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Bitfinex ensures their high frequency trading platform is as fast as possible with Cloudflare's Load Balancing.
Bitfinex is the world’s largest and most advanced bitcoin trading platform. Offering a full-featured spot trading platform for the major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, monero, zcash, and more, hundreds of millions in transaction volume go through Bitfinex's platform every month (almost $735mm in transaction volume in the 30 days up to March 1, 2017).
Bitfinex’s Challenge: High Performance With Strong Security
As a high-frequency, financial trading platform, Bitfinex has two key priorities: speed and security. Speed is crucial for Bitfinex users because they need to have the latest cryptocurrency prices available to rapidly trade throughout the day. To ensure users get this information, Bitfinex is focussed on providing the fastest User Interface possible. To do so, Bitfinex set up a series of distributed front-end servers, which act as a user’s first point of contact with their platform. However, this solution lead Bitfinex to a different challenge: these frontend servers would occasionally get overwhelmed by spikes in traffic, and as a result, users would experience slow, degraded performance. Bitfinex thus needed a way to evenly distribute traffic across these servers to avoid overload and ensure users were enjoying the fastest speeds possible.
Security is a constant focus for any financial institution to ensure. For a web-based platform like Bitfinex, a breach in security could mean service down time, which is especially problematic for a high-frequency platform. “Bitfinex is a highly available, high frequency trading platform,” explained Adam Chamely, Developer at Bitfinex. “ If customers can’t access our platform, they can’t trade. If they can’t trade on our platform, they’ll go elsewhere; we lose them as a customer and we lose their trading volume, which puts us in a worse position and means we could lose even more.” Bitfinex had engaged a previous security provider, but was beginning to grow frustrated with a constantly changing pricing structure.
Bitfinex’s Solution: Cloud-Based, Secure Load Balancing
“I’ve known about Cloudflare for quite a while, and other team members had used the service, so we decided to see if they could help solve our challenge,” said Chamely. “We considered rolling out our own solution, but at the end of the day Cloudflare’s solution was more attractive: an existing platform that worked and allowed us to focus on developing our own offerings instead of reinventing the wheel.”
Bitfinex now uses Cloudflare’s Load Balancing to intelligently distribute traffic across their front-end servers. Chamely noted, “We use Cloudflare Load Balancing to split up traffic among our front-end servers to increase our network capacity and ensure these servers are healthy. We also appreciate that Failover seamlessly routes traffic to a healthy server in case that server goes offline. Both of these ensure the high availability and uptime we need in our platform.”
Bitfinex also now enjoys security from Cloudflare’s advanced suite of security features. With IP reputation data from over 18 million Internet properties on its network, Cloudflare’s WAF (Web Application Firewall) blocks malicious requests from touching Bitfinex’s servers. Furthermore, Cloudflare’s best-in-class DDoS protection ensures that Bitfinex’s platform is protected from even the largest DDoS attacks on the internet. This protection gives Bitfinex peace-of-mind, and ensures their customers don’t have to worry about the platform being unavailable or compromised.