Major social media and communication platforms Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went offline this morning as the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies surged.
As data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro shows, the Bitcoin (BTC) price moved above $48,000 after falling to a daily low of $47,166, an increase of roughly 3% in less than two hours. The price of Ether (ETH) similarly rose 2.7% over the same period to reach $3,376 at the time of publication.
The sudden price volatility comes as major social media platform Facebook, photo and video sharing app Instagram, and messenger app WhatsApp — both owned by Facebook — went down at approximately 11:16 AM EST on Oct. 4. According to Facebook’s communications team, who communicated through Twitter, the company was “working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”
In March 2019, all three platforms reported a major outage at roughly the same time which lasted more than 24 hours. At the time, Facebook attributed the problems to a “server configuration change.”
The interruptions may impact community engagement around crypto and blockchain projects, but Discord, Twitter, YouTube, and many other platforms are still functioning normally. Many Crypto Twitter users are already using the incident to highlight the need for a decentralized social network built on blockchain.
“If they built Facebook on a blockchain it would never go down,” said Allen Farrington, who regularly writes about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies on his Medium blog.
The outage also follows former Facebook employee Frances Haugen turning over thousands of documents to journalists and others which seemed to imply that the company was not doing what it claimed in regards to removing hate speech and posts encouraging violence from the platform, among other things. Facebook’s stock fell by more than 5% on Monday to reach $324.90 at the time of publication.
Twitter is already working on its own decentralized social media initiative. CEO Jack Dorsey first announced in December 2019 that the platform would be funding a dedicated team to develop a decentralized standard for social media, and recently hired a crypto developer to lead the group. At the time, Dorsey said the aim was to shift away from content hosting and removal to recommendation algorithms directing users’ attention and avoid content that sparks controversy and outrage rather than healthy and informative conversations.
This story is developing and may be updated.