Buys and sells halted on Coinbase as cryptocurrency market plunges

Buys and sells halted on Coinbase as cryptocurrency market plunges

Bitcoin was trading at $11,910 USA just before 10 a.m. Friday, according to cryptocurrency tracker coinmarketcap.com, sending the currency down 27 per cent since Thursday. Bitcoin began the week above $20,000 but has fallen every day since Sunday.

Bitcoin's price has climbed back up to around $12,800 as of the time of publishing, and Coinbase noted that buying and selling may still be blocked.

The markets have just opened, but there is already a lot of news getting pumped out to the world. The Cboe bitcoin futures contract, which launched on December 10, fell 23 percent to $11,750. The futures were last trading 17 percent lower.

Coinbase is the leading USA platform for buying and selling major digital currencies, and also operates an exchange for institutional investors called GDAX. Take Thursday, December 21 for example: after Bitcoin dropped more than 5% in 24 hours, shares of both Bitcoin Trust (OTCMKTS:GBTC) and Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ:RIOT) dropped more than 15%. The company had said for months it would allow withdrawals of bitcoin cash on January 1, 2018, and notify customers of other changes beforehand.

Earlier this week, Coinbase suspended trading for Bitcoin Cash, a fork of the original bitcoin currency created in August, while it investigated possible insider trading by employees when the currency was added to Coinbase's exchange.

Buys and sells halted on Coinbase as cryptocurrency market plunges
Buys and sells halted on Coinbase as cryptocurrency market plunges

In the last several days, many Reddit and Twitter users have also complained they are unable to complete transactions smoothly on Coinbase.

The outage occurred while major cryptocurrencies were trading in the red.

Then Tuesday, South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Youbit announced it was closing and filing for bankruptcy after it was hacked for a second time this year.

Central bank warnings continued Thursday, when Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda warned that Bitcoin isn't behaving like a normal currency and is being used for speculation.

"These don't concern me for the long-term because we've seen more and greater issues in the past", said Joe DiPasquale, founder and CEO of BitBull Capital, a cryptofund that invests in other cryptofunds.

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