A large part of the Bitcoin community is relying on blockchain services provided by popular platforms. Regardless of whether they are consumers or developers, blockchain technology is meant to be accessible to anyone, at any time, on any device. Blockchain.info is one of the most popular resources for their API and wallet service, but recent downtime issues have many Bitcoin enthusiasts looking for viable alternatives.
Blockchain.info – Recent Downtime Hurting Bitcoin Business
Even though relying on centralised Bitcoin wallet solutions such as Blockchain.info is not the best of ideas, many enthusiasts are using this platform due to its sheer convenience. Blockchain.info is a Bitcoin wallet provider for both computer and mobile users, making it easy to carry a Bitcoin balance wherever customers go, by staying in the same ecosystem.
However, one of the main prerequisites of a Bitcoin wallet provider is granting this functionality to users at any given time. Despite blockchain technology being such an interest innovative form of software and technology, Blockchain.info struggles to keep up with the growing demand for their service.
That growing demand stems forth from the ease-of-use offered by the Blockchain.info platform. While most wallet providers offer a similar service in terms of showing balances in local currency and protecting customer funds with 2FA tokens, blockchain.info remains one of the most popular solutions.
To accommodate for the growing demand, Blockchain.info engineers have been forced to deploy new and additional hardware on several occasions this year. Granted, there is always a chance of something going wrong while upgrading the infrastructure powering this platform, but there are certain limits as to what is acceptable and what is not.
Take the recent Blockchain.info downtime, for example, during which both the wallet service and API access was unavailable to users all over the world. To make matters even worse, the downtime lasted for nearly half a day, as something “went wrong” with the deployment of this new hardware.
For individual Bitcoin users, such an extended downtime is a major annoyance. Receiving transactions is still possible, but sending funds or checking balances through the mobile app or website is not. Even the automated SMS notification system was out of commission, giving the impression the entire Blockchain.info ecosystem was offline.
Despite offering numerous updates and individual replies to worried customers over Twitter, the problem didn’t get resolved within a reasonable time frame. Eventually, Blockchain.info managed to resume the normal services after nearly 12 hours of downtime. As many novice and uneducated people associate Blockchain.info with the Bitcoin blockchain itself, such an extended downtime is not helping Bitcoin’s PR problem at all.
API Calls Unavailable, Merchants Not Happy At All
What makes the Blockchain.info downtime even more annoying is the fact that any service relying on this platform was unable to accommodate customers as well. Many platforms and tools use API calls relying on Blockchain.info, which put these services out of commission for as long as the downtime lasted.
On top of that, there are quite a few merchants who use Blockchain.info for incoming payments and receiving payment notifications. None of these options was available during the downtime, causing a fair bit of confusion and order delays. Luckily for all parties involved, the matter was resolved in the end and business could resume as normal.
Regardless of which side of the fence you are on, the recent downtime is hurting the public image of Bitcoin and Blockchain.info. Keeping up with hardware demands for an ever-growing popular platform seems to be a very difficult task for the company’s engineers. Unfortunately, it is not the first time this service has gone “under maintenance” at a very inconvenient time.
Earlier this year, at the end of May, Blockchain.info suddenly experienced downtime as well for several hours. Users who wanted to access their wallet were unable to do so, causing a widespread panic among Bitcoin users worldwide. Just a few months later, another lengthy period of downtime ensued. It should come as no surprise to see many people switching to a different service, both for Bitcoin wallet and API purposes. Blockchain.info has become too unreliable in the past 12 months and something needs to be done rapidly.
Images courtesy of Blockchain.info, Shutterstock