22 December, 2017
The CEO of Coinbase, the biggest US cryptocurrency exchange, said the company is conducting an investigation into unusual trading activity that preceded its distribution of Bitcoin Cash on Tuesday evening.
Smooth trading aside, the situation sparked controversy following allegations that insider trading may have occurred ahead of the BCH market launch on Coinbase.
All Coinbase employees and contractors were explicitly prohibited from trading Bitcoin Cash and from disclosing our launch plans over a month ago. Bitcoin cash surged on the news, up 41 percent over the past 24 hours, to $3,305.15 as of 10:45 am London time, according to data compiled from coinmarketcap.com.
Bitcoin is facing a major threat as a cloned cryptocurrency that shares its name and many of its key features launched on one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, sending Bitcoin prices tumbling.
The suspicion, as TechCrunchnoted, was that Coinbase employees or others who knew the change was coming could have stocked up on Bitcoin Cash through other exchanges before the company publically announced its addition to the platform.More news: Forecast Calls for White Christmas in Iceland
He added that Coinbase will be conducting an investigation. During the brief trading window, prices spiked wildly and reached $8,500 before the marketplace was disabled.
At the time of writing, bitcoin cash is the third most popular cryptocurrency in the world, with ethereum in second place and bitcoin remaining at number one.
Shortly after the kickoff, the price skyrocketed, with Coinbase's online exchange GDAX showing quotes as high as $US9,500 ($12,400), more than triple what Bitcoin Cash trades at on other exchanges.
In a blog post, Coinbase said they considered "developer and community support, security, stability, market price and trading volume" when deciding to fully support the digital currency.
Bitcoin Cash is a "forked" version - or alternative version - of bitcoin, the most traded and most prominent cryptocurrency. An account for Whalepool, which describes itself as a community of day traders focused mainly on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, commented, "Very odd accumulation and pump on Bcash in the hours leading up to the @Coinbase BCH add".