Binance, the world’s highest-volume cryptocurrency exchange, denied rumors that it had been hacked after maintenance dragged on long past its originally-posted timeframe, leaving traders unable to access the platform.
On Wednesday afternoon, Binance abruptly posted on Twitter that the exchange, which regularly handles several billion dollars worth of volume in a single day -- was undergoing system maintenance and that users would likely experience “a temporary decrease” in performance.
An hour later, the exchange posted another update, explaining that the maintenance -- which involved fully resyncing the company’s replica database -- would take longer than originally expected and that it could take “several hours” to get the platform back online.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao later extended that time frame again, stating that it would likely take 10 hours to finish the update.
By this point, the exchange had been offline for nearly 13 hours, and traders were frustrated both that they could not access their funds and their open orders would not be filled.
Unfortunately, Binance extended the maintenance window once more, stating that the data sync was taking longer than expected and the platform would likely not be back up and running until Friday morning at 4 am UTC.
As of 7 pm UTC on Thursday, the exchange continued to stick to that timetable, and it said that it would provide users with access to the platform 30 minutes before it reopens trading so that they can cancel open orders and perform any other necessary tasks.
Many users thanked the exchange for its transparency, while others grumbled about the extended downtime. A few questioned whether Binance had been hacked.
Noted provocateur John McAfee used his blue checkmark to add fuel to the fire, tweeting that "top crypto influencers" believed the company may have been hacked.
“While I have no hard evidence, rumours are flying among top crypto influencers that they may have been hacked. Will keep you informed,” he said.
Binance quickly rebuffed those rumors in a tweet directed personally to McAfee, and Zhao tweeted out a picture to back up his claim.
McAfee, however, refused to concede. “I'm sorry but I have received dozens of reports similar to this. Not trying to create FUD, just trying to understand," he said.
"We will prove you wrong," Zhao replied.
Featured image from Shutterstock.