Robinhood joins the list of spectacular financial technology failures

Robinhood co-founder Vlad Tenev.
Robinhood co-founder Vlad Tenev.
Image: Reuters/Brendan McDermid
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Robinhood, a brokerage app, was beset by outages for a second day as trading volumes soared. The disruptions come as the platform is tested by swift customer growth and heavy market turmoil.

The malfunctions put Robinhood out of service during the US trading day yesterday and part of today before service was restored. Prices have gyrated and buying and selling has soared amid concern that Covid-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus, is spreading. Late last year the Menlo Park-based company said it had 10 million users, up from 6 million accounts in October 2018.

Technology outages are costly for customers and embarrassing for the executives responsible for them. Robinhood is far from alone:

Technology disruptions get a lot more notice when money is involved. A Twitter handle created yesterday named “Robinhood Class Action” already had more than 6,000 followers today.

“When it comes to your money, issues like this are not acceptable” Robinhood said today on Twitter. “If you’re a customer, we’re sending you info on how to contact us so we can work with you directly to address your concerns.”

This story has been updated to include Chime’s outage in 2019.