How to check bitcoin and ethereum prices when Coinbase is down

How to check bitcoin and ethereum prices when Coinbase is down
Coinbase, a popular cryptocurrency exchange platform, has been crashing during the highs and lows of the digital currency market. Kin Cheung/AP
Coinbase, a popular cryptocurrency exchange platform, has been crashing during the highs and lows of the digital currency market. Kin Cheung/AP

Coinbase, one of the leading platforms for cryptocurrency exchange, had a rough week. With the prices of two leading virtual currencies — bitcoin and ethereum — dropping on Thursday, the money-trading platform announced it was offline due to "sustained heavy traffic." Both the Coinbase website and mobile app were down.

The surge in traffic is being credited to people wanting to buy and sell their digital alternative currency. Similar outages took place earlier in the week, CNBC reported: On Monday the site was inaccessible due to high traffic and on Tuesday the platform cited two cases of "degraded performance." And it's not just happening when prices plummet: Coinbase went offline in May when bitcoin's value soared and was trading at then-record highs.

Coinbase's platform crashing during the volatile extremes of digital currency trading is inconvenient, but it can be bypassed depending on what you want to do.

Those looking to check the prices of digital currencies while Coinbase is down can head to sites like CoinDesk.com and CoinMarketCap.com. You can get an assortment of data from closing prices and weekly data to hour-by-hour prices.

If you're looking for an alternate exchange platform for transactions, you can turn to sites like Blockchain, BitGo, Circle, BTC-e and Bitfinex. Just know that problems aren't exclusive to Coinbase and other trading platforms are not immune to technical issues that can block you from making a transaction. Take BTC-e and Bitfinex, for instance, which suffered denial-of-service attacks on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. These attacks did not impact clients' funds, but prevented them from accessing the platforms and their services.