Trading of Bitcoin Cash temporarily suspended pending an investigation

Bitcoin Cash price reaches new highs on growing adoption

The co-founder of Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency trading platforms, says the company is investigating claims that its staff were involved with insider trading.

"If we find evidence of any employee or contractor violating our policies - directly or indirectly - I will not hesitate to terminate the employee immediately and take appropriate legal action".

While Coinbase briefly enabled orders to be posted in USA dollars on its platform for more sophisticated traders, it suspended the facility after two minutes due to 'significant volatility, ' the company said in a blog post.

The exchange has stated that the order books will re-open again on December 20 at 09:00 PST.

In separate news, Bitcoin prices plunged 15% in Asian trade on Wednesday before paring losses. But it's not changing hands for $9,500, as the price displayed on Coinbase's exchange suggests. The announcement seemed to trigger a flood of cash from bitcoin to Bitcoin Cash, which surged 50 percent overnight.

Bitcoin price saw a major correction in a matter of just 24 hours when it dipped from a high of $19,000 to $16,390 - a near 15 per cent decline. Observers noticed that the price of Bitcoin Cash rose sharply before news of its availability on the exchange broke, and that there was a sharp selloff virtually the moment trading started.

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

However, after going live for only four minutes (via its GDAX exchange), Coinbase halted trading of bitcoin cash.

That BCH was to be added to the Coinbase platform was no secret - only the timing was in question, as many expected it to be a January 2018 event. The policy prohibits employees and contractors from trading on "material non-public information", such as when a new asset will be added to our platform.

Smooth trading aside, the situation sparked controversy following allegations that insider trading may have occurred ahead of the BCH market launch on Coinbase.

As of press time, BCH is trading at roughly $3,270 on GDAX, compared to $3,353 on Bitfinex and $4,251 on South Korea-based Bithumb.

Bitcoin Cash was the third biggest cryptocurrency with a total market capitalization of $59bn, according to Coinmarketcap.

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