The price of bitcoin plunged about 14% more than $2,500 Tuesday night after cryptocurrency trading site Coinbase said it would allow its customers to buy and sell its rival offshoot currency, bitcoin cash.
In a matter of hours, the price of bitcoin
dropped from $18,125 to as low as $15,578. Bitcoin later rallied somewhat and was trading within a $1,000-range; it was last at $16,875 Tuesday night. Bitcoin futures
on the CME Groups Chicago Mercantile Exchange were last trading at $17,425, off more than $700 from the afternoon. Bitcoin cash, meanwhile, rallied more than 50% to all-time highs above $3,300. It was last trading at $3,303, according to CoinMarketCap.
Sends and receives are available immediately, Coinbase said in a blog post Tuesday announcing bitcoin-cash trading. Buys and sells will be available to all customers once there is sufficient liquidity on GDAX. We anticipate that this will take a few hours.
However, Coinbase and its GDAX exchange late Tuesday suspended bitcoin-cash trading after just four minutes until 9 a.m. Pacific time Wednesday, apparently until traffic settles down and liquidity is established.
Read: Bitcoin once again the worlds most crowded trade, fund managers say
Bitcoin cash was created by a split from bitcoin on Aug. 1 by a faction of disgruntled developers, and allows virtual miners to process transactions in larger units 8 megabytes rather than the 1-MB bitcoin blocks. The fledgling cryptocurrency has expanded 10-fold since then, and is now the third-largest by market cap, at $55.6 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com.
Also see: 7 cryptocurrencies to watch in 2018 if youre on the hunt for the next bitcoin
The price of bitcoin has shot up nearly 1,800% in 2017, leading many to worry its in a bubble thats bound to pop.
I am certain that bitcoin is a bubble that will end badly, investment strategist Ivan Martchev wrote earlier Tuesday in a MarketWatch column. And he predicted bitcoin wont come back because there is nothing behind it other than rising numbers of investors bidding rising amounts of money for a line of code.
But experts say that even if bitcoin pops, its underlying technology is likely to transform the future of finance.