Australian Trading Platform Stake Addresses Intentional Trade Restriction Claims

With US platform Robinhood facing a class action lawsuit on trade restriction, similar platform Stake faces pressure to prove its outage was purely technical.

Popular trading platform Robinhood was hit with a class action lawsuit after it restricted trades to popular stocks like GameStop. Stake is a similar platform operating in the Australian market. Yesterday its platform saw an outage which meant its customers were unable to trade during the highly active trading day.

Stake published an update following yesterday’s major system outage. The update addresses claims of intentional trade restriction. Stake claim the outage was purely technical in nature:

We have diagnosed the issue. We are hitting a new high in the amount of pings (requests) to our backend database from extremely heightened traffic, especially at market open. This is causing a bottleneck between customers using the platform and our database.

Stake’s platform is closed-source software. Their GitHub profile has no public repositories. A job post reveals that Stake is likely written in Java, backed by a Postgres database, hosted on Amazon Web Services.

Later in their update, Stake directly address intentional trade restriction claims:

There have been suggestions that we are intentionally restricting customers from trading. Some will believe certain things regardless of the facts, but those that know us and have been customers of Stake know just how categorically untrue this is.

Successfully placed trades were executed. But customers saw some of orders trades being cancelled. “I lose close to $800 because you cancelled my buy orders, TWICE” said user @Cry_Vengeance.

Unfortunately customers may not be easily compensated. Whilst not included in Stake’s own terms and conditions, their partners’ terms - which customers must also agree to - include clauses on technical outages. Clause 25 in Partner DriveWealth’s terms for example, state that orders may be cancelled at any time in the event of technical outages.

In a few hours the market reopens. Stake openly admit that customers should expect further disruption.