Talking tech since 2003

Well if you’ve been trying to access Robinhood over the last two days you’ve likely been unable to do so — that’s because of what appears to be an old, unresolved issue related to this year being a leap year. What exactly do I mean?

According to the WallStreet Bets subreddit (and confirmed by my own internet sleuthing) the issues facing Robinhood are being caused by the leap year. I took a quick look on the company’s site myself at the code and noticed that the API is querying a day in the future (3/4/2020 instead of 3/3/2020). The same issue happened yesterday.

Despite the company sending out an email this morning around 2:30AM ET stating that the service was operational again, by trading hours this morning everything went down (again). To make matters even worse this doesn’t appear to be the first time Robinhood dealt with this exact issue. In fact, exactly four years ago (last leap year) they also went down according to a post in the Robinhood subreddit.

This is really, really bad for Robinhood, a company which has raised over $900 million in funding. If I were the CTO I’d be looking for a new job. In addition to that, the company is likely going to be facing a class action lawsuit (rightfully so) and it seems to know it as it says it will now be offering “case-by-case” compensation for its outage.

We’ve reached out to the company for comment and will update when/if we hear back.

Update: We’ve heard back from Robinhood, their service is now fully operational again. The company claims the issue isn’t related to the leap year, but to be honest, being that this same thing happened exactly four years ago I find that too coincidental. If you know more information as to what exactly caused the outages, please feel free to get in touch (anonymity will be kept if requested).

This story is actively developing. For immediate updates on Robinhood’s online status, check their site.

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