Kraken’s new order types undergo thousands of human and automated tests both for months before they make it to the production. However, all the bugs can’t be find all the time, he argued.

He also said just because a bug has been discovered in a limited production beta ‘once every few years,’ it doesn't mean there is no testing.

As for running a test on the live market, Powell argued that one has to move to production at some point as one can’t go from the test environment to full public rollout without a production limited beta.

“This particular feature had already seen thousands of tests over several months. This just reinforces our careful, staged approach,”

he said.

Last month, Kraken also experienced trouble with its website and application programming interface. The exchange reported receiving reports of connection issues for both its site and API.

Nelson Minier, head of over-the-counter (OTC) trading at Kraken also stated in August that their OTC desk’s trader per month has increased about 20% since the beginning of last year.

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