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Coinbase Halts Bitcoin Cash Over Insider Trading Probe

22 December 2017, 12:57 | Maryann Sutton

Bitcoin Cash: Why the rival cryptocurrency has sent Bitcoin's price plummeting

Bitcoin Cash makes waves as it becomes available on Coinbase – and then halts trading

The CEO of Coinbase, the biggest USA cryptocurrency exchange, said the company is conducting an investigation into unusual trading activity that preceded its distribution of Bitcoin Cash on Tuesday evening.

Trading in bitcoin cash will be suspended until 1200 ET on Wednesday, according to Coinbase's status page.

At the time of writing, the last quoted price on GDAX was listed at $9,500, almost $6,000 above Bitcoin Cash's new all-time high price average. Many investors accused the exchange of insider trading that caused a major volatility swing, at the same time sending all other major cryptocurrencies crashing. Prices fluctuated wildly-briefly reaching $8,500, or almost three times higher than the current market price of around $3,500.

"It appears the price of Bitcoin Cash on other exchanges increased in the hours before our announcement". 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 policy prohibits employees and contractors from trading on 'material non-public information, ' such as when a new asset will be added to our platform.

Bitcoin Cash is a fork of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency which launched in August this year. Bitcoin Cash changes one key characteristic of Bitcoin by allowing larger chunks of data to be written to its blockchain at one time.

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However the core Bitcoin developers disagreed with the proposed changes, so a group made a decision to copy and modify Bitcoin's code to create Bitcoin cash. While Bitcoin Cash traded elsewhere in the $3,000-$3,500 range, it skyrocketed to $9,500 at Coinbase, when trading was halted.

As of this morning, sends and receives of Bitcoin Cash are available.

Coinbase's swift shutdown of Bitcoin Cash support came in the midst of many on Twitter raising suspicions last night about the unusual spike of Bitcoin Cash prices. This meant a lot of people were suddenly getting in on the Bitcoin Cash game, in addition to the fact that the cryptocurrency would be tradeable on an app that recently topped Apple's download charts.

The price of bitcoin has dropped sharply during European trading early Wednesday following a series of troubling developments for the cryptocurrency in recent days.

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