At 7AM London time on January the seventh, all Bitfinex services will cease to function. No withdrawals, no deposits, no spot trading, no shorts, no longs, for seven hours.
“On January 7th, 2019, at approximately 10:00 AM UTC, Bitfinex will be performing a data migration from AWS to private, self-hosted servers, improving platform speed, performance and security.
Both Bitfinex and Ethfinex will be down for up to 7 hours to complete the migration. Account holders will not be able to access their wallets, and all features across both platforms will be offline for the duration of the upgrade,” so they say.
This would make it the longest time an exchange has been down since MT Gox, with its effect on the market quite unclear.
They’re apparently to move to self-hosted servers in a Swiss data centre in the heart of Crypto Valley. Some Swiss mountain bunker perhaps where some of the world’s most valuable data is held. Maybe something like Xapo’s bunker (the world’s seventh – or so – most guarded place).
In potential preparation they’ve moved 900,000 eth in the past few hours from Bitfinex’s wallet 5 to wallet 4 we’re told.
Such huge non-reversible sums in one address does seem inferior to Coinbase’s chopping up of coins into chunks of 5,000-20,000.
The main question, however, is whether markets will even care about this quarter of a day downtime. Not least because it would be kind of a first.
Unlike turtle legacy markets, 24/7 speed trading with no break even for Christmas day has been the rule since the first crypto market was established.
In that environment, seven hours can be 7 years. Once trading opens, would all shorts or longs have been called already perhaps because mischievous traders doubled or halved the price during those seven hours?
In anticipation of it, will all shorts and longs close? Or the opposite, will some traders double down in a bet price will move hard in their direction?
We don’t know. It may well be the markets won’t care at all, with Trustnodes having only questions in this case and no answers.