Coinbase Down: As Bitcoin Price Falls, Exchange Temporarily Halts Buying, Selling

23 December, 2017, 01:07 | Author: Lester Mason
  • Illustration by Alex Castro  The Verge

Forget that Trump officially signed the tax bill package (but that is something to keep in the back of your mind), the most notable news reaching the masses this morning is the fact that Bitcoin dropped more than 40% Friday, and Coinbase, one of the most popular platforms for purchasing and selling virtual currencies, disabled trading due to price fluctuation in cryptocurrencies.

Just after midnight Eastern Time on Friday, the cryptocurrency was valued at a little over $15,000, on the digital currency exchange Coinbase.

Buys and sells on Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, were disabled for a little over two hours Friday amid a massive cryptocurrency sell-off.

Even though the cryptocurrency started the year at less than $1,000, it rocketed to a record high above $19,800 on Sunday. The CME bitcoin futures expiring in January, which launched Sunday, reached "limit down", falling almost 20 percent to $12,265 in morning trading before recovering slightly to $12,760.

Coinbase announced the news on its site Friday morning. The company had said for months it would allow withdrawals of bitcoin cash on January 1, 2018, and notify customers of other changes beforehand.

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Bitcoin cash was created on August 1 when a group of Bitcoin miners announced that they would be "forking" to create a new currency which makes trading faster and easier.

On its status website, Coinbase said that the freeze was caused by high traffic.

"Bitcoin is nothing more than crypto-tulip bulbs", Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida's Institute for Economic Competitiveness, told the Journal.

Coinbase is the leading USA platform for buying and selling major digital currencies, and also operates an exchange for institutional investors called GDAX.

Ripple, or XRP, was the only major cryptocurrency trading higher on Friday.

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