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article imageCoinbase briefly was the number one U.S.-downloaded app on iPhone

By Ken Hanly     Dec 9, 2017 in Technology
The huge spikes in the value of bitcoin that has gone from well under a thousand dollars a coin at the beginning of the year to a recent high on Friday of over $17,000 have spurred a great deal of interest in bitcoin trading and in Coinbase.
What is Coinbase?
Coinbase is a digital asset broker based in San Francisco, California. They broker a number of different cryptocurrencies including the one with the largest capitalization Bitcoin, and the second biggest Etherium, plus Litecoin and a number of others. They operate in 32 countries changing cryptocurrencies to various fiat currencies and also perform bitcoin transactions and storage in 190 countries.
The company was founded back in 2011 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam.
The CEO of Coinbase is Brian Armstong. He has just made it onto the Recode 100 list just as his company became the most download app for iPhones. The app is available for android phones and can be used with computer browsers as well.
Coinbase has its own website here.
Coinbase CEO urges users of his exchange to invest responsibly
Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO, warns users:“We also wanted to remind customers of some of the risks associated with trading digital currency. Digital currencies are volatile and the prices can go up and down.”
High volume disrupts Coinbase service
Yesterday was a rough day for Coinbase as it was so deluged with orders that it could not keep up. Many users found the app unavailable for considerable periods of time. They were unable to even check their balances let alone do trades. This happened at the same time as the app became the most downloaded app in the iPhone app store.
Armstrong claims that the recent dramatic rally has strained the Coinbase infrastructure but he hopes to scale the system to meet the demand rapidly. Armstrong says the company has increased its ability to handle traffic at peak times by 40 times.
It has also scaled up its support team over 600 percent and added features such as phone support.
Nevertheless Armstrong still warned users about gaps in service during high volume or volatility: “Despite the sizable and ongoing increases in our technical infrastructure and engineering staff, we wanted to remind customers that access to Coinbase services may become degraded or unavailable during times of significant volatility or volume. This could result in the inability to buy or sell for periods of time.”
As I write this on Saturday evening bitcoin is trading at 13,428 down thousands from its recent high of over $17,000 but the price is so volatile it could easily recover over the week end. I have appended an interview with the right-wing TV and radio host Glenn Beck and the founder of Litecoin, Charlie Lee.
More about Coinbase, bitcoin, iPhone