Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has quietly turned its platform into a private members-only club — new users now require “invitation codes” to open an account. However, in a Kafkian twist, the exchange has not mentioned the change or provided any information about where to obtain a code.
When a new user goes to sign up on the site, they are shown an “Invitation Code” field that, according to the description, was added “due to extraordinary demand.”
– The sign up window on Bitfinex as of December 19, 2017
Since the exchange suddenly started requiring invitation codes without any official announcement, confused users are taking to Reddit in search of information on how to obtain a code.
One enterprising user even created a site that promises to post Bitfinex invitation codes as soon as they appear, meanwhile providing a referral code to an alternative exchange.
So far, there is no public indication that any new user has successfully registered since the exchange started requiring registration codes.
Problems with Bitfinex
Huge price surges in both Bitcoin and altcoin markets have seen a second influx of mainstream consumers into the cryptocurrency space after the phenomenon first occurred earlier this year.
Overwhelmed exchanges appear to be still unable to cope with demand despite reports of infrastructure and human resource improvements. Bitfinex was advertising for staff as of Dec. 15th, calling for help to “create the most innovative & industry-leading cryptocurrency exchange.”
According to their Twitter, Bitfinex is also currently also contending with an extensive DDoS attack on its servers.
Last week, the exchange warned users of a coordinated telephone scam duping consumers into handing over account information.