December 14, 2021, was the happiest day for a lot of cryptocurrency hodlers, even if it was only for a few minutes. All thanks to Coinmarketcap
A bug in Coinmarketcap – the most popular price aggregator in the cryptocurrency industry – started showing price spikes in the order of several trillions of dollars.
Coinmarketcap and the Trillion-Dollar Bug
Bitcoin at $850,867,136,053.72, Ethereum at $179,598,602,169.65, and BNB at $33,520,911,478 were among the most notorious examples. Even stablecoins soared, with USDC showing a price of $42,042,904 and USDT at $69,894,267.23.
The price inconsistency affected other service providers. Users of some cryptocurrency wallets (such as Jax) that obtain data from Coinmarketcap also reported that their fiat balances had gone to the moon – although it is essential to note that crypto balances remained in line with reality.
Similarly, some websites that track cryptocurrency prices were also affected. For example, CNBC showed trillion-dollar rises in cryptocurrency prices while Yahoo Finance showed Bitcoin plummeting to the $30K range.
From its characteristics, everything seems to point to some API bug. No exchange registered any abnormal behavior or considerable price variation. A few minutes after detecting the error, the Coinmarketcap team managed to fix it, bringing things back to normal.
The Binance-owned platform has not yet reported the causes of this curious glitch, although they assured that they would reset their servers as an additional security measure.
Following the irregularities we observed on our platform this afternoon, despite the issue having been fixed, we will be rebooting our servers as a final step in accordance with our internal remediation plan. Apologies for the inconvenience.
— CoinMarketCap (@CoinMarketCap) December 15, 2021
The Crypto Community Has Some Fun
Bitcoin’s price did not have an alarming reaction during the events. In fact, the daily candlestick closed with a rise of 3.5%, going from about $46,736 to $48,389. Currently, it has corrected a bit, and BTC is trading very close to $48,000 – and a far cry from the $850 Billion.
But it was the members of Crypto Twitter who were quick to react, bringing out perhaps the latest arsenal of clever jokes and memes to “enjoy” their recently gotten wealth before returning to normalcy.
In fact, the Coinmarketcap team itself displayed an excellent PR strategy, getting closer to their community, and even making the occasional sarcastic and facetious comment.
If anything good came out of this it’s that #cryptotwitter
Is alive again 😅
WELCOME BACK EVERYONE WE MISSED YOU 💙 🤍 pic.twitter.com/mOEULUTLOi
— CoinMarketCap (@CoinMarketCap) December 14, 2021
Although there was no explanation of the cause of the error, Coinmarketcap was emphatic in pointing out that it was not a hack; however, this possibility was highly debated in social media.