Buys and sells halted on Coinbase as cryptocurrency market plunges

Posted December 23, 2017

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.

"Investigating - All buys and sells have been temporarily disabled".

This isn't the first time Coinbase has been forced to initiate a temporary freeze. CME Group (CME) futures fell 20% to $12,265, and Cboe Global Markets (CBOE) futures were down 20% at $12,210 before trading was halted.

It's unclear what led to the dive Friday, but some experts have been highly critical of bitcoin despite its prominent rise and astounding returns, and perhaps because of its notorious volatility.

Shares of Long Island Iced Tea had soared Thursday after the New York-based beverage company announced it would rebrand and refocus on blockchain technology, a digitized ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. The company added trading for bitcoin's offshoot bitcoin cash in a rocky rollout this week.

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Update, 1:44 p.m., according to Coinbase buys and sells have been re-enabled.

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

Coinbase, one of the biggest cryptocurrency marketplaces, said later Friday that trading in Bitcoin may be offline because of high traffic. This week's losses in the cryptocurrency world represent a major test for the blockchain and cryptocurrency community. "We are working on a fix and apologize for any inconvenience", Coinbase said on its status website at 11:11 a.m., ET.

Bitcoin plunged more than 20 percent to a low of $12,504 according to CoinDesk, down more than $3,000 from $15,820 less than 12 hours ago.