Or how to build paranoid infrastructure on top of AWS
Three and a half years ago, Coinbase launched using a simple hosting platform: Heroku.
It was the right solution at the time. With just two technical founders building the product (neither with any serious dev-ops experience) we knew that Heroku would be more battle tested than any solution we could hack together on our own.
But we also knew this wouldn’t work forever. Early in our company’s history, we started to contemplate the next version of our infrastructure that we would run inside AWS. It had to be built from the ground up with security in mind (the most common ways that bitcoin companies die is due to theft and hacking) but we didn’t want to compromise on engineering happiness and productivity.
After about a year, we finally completed the transition and we’ve been running inside AWS for quite some time now. This post outlines some of what we learned during the transition. It can be used as a starting point to design paranoid and useful infrastructure in the cloud.
Today, Coinbase securely stores about 10% of all bitcoin in circulation.
Please note: We’re hiring engineers (both in our San Francisco office and remote anywhere in the world). If you’re interested in speaking with us about a role we’ve set up a coding challenge that you can take in about 30–45 minutes. You can also apply through our careers site if you prefer to start the conversation that way.