Zimbabwe’s only cryptocurrency exchange company, Golix has been facing some challenges with their order book since the late hours of Sunday the 3rd of December. The whole of yesterday (Monday the 4th), the exchange’s order book was out of service, generally rendering any form of trading on the platform impossible for more than 24 hours. A call to their offices confirmed the ‘technical challenges’ though they would not give details as to what was really going on. The exchange posted a notice yesterday on their website notifying customers of the challenge.
Notice: We are experiencing a technical fault and our technical team is investigating the problem. until we fix it, the order book will not be working
The gravity of the situation on the issue in question is massive I must say. To understand it I will attempt to explain what a Bitcoin Order Book is.
So all transactions on a bitcoin exchange are contained in an order book. The order book is basically a ledger which contains all outstanding orders to bid (order to buy) or ask (order to sell). The ledger facilitates the pairing of bids and asks as requirements are fulfilled or matched. Any freeze in this ledger means no exchange of currencies happens. This, by the way, is the core function of a Bitcoin or Cryptocurrency exchange, to facilitate the buying and selling of Bitcoin and/or other cryptocurrencies. No order book = No bitcoin exchange.
As of this morning, it seems the engineers at Golix are finally getting on top of the situation. Funds that were locked in orders can now be released, something that comes as a huge relief for users of the platform, myself included.
While we are not really sure what caused the ‘freeze’ in the order book, this incident definitely sounds a strong warning to crypto-heads as to the risks that are associated with digital currencies. I must admit that at some point fear really gripped me when I realized I could not do anything with funds locked in the frozen order book. I could not help think about the case of Mt. Gox, one of the largest bitcoin exchange companies at its peak. After rising to the top of cryptocurrency trading, the company allegedly faced ‘technical challenges’ which resulted in the loss of more than 850,000 bitcoins. Yes, that is correct, almost 1 million bitcoins were ‘lost.’ Well, it was in 2014 and bitcoin was not worth a tenth of what its worth now but it was still worth a lot.
In the last few months, Golix has really been going up the ladder trading increased volumes of Bitcoin as Zimbabweans show an increased interest in Bitcoin.