In the current world of Bitcoin where prices, ICOs and ETFs dominate headlines; something that is least talked about is its robustness. With thousands of miners from different parts of the world, the Bitcoin network has never experienced an outage. It’s safe to say that as long as the internet runs fine, Bitcoin should be fine too. With a string of outages faced by banks and credit card companies, some are making the case for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to be used in the future due to its resilience to such outages.
Wells Fargo is no stranger to negative headlines. Over the past couple of years, the company admitted to creating fake accounts, charging people for car insurances they don’t need and hitting customers with unfair mortgage fees. Recently the bank ran into yet another trouble as their customers faced service outage. Wells Fargo said that the smoke caused by routine maintenance activities at one of the bank’s data facilities triggered an automatic power shutdown on Thursday. Customers and employees alike couldn’t access their funds on Thursday. The issues related with processing were resolved by Friday morning, and customers could resume using their credit and debit accounts — outdated balance information might be encountered by some customers on Friday afternoon when checking their accounts online or at ATMs, the bank said. In view of the outage, all Wells Fargo branches will stay open an extra hour on Friday and Saturday to help serve customer service requests. The bank will also refund any fees, such as overdraft charges incurred due to the outage.
In a similar manner, Visa experienced an outage in service in Europe on June 1st, 2018. A hardware failure affected customers in the UK and the rest of Europe on Friday. The company released a statement claiming that the issue was not associated with any cyber-attack or unauthorized access. Millions of people were left unable to pay for services and goods across Europe after the unprecedented crash, which began at around 2.30 in the afternoon. Visa, later on Friday, in a statement apologized, saying it had fallen “well short” of its goal to ensure cards worked reliably at all times.
Shortly after the Visa incident Mastercard also experienced an outage, but this time on a larger scale. On July 12, 2018, Mastercard customers in North America and Europe were mainly affected. The company quickly resolved the issue and customers were able to resume transactions, but this time around many took to the Mastercard official Twitter handle to point out that Bitcoin has never experienced an outage. Some even went on to ask Mastercard to provide support for crypto.
Such an outage has led many crypto enthusiasts and believers to reinforce their long-held view that the time is nigh for cryptocurrencies to replace all other forms of traditional payment. What makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies resilient to such outages is the way the network functions. Each node is independent and has the entire ledger with it. This technically implies even if all other node fails a single node can keep the network running(since it has the entire ledger). Also, since each node is independent, the failure of one node does not affect other nodes. This makes sure that it is unlikely that a global outage will happen. It might be an overstretch to say this makes a case for the future of crypto, but for the people who were affected by the Wells Fargo outage, crypto would have been a godsend.
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