Trading in bitcoin cash will be suspended until 1200 ET on Wednesday, according to Coinbase's status page. We made this decision to ensure a fair and orderly market. Historically, the price trend of bitcoin has had an inverse relationship with the short-term performance of alternative cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin cash emerged earlier this year amid a split between factions in the cryptocurrency space over proposed software upgrades to the blockchain technology underpinning bitcoin. But the company said action was too volatile and it temporarily shut down trading and cleared all orders. From a cursory glance, it looked like someone knew about the Coinbase move in advance, triggered a flurry of trading that led to a spike in price, and took advantage of this for a massive windfall.
When Bitcoin Cash was created after splitting from Bitcoin they offered everyone who owned Bitcoin a matching sum of Bitcoin Cash, but many exchanges like Coinbase initially refused to support the currency.
Coinbase has yet to give a full explanation but has said that it intends to reopen Bitcoin Cash order books later on Wednesday. While there's "no indication of any wrongdoing at this time", he said that "we will be conducting an investigation".
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Traders originally grew suspicious when the bitcoin cash value took a sharp upturn in the hours leading up to the company's announcement, with many suspecting that individuals with insider knowledge of the event procured bitcoin cash at a low rate prior to the launch.
Coinbase stated on its Bitcoin Cash blog announcement that it "maintains a strict trading policy" and employees have been "prohibited from trading in Bitcoin Cash for several weeks".
"We have been monitoring the bitcoin cash network over the last few months and have chose to enable full support including the ability to buy, sell, send and receive", the exchange said.
Bitcoin's total market capital can be estimated at $59bn which makes it the third largest crypto-currency in the world.