Whoops! Bitcoin briefly crashes to $5,402 on network glitch

September 22, 2021, 8:09 AM UTC

A cryptocurrency data network run by some of Wall Street’s biggest players showed a roughly 90% plunge in Bitcoin on Monday, a glitch that didn’t show up on other platforms.

The platform, called Pyth, is heralded by its supporters as an industrial-grade source for pricing information on assets like stocks and cryptocurrencies. Its contributors include finance giants like Jump Trading Group, DRW and FTX.

On Monday, it briefly reported Bitcoin’s price as $5,402. “Engineers are continuing to investigate the cause and a full report is in the works,” Pyth tweeted Monday morning. There have been no further tweets from Pyth on the matter.

It’s an eye-catching error for a system that gets its information from some of the most sophisticated traders.

“For something like this to succeed, the data needs to be something people can rely on,” Joe Molluso, co-president and co-chief operating officer of Pyth contributor Virtu Financial Inc., said in a June interview.

Things seem to have returned to normal Tuesday. Bitcoin’s price was recently given as $41,888, close to prevailing levels.

It’s the second recent problem. Pyth connects to the Solana blockchain, which stopped working for more than 17 hours last week. That outage also took down Pyth.

It’s unclear how widespread any troubles caused by the Bitcoin plunge on Pyth might have been. The Twitter account for Bonfida, a project built on Solana, said the decline “caused a series of liquidation events on the Audaces protocol BTC-PERP market (unfortunately working as intended).” Audaces is Bonfida’s perpetual futures platform.

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