This is the second major disruption of the system in 2019, following a three-hour downtime period of the FedWire interbank transfer service in April 1. The Fed did not disclose specific causes for both outages, pointing to a generic “internal technical issue” earlier.
The ACH system forms the backbone for the majority of U.S. business transactions, being developed specifically to serve medium-sized transfers. The service handled
an average 58.5 million transactions a day in 2018, with an average value of $1,760.
Bitcoin Does Not Solve This
At one point during the height of crypto euphoria, there were over 250,000 unconfirmed transactions. Sending Bitcoins was only possible by setting a $50 fee. Users who set a fee below $10 had to wait about three weeks for their payment to be cleared — effectively equivalent to a serious localized outage.