Coinbase to offer Bitcoin cash, will probe early price move

The Insane Hour After Coinbase Added Bitcoin Cash Is Leading to An "Insider Trading" Investigation

However, just hours after bitcoin cash trading started on Coinbase, the site suspended that trading after bitcoin cash's price spiked, prompting concerns about possible insider trading by people who had been pre-briefed about the announcement.

Trading in bitcoin cash will be suspended until 1200 ET (1700 GMT) today, a Coinbase status page showed.In a blogpost, Coinbase said it suspended trading in Bitcoin Cash because of significant volatility. At the time of the trading halt, bitcoin cash was trading at around $8,500, reports the BBC.

Bitcoin Cash first surfaced online back in August when a group of developers "forked" the Bitcoin blockchain. But it's not changing hands for $9,500, as the price displayed on Coinbase's exchange suggests.

"It appears the price of Bitcoin Cash on other exchanges increased in the hours before our announcement".

Coinbase had initially stated it would not support Bitcoin Cash, however, it reversed this decision within weeks. Even with futures trading and tighter regulation in place to add some stability, virtual money still tends to be volatile - it doesn't take much to create havoc.

Claims of insider dealing were not the only hitch that Coinbase experienced when it finally added support for the new asset.

His comments followed accusations that Coinbase employees may have secretly profited following the launch of Bitcoin Cash - a new form of cryptocurrency which opened for trading on the website on Tuesday (19 December) at higher values than other exchanges.

"Given the price increase in the hours leading up the announcement, we will be conducting an investigation into this matter", he said.

Coinbase has yet to give a full explanation but has said that it intends to reopen Bitcoin Cash order books later on Wednesday. CEO Brian Armstrong wrote in a separate post that the company would investigate whether staff or contractors had acted on "material non-public information"-basically, insider trading".

The company had apparently banned employees and their family and friends from trading in Bitcoin Cash more than a month before the launch.

Bitcoin Cash's market cap has since exploded to $60.3 billion, making it the third largest cryptocurrency in the world behind only bitcoin ($293 billion) and ethereum ($80.1 billion).

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