How Bitcoin price crashed to $5,400 on network glitch


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, tweeted that on Monday the world’s largest cryptocurrency’s price showed as $5,402 on its platform, whereas it actually was hovering around $41,000.

Pyth had said that its engineers are continuing to investigate the cause and a full report is in the works. The network has now released the report of what caused the incident – on a root cause analysis of bad BTC/USD prices, including what caused it and corrective actions.

Explaining the root cause, Pyth said that the “issue was caused by the combination of (1) two different Pyth publishers publishing a near-zero price for BTC/USD and (2) the aggregation logic overweighting these publishers’ contributions and both publishers encountered problems related to the handling of decimal numbers.

The first publisher encountered a bug in which they submitted their price as a floating-point number where this utility expected an integer and the second publisher encountered a race condition between two programs that resulted in them reading an exponent of 10^0 for BTC/USD instead of 10^-8 for the 2-minute interval of the incident.

Things seem to have returned to normal Tuesday. Bitcoin’s price was recently given as $41,888, close to prevailing levels. This was the second recent problem as the network which connects to the Solana blockchain, stopped working for more than 17 hours last week. 

Pyth said its core developers are taking several steps to prevent these issues from happening again.

(With inputs from Bloomberg)



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