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Author Topic: Bitfinex stopped working?  (Read 2146 times)
Zotia
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April 13, 2013, 12:02:16 AM
 #1

Has Bitfinex stopped working in the last few minutes for other people?

The order book is completely empty.  (No MtGox orders, no "MtGox is having issues" error,  and no BFX orders).


I can't buy or sell anything right now.
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Stephen Gornick
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April 13, 2013, 08:34:41 AM
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I can't buy or sell anything right now.

Looks like trading is happening:
 - https://www.bitfinex.com/pages/public_log

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April 13, 2013, 07:17:22 PM
 #3

I've been trying to close a long position for the last hour, with a market order.

"Mtgox is currently having some issue. Only orders routed to Bitfinex will be processed."  is on the top of the page.

Nothing is happening;  my order will not fill.  I don't get it.

All I can do is watch the losses grow.

Will never use this account again. Angry

EDIT:  The only thing I can probably do is to transfer out of the trading wallet into a deposit wallet, and hope I get stopped out.

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April 13, 2013, 09:22:15 PM
 #4

Tons of .1BTC orders executed in the past few minutes... Possibly a lag?

Probably wasn't written assuming Gox would keep cutting in and out...

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April 13, 2013, 10:37:19 PM
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I saw the same problem for some time this morning.

Basically, when Bitfinex detects a Mt.Gox lag above a certain threshold, the engine will (temporarily) exclude Mt.Gox order data from the combined order book. But this morning it seemed that for some time even the Bitfinex orderbook was not shown. Would be interesting if this repeats, so we could report it as a problem.


On a related note, in the situation when Mt.Gox data is temporarily unavailable, "Market" orders can produce surprising results, when the next available Bitfinex limit order is not close to where the Mt.Gox Bid/Ask was recently. This is unfortunate, but as far as I could see, the engine behaves correctly.
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April 13, 2013, 10:49:01 PM
 #6

Well, lesson learned from this morning:

Good thing this was just a test (small) account.

Since my order to close would not fill, I had to force a margin call for the position to close automatically.

Not being able to close, even at a market price, is not acceptable IMO.

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April 13, 2013, 11:40:25 PM
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Well, lesson learned from this morning:

Good thing this was just a test (small) account.

Since my order to close would not fill, I had to force a margin call for the position to close automatically.

Not being able to close, even at a market price, is not acceptable IMO.

Did you try closing by routing it as a Bitfinex-only order?  If you don't route it and Gox is down then the order won't go through - as it assumes you want the best price so waits until Mtgox is up.

Bitfiex also screwed up interest payments last night - got about half what I should have got.  Hope it's just some cockup in calculating (and will get straightened out tonight) and doesn't mean that half my loans are to people who are out of margin but haven't been force-closed so have nothing left to pay interest with (or to return my principal).
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April 14, 2013, 12:20:08 AM
 #8

No, didn't know about routing it as a Bitfinex-only order.

But now I do, thanks.


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April 14, 2013, 10:32:55 AM
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Well, lesson learned from this morning:

Good thing this was just a test (small) account.

Since my order to close would not fill, I had to force a margin call for the position to close automatically.

Not being able to close, even at a market price, is not acceptable IMO.

Did you try closing by routing it as a Bitfinex-only order?  If you don't route it and Gox is down then the order won't go through - as it assumes you want the best price so waits until Mtgox is up.

Bitfiex also screwed up interest payments last night - got about half what I should have got.  Hope it's just some cockup in calculating (and will get straightened out tonight) and doesn't mean that half my loans are to people who are out of margin but haven't been force-closed so have nothing left to pay interest with (or to return my principal).

Awaiting details on this.

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April 14, 2013, 08:33:24 PM
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Well, lesson learned from this morning:

Good thing this was just a test (small) account.

Since my order to close would not fill, I had to force a margin call for the position to close automatically.

Not being able to close, even at a market price, is not acceptable IMO.

Did you try closing by routing it as a Bitfinex-only order?  If you don't route it and Gox is down then the order won't go through - as it assumes you want the best price so waits until Mtgox is up.

Bitfiex also screwed up interest payments last night - got about half what I should have got.  Hope it's just some cockup in calculating (and will get straightened out tonight) and doesn't mean that half my loans are to people who are out of margin but haven't been force-closed so have nothing left to pay interest with (or to return my principal).

Awaiting details on this.

Well here's the summary of it.

When it was obvious BTC was about to crash I moved some over to Bitfinex, converted it to USD and loaned it out.  It's typically hard to check whether you're getting the correct interest - as a lot of loans are for short periods of time and at different rates (I adjust the rate I offer to try to be as expensive as I can whilst loaning out all the USD).

First few days interest was pretty much exactly what I expected.  Then the main crash happened.

The day in question I had exactly the same loans out all day.  I know noone borrowed more - as I had none on offer plus noone would be paying the rates I'd been charging in a crashing market.  And I know that for absolutely sure - as the rate I was offering was different, so if a loan had closed and a new one opened then the replacement would have been at a different rate.  Because of this (and with all loans being the same rate - 1798% per year) it was pretty easy to work out what interest I should have got.  And that amount was slightly under $400 (on $8k or or so on loan).  But I only got half of it for that day.  Now I DID do a small bit of margin-trading myself (going short) - but the interest rate on BTC is absolutely tiny in comparison and it was for a small amount for a short period - so would have barely changed what I received.

This morning I still had the same loans out - but got about 5% under the expected amount (conceivable that's about right).

There was one more wierd thing that happened.  I have auto-reloan  turned on : so if a loan I've made is paid back then the funds are put back up on offer.  On the morning after receiving the low payment my loans section showed me as having $6k+ up on offer to lend.  But it still showed all my loans as active.  It's as though the loans had been closed/force-closed then somehow reinstated without the auto-loan getting cancelled.  The auto-loan does NOT auto-cancel in some situations anyway - e.g. if it puts up an offer then I move the cash out of the deposit wallet then the offer shows up in my list (but can't be filled) even though I don't have the cash available to lend.

So the obvious explanation, consistent with the evidence, is that the interest is actually correct - as for some lperiod of time MOST of my loans were actually repaid.  But then, somehow, they reappeared (and it was NOT new loans - as my new offered rate was different).  Those loans are still all active.  Provided they keep paying me ~4.5% per day (and the funds are there when I want to withdraw them) they can stay active forever for all I care.

I would have posted about it on the bitfinex forums - but seems you need an invitation code to sign up there and nowhere can I find where to get one.  The loans/interest system is totally opaque - as yet there's zero way to check what was on loan when or at what rate - you just get a single payment once per day at about 01:10.  It just happens that mine were totally stable and I could immediately work out in my head (confirmed with calculator after) that I'd only got about half what I should have.

So long as the cash is all still there I'm not that fussed about a $150 error - far more concerned that the loans aren't covered.  As I really can't see why someone would borrow to go long at ~$175, then sit there paying 5% per day (4.5% to me, 0.5% to site) in a basically static market at ~$100 for the last 3 days or so.  Especially when they could swap the loans out to cheaper ones if they had half a brain (or they could have - there's not a whole lot of USD on offer right now for cheap).  Of course if they have no margin left (or a negative margin) then they can't swap loans or do squat except close - and from THEIR perspective there's no point in that as it leaves them busto so they may as well hang in and hope the BTC price gos through the roof and they go back into the green.  Far more concerning, obviously, if the site is letting people do this - but if they want to do so then I don't have any great objection provided they have the cash to cover the losses themselves.
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April 14, 2013, 08:45:36 PM
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To put into prspective how bad the borrowers keeping those loans open is:

At present there's $700k total out on loan at an average rate of ~270% per year.
Yet apparently a handful of different borrowers have all been happy to pay me 1798% per year for the last few days and continue to do so blithely.

There's now no real USD on offer at less than 1000% - so the chance to swap out the loans for cheap ones has now gone.

Here's what I think actually happened (which is why I'm not bothering to make a fuss about it):

During one of the spells where Gox became unresponsive the positions taken out with the loans got force-closed against an illiquid internal Bitfinex market - whilst they still had margin if the proper prices were taken into account.

At the point my loans were closed and the auto-loan put up to lend the cash back out.

The victims of the forced closure complaiend or the error was noticed (positions aren't meant to be force-closed whilst Gox is unresponsive - and losses incurred as a result of this have been refunded previously) and some time later their positions were reinstated (presumably at a cost to Bitfinex) - and as my cash hadn't been loaned back out (due to the price being way over the new rates) my loans just got reinstated as well.

But of course I then missed out on the interest on them.

The borrowers would be heavily in loss - but not actually bust - but would lack the margin to take out new loans to replace mine, so are stuck with my rates.

If this is approximately correct then, as my cash wasn't in demand whilst the loans were closed, I don't feel like I actually lost anything - and as I'm continuing to get 4.5% per day when everyone else is getting under 1% I'm not unhappy with the outcome.  But some transparency on the loans is definitely much needed.
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April 14, 2013, 08:52:40 PM
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Quote from: Deprived

The loans/interest system is totally opaque - as yet there's zero way to check what was on loan when or at what rate - you just get a single payment once per day at about 01:10.  It just happens that mine were totally stable and I could immediately work out in my head (confirmed with calculator after) that I'd only got about half what I should have.

But some transparency on the loans is definitely much needed.

I think you have answered your own question here.

If it doesn't jive with your your own calculations, well...


Agree, clarification on how your interest is calculated should be freely available for your review.

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April 14, 2013, 09:43:02 PM
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I would have posted about it on the bitfinex forums - but seems you need an invitation code to sign up there and nowhere can I find where to get one.  The loans/interest system is totally opaque - as yet there's zero way to check what was on loan when or at what rate - you just get a single payment once per day at about 01:10.  It just happens that mine were totally stable and I could immediately work out in my head (confirmed with calculator after) that I'd only got about half what I should have.

You should really report this incident to support@bitfinex.com if you haven't done yet.

There is indeed a "master thread" regarding Bitfinex in this forum here. Unfortunately it is a bit hidden in the Project Development section. It is there since the start (Bitfinex is still labelled as beta). This thread is monitored by the Bitfinex staff, so you'll typically get a quick answer there.

Especially regarding that incident, see this post from Raphael, and the posts that follow immediately.

Short story is: in the last weeks they have implemented a special "Mt.Gox disabled" mode, which kicks in automatically when the API-lag is too large. But this has still a lot of rough edges. Especially, when Mt.Gox is unavailable, they need to process forced liquidations manually. And this caused some problem with the rate calculation for several lenders.

So long as the cash is all still there I'm not that fussed about a $150 error - far more concerned that the loans aren't covered.
According to the official statements, Bitfinex will cover loans until going bankrupt. (And they did cover every loan in the past until now, taking losses on the platform if necessary). But they are aware that this would not be sufficient in case the BTC market really crashes hard and quick (back to the single digits in some minutes). Thus they are preparing an insured lending option, but this seems to require some negotiations still.

As I really can't see why someone would borrow to go long at ~$175, then sit there paying 5% per day (4.5% to me, 0.5% to site) in a basically static market at ~$100 for the last 3 days or so.  Especially when they could swap the loans out to cheaper ones if they had half a brain (or they could have - there's not a whole lot of USD on offer right now for cheap).

I recall a post somewhere from the Bitfinex staff, indicating that one trader has kept a rather large long position open over the crash and just has supplied enough additional collateral to keep it alive and wait until it gets profitable again. This would explain this phenomenon (personally I have also several loans for 1600% APY active since several days)
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April 14, 2013, 10:07:54 PM
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Thanks for the link - have posted there, but seems like the issue was already explained : just Raphael underestimated the extent to which he'd give some lenders haircuts.  No big deal.
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April 15, 2013, 12:14:08 AM
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So basically you have > 8k USD on a Bitcoinica clone running stolen code and administered by nobody in particular. I am floored.

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April 15, 2013, 09:49:43 AM
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fwiw, I've been tracking it for the past few days in a little nook on my sheets. Frequent cancellations explain Thursday (any chance we could negotiate time/fee with lendees?). Other days might be mostly explained if on "Lending" page, the interest rate EXCLUDES (which would contradict the site saying "includes") the 10% fee... I have one individual loan which I've calculated should be bringing in $26.14/day and has been active for a few days, so that isn't really jiving with the data off BFX. That said, I can't really complain on returns for $1k.


Date___Expctd Gain__Real Gain__Difference
04/11/13   $273.97   $139.60   -$134.37
04/12/13   $28.77     $21.76   -$7.01
04/13/13   $27.13     $12.39   -$14.74
04/14/13   $26.97     $24.14   -$2.83
04/15/13   $26.49     $23.07   -$3.42

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April 15, 2013, 10:22:04 AM
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So basically you have > 8k USD on a Bitcoinica clone running stolen code and administered by nobody in particular. I am floored.

There's not too many options for where you can hold a USD position.  Wasn't going to leave it on BTC-E as already got far more there in BTC/LTC positions across a few accounts and have no clue who runs that.

Faced with a bunch of options - none of which I fully trust - I opted for the one that pays a return.  Alternative was to cash out - which, from BTC-E, would have meant taking a big haircut and having a real pain getting the USD back into BTC later.  MtGox isn't an option - as their lag makes any position there illiquid when it matters the most (and I don't trust them any more than any of the other sites anyway).

Holding funds in various dodgy sites is part of the risk of doing business in BTC - at some stage one will vanish with some funds, you just have to spread the funds so no single site/operator vanishing will hurt too much.  And, of course, you have to be making enough profit to justify the risk.

At 4.5% per day, the site only needs an average life-expectancy of 25 days or so for putting cash there to be +EV.  As its been around for a fair few months already it doesn't seem an unreasonable risk to take.  It's no different to me trading horrible securities - sure, I'll get burned from time to time, but my profits to date for my fund show that it can still be a successful strategy.
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April 15, 2013, 11:45:11 AM
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There's not too many options for where you can hold a USD position.  Wasn't going to leave it on BTC-E as already got far more there in BTC/LTC positions across a few accounts and have no clue who runs that.

Faced with a bunch of options - none of which I fully trust - I opted for the one that pays a return.  Alternative was to cash out - which, from BTC-E, would have meant taking a big haircut and having a real pain getting the USD back into BTC later.  MtGox isn't an option - as their lag makes any position there illiquid when it matters the most (and I don't trust them any more than any of the other sites anyway).

Holding funds in various dodgy sites is part of the risk of doing business in BTC - at some stage one will vanish with some funds, you just have to spread the funds so no single site/operator vanishing will hurt too much.  And, of course, you have to be making enough profit to justify the risk.

At 4.5% per day, the site only needs an average life-expectancy of 25 days or so for putting cash there to be +EV.  As its been around for a fair few months already it doesn't seem an unreasonable risk to take.  It's no different to me trading horrible securities - sure, I'll get burned from time to time, but my profits to date for my fund show that it can still be a successful strategy.

Except if you never take the cash out this calculation is fundamentally broken (much in the way a casino player who never withdraws will go bankrupt even if only playing +EV games).

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April 15, 2013, 12:01:57 PM
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I saw the same problem for some time this morning.
On a related note, in the situation when Mt.Gox data is temporarily unavailable, "Market" orders can produce surprising results, when the next available Bitfinex limit order is not close to where the Mt.Gox Bid/Ask was recently. This is unfortunate, but as far as I could see, the engine behaves correctly.

Interesting results alright, the other day I placed a market order and apparently Mtgox was down so I paid $25 extra per coin for a BFX order  Angry
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April 15, 2013, 01:10:56 PM
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There's not too many options for where you can hold a USD position.  Wasn't going to leave it on BTC-E as already got far more there in BTC/LTC positions across a few accounts and have no clue who runs that.

Faced with a bunch of options - none of which I fully trust - I opted for the one that pays a return.  Alternative was to cash out - which, from BTC-E, would have meant taking a big haircut and having a real pain getting the USD back into BTC later.  MtGox isn't an option - as their lag makes any position there illiquid when it matters the most (and I don't trust them any more than any of the other sites anyway).

Holding funds in various dodgy sites is part of the risk of doing business in BTC - at some stage one will vanish with some funds, you just have to spread the funds so no single site/operator vanishing will hurt too much.  And, of course, you have to be making enough profit to justify the risk.

At 4.5% per day, the site only needs an average life-expectancy of 25 days or so for putting cash there to be +EV.  As its been around for a fair few months already it doesn't seem an unreasonable risk to take.  It's no different to me trading horrible securities - sure, I'll get burned from time to time, but my profits to date for my fund show that it can still be a successful strategy.

Except if you never take the cash out this calculation is fundamentally broken (much in the way a casino player who never withdraws will go bankrupt even if only playing +EV games).

Well indeed - but I wouldn't have made that statement were I leaving all the earnings in there.
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