Coinbase Back Online After Suspending Trading During Bitcoin Price Panic

coinbase

Bitcoin exchange and brokerage service Coinbase is back online following multiple outages that forced the company to suspend trading on Friday as the cryptocurrency markets endured their worst correction in at least a month.

Seemingly out of nowhere, the entire cryptocurrency market entered a severe corrective phase on Thursday, sending nearly every top 100 coin and token into a tailspin and spurring investors with weak hands to scramble toward the exits.

bitcoin price
Source: BitcoinWisdom/Bitfinex

Unfortunately, many traders were greeted with a message that has become all too familiar when they logged into their Coinbase accounts on Friday:

“Due to today’s high traffic, buys and sells may be intermittently offline. We’re working on restoring full availability as soon as possible,” a statement on the Coinbase website read this morning.

According to the company’s status page, the exchange suffered from two trading suspensions during the height of the frenzy, each lasting approximately one hour.

coinbase
Source: Coinbase

This was just the latest public relations headache for Coinbase, which is far and away the most popular cryptocurrency brokerage service in the US but has struggled to scale its operations to match rising consumer demand.

The company has suffered persistent outages throughout the year, including one as recently as yesterday, but the company has also incurred the ire of some bitcoin diehards for its support of the contentious SegWit2x scaling proposal, as well as its seeming reluctance to implement Segregated Witness (SegWit) now that it has been activated on the Bitcoin network.

Just this week, Coinbase garnered significant criticism for its messy rollout of support for bitcoin cash that saw the company suspend trading just minutes after its launch and many community members accuse employees of engaging in insider trading.

As of 4 p.m. ET, Coinbase’s trading platform had been operational for three consecutive hours, likely because traffic congestion tapered as the bitcoin price leveled out.

After dipping as low as $10,700 on Bitfinex, the bitcoin price appeared to recover to a point of relative stability, and at press time it was trading at a global average of $13,744, according to the BlockExplorer Bitcoin Price Index.

Featured Image from Pexels

Mike Novogratz Shelves $500 Million Crypto Hedge Fund as Bitcoin Price Plunges

bitcoin price

Billionaire trader Mike Novogratz said that he had shelved plans to launch a $500 million crypto hedge fund after the cryptocurrency markets entered a $180 billion tailspin on Friday.

Novogratz Shelves $500 Million Crypto Hedge Fund as Bitcoin Price Retraces

Novogratz, a former Fortress principal, had stated on Dec. 12 that he intended to launch Galaxy Investment Partners “by the end of the week,” rapidly moving up a timetable that had originally planned the fund’s launch for the first quarter of next year. With a $500 million target, the crypto hedge fund was expected to be the largest of its kind.

However, on Friday the long-time bitcoin bull revealed that he had not only not launched Galaxy Investment Partners last week as planned but had also shelved the crypto hedge fund indefinitely, according to a Bloomberg report.

“We didn’t like market conditions and we wanted to re-evaluate what we’re doing,” Novogratz said in a phone interview. “I look pretty smart pressing the pause button right now.”

The revelation of the abrupt reversal comes as the cryptocurrency markets have entered a severe correction following a parabolic run-up. After reaching an all-time high of $19,891 on Dec. 17, the bitcoin price plunged to a nearly three-week low of $10,700 on Friday morning, according to data from Bitfinex.

‘When Insiders Sell It Always Is Important’

Novogratz — who recently predicted that the bitcoin price would hit $40,000 in 2018 — said that he now believes the bitcoin price could retrace as far as $8,000 before resuming its bullish rally.

“Looks to me like a short-term top is in,” he wrote on Twitter. “My hunch is we consolidate between 10-16k for a while. Extreme would be 8k. Bull market isn’t over. Just pausing.”

Elsewhere on Twitter, he appeared to lay part of the blame for the correction on Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, who revealed earlier this week that — to avoid a “conflict of interest” — he had sold his entire LTC balance and donated the proceeds to undisclosed organizations.

“When insiders sell it always is important,” Novogratz said.

Featured Image from Bloomberg/YouTube

Bitcoin Price Bull Run Could Attract Government Regulation: Hedge Fund Legend

bitcoin price

Legendary hedge fund manager and cryptocurrency bull Mike Novogratz is concerned that the surging bitcoin price could cause nervous regulators to attempt to cool down the markets by imposing regulations on cryptocurrency usage.

Novogratz, a former Fortress principal who is currently preparing to launch a $500 million crypto-asset hedge fund, stated on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” that he is not concerned by the price itself — he has predicted that bitcoin could “easily” reach $40,000 by the end of 2018 — but rather that the rapidity of its climb will encourage regulators to take a more active role in overseeing the markets, perhaps by placing new rules on cryptocurrency usage.

“One of the big risks out there right now is that prices are moving so fast that regulators are going to get nervous,” he said. “I could legitimately see bitcoin go $13,000, $14,000, $20,000, $25,000 and see somebody balk.”

Until now, he said, regulators in most parts of the world have been relatively accommodating of bitcoin. Although many in the community have bristled at regulations such as New York state’s notorious BitLicense, Novogratz said that most regulators have been working with bitcoin — rather than against it.

That may change, however, if the bitcoin price continues to rise at a breakneck pace and regulators begin to perceive it as a threat to the stability of the domestic economy.

“I’ve got concern that if price movements go higher we’re going to get more regulation,” Novogratz said. But “I think it’s hard to shut down. … I don’t think that’s a probability.”

While the government has little power to regulate the Bitcoin network itself, regulators could make life difficult for bitcoin users, and more significantly — businesses that engage with cryptocurrency or provide services to bitcoin users.

In the short-term, a hostile regulatory stance could render bitcoin even more volatile than it already is and potentially lead to a severe price correction. Nevertheless, as Novogratz pointed out, cryptocurrency usage is not isolated to one geographic region, limiting the ability of regulators to curtail its ascent.

“We’re in a speculative frenzy. Period. Stop. How long can it go? who knows,” Novogratz concluded, contrasting the rise of bitcoin with the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, which he says was largely a U.S. phenomenon. “What’s interesting about this is it’s global”.

Featured Image Source: Bloomberg / YouTube

Bitcoin Price Storms Past $11,000 on News That CME Will List BTC Futures This Month

bitcoin price

The bitcoin price stormed past $11,000 on Friday following the announcements that two U.S. derivatives exchanges have received regulatory approval to list bitcoin futures contracts within the near future.

Friday morning, CME and CBOE, both headquartered in Chicago, separately announced that they had received the green light from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to create and list bitcoin futures products on their trading platforms. CME’s futures will launch December 18, while CBOE has yet to set a target release date.

The announcements flipped an ignition switch in the markets, and traders initiated a buying frenzy. Shaking off concern that it was in the midst of a retrace or on the back side of a bubble cycle, the bitcoin price leaped to a two-day high of $11,161 on bitcoin exchange Bitfinex.

bitcoin price
Source: BitcoinWisdom

Neither CME nor CBOE’s bitcoin futures will have a direct impact on the asset itself because the contracts will be settled with cash rather than bitcoins.

However, most analysts expect that Wall Street firms will feel more comfortable wading into the cryptocurrency ecosystem once exchange-traded products are available. Investors also believe that Wall Street capital will eventually flow into the underlying markets themselves, raising the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Eventually, an exchange may even launch a futures contract that is settled with the asset itself, rather than cash.

Barry Silbert, chief executive of the Digital Currency Group, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that he anticipates that the launch of bitcoin futures will also usher in the first Bitcoin ETF, an investment vehicle that will make bitcoin more palatable to retail investors who want exposure to the price movement of bitcoin without the risk of holding the asset directly.

“I think it is going to enable finally the approval of bitcoin ETFs, and other digital currency ETFs, which is game changing,” he said.

At the time of writing, bitcoin was trading at a global average of $11,151, according to the BlockExplorer Bitcoin Price Index, giving the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency a $186 billion mark cap.