“AWS gives us a high level of security and the ability to adapt to the requirements of different regulatory frameworks.”
Bitstamp ensured that the cloud infrastructure for its crypto trading platform was compliant with regulatory requirements by building it on AWS. Bitstamp is a leading exchange for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Its trading platform runs on Amazon EC2 with millisecond trade transactions enabled by Amazon Aurora and Amazon RDS.
Bitstamp is a trading platform for Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple’s XRP, and Litecoin cryptocurrencies. It was one of the first trading platforms in the world to enable people and institutions to trade major cryptocurrencies for US dollars and Euros.
Bitstamp was founded by Nejc Kodrič and Damijan Merlak in 2011. The pair launched the platform from a garage in Slovenia using a single server and a couple of laptops.
Over the next four years, as the business expanded, so did the company’s on-premises infrastructure.
“We reached a point where the on-premises model was no longer viable, as we had to handle day-over-day trading volume spikes of up to 695 percent,” says Aljaž Čeru, head of system operations at Bitstamp. “A cloud infrastructure makes more sense for the crypto market, because it allows us to scale quickly and on-demand.”
In 2015, Bitstamp made the decision to move its IT infrastructure to the cloud. It assessed services from Microsoft, Google, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
“AWS offered the scalability to support both the rising number of platform trades and the significant trading fluctuations,” Čeru says. “Furthermore, AWS offered multi-zone support, giving us instant failover for our business-critical systems to maximize the platform’s uptime.”
AWS also provided the flexibility and robust security Bitstamp needed to fulfil its regulatory requirements. AWS and Bitstamp worked together to develop a contractual framework. Which framework, allowed Bitstamp to remain compliant as a payment institution operating in the cloud.
“AWS Support streamlined the process of obtaining our payment institution license, which helped save resources,” says Čeru. “We worked with AWS and the regulators to ensure our infrastructure met all the standards.”
The company runs its trading platform on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), which enables Bitstamp to add compute capacity more easily and cost-effectively than it could with an on-premises platform.
“During the last crypto market rush, we were handling almost 1.5 million transactions per day,” says Čeru. “As transactions increased, we simply added more capacity.”
The Bitstamp platform depends on the performance and reliability of its databases. The platform runs multiple data stores that hold information including trading orders, registered users, and past trading history.
“Amazon Aurora delivers speed and reliability without the management overhead of an on-premises solution,” Čeru explains.“To get the best resilience, all patching work and hardware provisioning is done by AWS, and the database is replicated to multiple AWS Availability Zones.”
Bitstamp also uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store snapshots of its data. “Amazon S3 is a highly cost-effective service for us. We take snapshots of our databases several times a day and store them in Amazon S3 without any effect on platform performance,” says Čeru.
The AWS Cloud has helped Bitstamp grow quickly with the evolving crypto market. From September 2017 to December 2017, the exchange saw a 317 percent increase in processed transactions and a 98 percent rise in active users. In addition, trading volumes increased by 495 percent.
“We’re one of those startups that launched in a garage and grew into a global business,” says Čeru. “We operate in a highly dynamic market and AWS gives us the agility to handle constantly changing situations.”
Bitstamp is now preparing to expand its presence in the US. The exchange has recently obtained a BitLicense to achieve this, allowing it to offer crypto trading services in the country.
“AWS gives us a high level of security and the ability to adapt to the requirements of different regulatory frameworks. We look forward to working with AWS as we ramp up our operations in the US,” Čeru concludes.