On Tuesday, the largest United States cryptocurrency exchange made an unexpected announcement that it was adding support for the Bitcoin offshoot, which came into existence via a hard fork that occurred on the legacy BTC blockchain on August 1.
Given the price increase in the hours leading up the announcement, we will be conducting an investigation into this matter.
Trading cryptocurrency based on insider information would violate Coinbase's own internal policies, but its unclear what, if any, laws were broken. As of now, both Coinbase and GDAX seem to be experiencing some irregular outages, so Bitcoin Cash trading has been suspended temporarily.
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As the announcement was published, the price of Bitcoin Cash spiked drastically on most exchanges to around $3,500 (it had previously been hovering around $1800). Immediately after the launch, the price of the cryptocurrency rose to all-time highs of around $3,600 on most major exchanges. Bitcoin itself tumbled about 10 percent after the news late Tuesday in the USA and registered its biggest one-day drop in about three months.
Bitcoin Cash resulted in a split from Bitcoin in August after users had complained that Bitcoin's blockchain was outdated and needed a revamp. The second coin has been implemented to better handle some of the shortcomings of Bitcoin such as ever-growing transaction fees and confirmation times. But, only two minutes later, the exchange paused BCH/USD trading "due to significant volatility".
According to CoinDesk, a website specializing in digital currencies, the price of Bitcoin dropped to around $15,600 shortly before 10 a.m. on Wednesday - a plunge of $2,000 from the day's high of around $17,600 set an hour earlier.
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"All Coinbase employees and contractors were explicitly prohibited from trading Bitcoin Cash and from disclosing our launch plans over a month ago".
As of this morning, sends and receives of Bitcoin Cash are available. An account for Whalepool, which describes itself as a community of day traders focused mainly on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, commented, "Very unusual accumulation and pump on Bcash in the hours leading up to the @Coinbase BCH add". Bitcoin Cash is now the third largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization, sitting at more than $29 billion compared to bitcoin's more than $294 billion.
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