Bitcoin exchanges Coinbase and GDAX added full support for bitcoin cash on Tuesday evening, and the rollout did not go smoothly.
Bitcoin Cash Price Explodes After Coinbase Listing
Earlier today, Coinbase announced in a blog post that it had added full support for bitcoin cash, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, enabling users to buy, sell, send, and receive the coin on both Coinbase and GDAX, its professional trading platform. Customers who had coins stored on the exchanges at the time of the fork also received access to their airdropped funds.
The bitcoin cash price surged to record levels in response to the announcement, reflecting the fact that Coinbase’s brokerage service is one of the primary ways in which new users in many countries — the U.S. in particular — purchase cryptocurrency. Some analysts attribute the recent litecoin and ethereum rallies, for instance, to their presence on Coinbase amid an explosion of new user registrations.
Within hours, the global average bitcoin cash price had jumped from $2,300 to $3,000, and it swelled as high as $3,813 before settling down to a present value of $3,224, according to the BlockExplorer price index. This movement represented a single-day increase of 47 percent and lifted bitcoin cash’s market cap to nearly $55 billion.
A Messy Rollout
The news was a huge boon for bitcoin cash proponents, as it further cemented the coin as a top-tier cryptocurrency and made it more accessible to new investors, many of whom likely remain unfamiliar with it.
However, for the company, the rollout could not have gone much worse.
Coinbase’s pricing data comes from GDAX, where the bitcoin cash price quickly — and inexplicably — shot up to $8,500 before the exchange shut down BCH trading and cleared the order books just minutes after their launch.
At press time, GDAX’s BCH markets remained offline, with the last posted trade priced at $9,500. Coinbase, however, had adjusted the bitcoin cash price down to $3,193, a level that corresponded to the global average.
The rollout left users confused — and enraged — and scores of frustrated users took to social media channels to vow that they would cease to use either Coinbase or GDAX.
It is likely that cooler heads will prevail once GDAX corrects whatever issue caused the price to leap to $9,500 and launches stable BCH markets. Nevertheless, the incident marks yet another public relations headache for Coinbase following a year of unprecedented expansion that has been accompanied by significant growing pains.
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