Earlier today, on December 20, the global cryptocurrency exchange market’s largest brokerage and wallet platform Coinbase, the first confirmed multi-billion dollar startup in the cryptocurrency industry, has integrated Bitcoin Cash trading.
“We’re excited to announce that customers will be able to buy, sell, send and receive Bitcoin Cash on Coinbase,” came word from the Coinbase blog. BCH is quickly becoming the micropayment alternative to bitcoin core (BTC), and as of this writing is the number three cryptocurrency by market cap at just over 58 billion USD. Its price in the last 24 hours has surged over 70 percent.
Shortly after the sudden news Coinbase has already moved to disable trading of its newest asset.
Announced today via a blog post to users, the decision to add the cryptocurrency, comes months after developers backing the effort cloned the bitcoin blockchain, effectively creating a competing network that claimed to enable a greater volume of transactions.
Using a mechanism called a hard fork, however, the project created unique complications for exchanges, as by copying bitcoin’s ledger at the time of the split, Coinbase users who held bitcoin were effectively owners of bitcoin cash as well.
As such, a sudden influx of users armed with capital appears to have put a strain on the exchange, the most well-capitalized in the U.S. market.
At press time, buying and selling of bitcoin cash were disabled on the platform, with the last quoted price listed at nearly $9,000, more than $6,000 above the market price of $2,900, according to data provider CoinMarketCap.
According to the exchange’s official status blog, trading was disabled after about four minutes after it began. Trading went live at 17:20 PST and was pulled back to post-only mode at 17:24, records show.
“All BCH books will enter cancel-only mode, and all existing orders will be cleared. While in cancel-only mode, no new orders will be accepted. We will post an update shortly,” the exchange wrote at 18:30 PST, and later tweeted.
The service outage does not appear to have affected either the exchange’s other assets or its Coinbase brokerage service, which allows users to buy and sell bitcoin, ether and litecoin.