Coinbase said Tuesday evening users wouldn’t be able to
buy and sell bitcoin cash four hours after it said trading of
the cryptocurrency would be enabled on its platforms.
CEO Brian Armstrong said the company is looking into
whether employees tried to profit from advanced knowledge of
Bitcoin cash is a spin-out cryptocurrency of bitcoin
that was created in August.
Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency trading platforms,
shocked the crypto-world with its announcement Tuesday evening
that it would allow users to buy and sell bitcoin cash.
The news sent bitcoin cash, the spin-off cryptocurrency of
bitcoin launched in August, to an all-time high above $3,609
from Markets Insider. On Coinbase’s GDAX platform, the price
of the cryptocurrency reached well above $8,000 per coin. That
appreciation began slightly before the announcement on some
exchanges, raising concerns about insider trading among employees
aware of the news before the announcement.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said in a
post early Wednesday morning that the company was
looking into the matter.
“Given the price increase in the hours leading up the
announcement, we will be conducting an investigation into this
matter,” he said. “If we find evidence of any employee or
contractor violating our policies — directly or indirectly — I
will not hesitate to terminate the employee immediately and take
appropriate legal action.”
The price spike appeared to put pressure on Coinbase. Nearly four
hours after the San Francisco-based firm announced it was
supporting bitcoin cash trading, it said users wouldn’t be able
to buy and sell the cryptocurrency until Wednesday.
“An update on Bitcoin Cash for our customers: sends and receives
are functional,” the company said in a tweet at 11:15 p.m. ET.
“Buys and sells on Coinbase.com and in our mobile apps will be
available to all customers once there is sufficient liquidity on
GDAX. We anticipate that this will happen tomorrow.”
The company said in a
blog post it disabled trading because of “significant
In addition to bitcoin cash spiking by almost $1,000,
cryptocurrency trading volumes reached an all-time high above $49
billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Coinbase has
struggled to fully function under such demand in the past.
On December 12, the company halted trading of litecoin and ether
as the two cryptocurrencies reach all-time highs.
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