Bitcoin plummeted on Friday, with the cryptocurrency trading around 30% below the record highs set earlier this week. After reaching a price of almost $20,000 per Bitcoin over the past weekend, the price of the cryptocurrency is now down to $12,919 on the Coinbase exchange at the time of writing, marking the obliteration of more than a third of its total value in less than a week.
The entire market for digital currencies was under intense pressure with bitcoin trading down 20% on Coinbase's GDAX exchange.
Bitcoin's dizzying ascent has prompted a number of high-profile figures in finance and economics to sound the alarm, cautioning that the currency's boom is simply a huge bubble.
Earlier in December, two major USA financial exchanges launched trading in bitcoin futures, which will help give it more clout with big, institutional investors.
There have also been growing concerns about the security of digital currencies. NY time that buying and selling was temporarily disabled.
The move seems to have been a reaction to an apparent price surge in Bitcoin Cash on the platform beyond its already elevated level elsewhere.
Additionally, Coinbase employees have been restricted from trading in bitcoin cash for several weeks, Coinbase said on Twitter.
The bitcoin offshoot, bitcoin cash, collapsed, temporarily falling 40 percent Friday to $1,873, after topping $4,000 two days ago, according to Coinbase.
Update: As of 1:44PM Eastern Time, buying and selling bitcoin on Coinbase has been re-enabled.
The outage occurred while major cryptocurrencies were trading in the red.
"Wire deposits and withdrawals may be delayed by up to 5 business days".
Rival cryptocurrencies slid along with bitcoin on Friday, however, and the total estimated value of the crypto market fell to $480bn compared to the $650bn it had reached earlier that day.
"I feel the cryptocurrency madness is only beginning", he said. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.
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