This past week has once again reminded crypto hodlers that even with all its friendliness, the market is a ruthless financial ocean that can be either totally merciful or absolutely horrifying — there is no middle ground. Its waves can be strong enough to smash even the hardiest of ships. Even space ones!
In order to provide you with the best service possible in such a volatile environment, we’ve been trying to get better each and every day. We’ve been running a lot of optimization work, learning how to handle big customer influxes, paying for our mistakes, even. However, every single time we were aware that it wasn’t over.
This past week will stay in the memories of crypto hodlers for years to come. The drastic price changes of Bitcoin, Ether, and altcoins has pushed a huge amount of people to direct trading action. The Monero community has been especially active with it. The past few days have shown that a huge amount of crypto enthusiasts believe in it and prefer it to anything else out there. In fact, you guys preferred it so hard that the events that we’ve seen lately have been called the Monero Liquidity Crisis — that sounds scary as hell, to be honest. Like dozens of services on the market, ChangeNOW wasn’t immune to it as well. Thousands of XMR orders had been created, and at some point customers just stopped getting their funds.
As the very first emergency measure, we rushed to check our systems for malfunction — however, everything was running smoothly. Our processing was running smooth as clockwork. The incident internally known as the DOGE-a-pocalypse has taught us a lot, you see. Then we turned our attention to our liquidity providers — it turned out that the issue lied there.
Thing is, while we technically had the liquidity and all our systems were running smoothly, we exceeded our daily trading volume limit that our providers calculate in BTC. We couldn’t withdraw any funds.
Exchanges just kept coming, though. The processing delay was pushing 24 hours, which doesn’t conform to our service quality standards.
So, we made the decision to use our own reserves in order to pay everyone who created an order and ended up having to wait for their XMR. We needed lots of liquidity that we could load onto our node in order to process withdrawals. As we’re a non-custodial service, you can believe that scrounging up the amount necessary wasn’t easy — one of our founders, an early Monero adopter and miner, had to slowly trade XMR on various exchanges and OTC desks, being very careful in order to not sink the markets. In the meantime, our financial operations team was slowly selling the non-withdrawable XMR reserves on our liquidity provider’s side. The obtained XMR were sent to our node and then to customers’ wallets.
As you’re reading this, all XMR payouts have gone to their rightful owners!
This has been yet another one of those valuable lessons that we’ll use to become better. Right now, we’re expanding our liquidity provider pool. This is a complicated process, but we’ll do our best in order to finish it as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, we can’t promise you that we’ll be entirely hiccup-free from now on, but we swear that each and every incident will be thoroughly investigated, solved, and amendments will be made. This is the only way to get better, after all.
We’d like to extend our most sincere gratitude to the stern but fair Monero community for their understanding, patience, and support. We hear, appreciate, and are grateful to every single one of you wonderful people for their feedback, be it personal or public. Your input has been priceless. You guys are the best. We’ll talk more about it on the weekly Monero Clubhouse call.
Pauline and the team