Buys and sells halted on Coinbase as cryptocurrency market plunges

Bitcoin plunges below $11000 in volatile trading on Coinbase as rout accelerates; now down 40 percent from record

Bitcoin transaction temporarily disabled on Coinbase, one of biggest digital currency market

"Due to today's high traffic, buys and sells may be temporarily offline", Coinbase's online status page cautioned shortly before noon EST, adding that the market was "working on restoring full availability as soon as possible". By that point, it had declined more than $6,000 from its short-term peak the morning before, having lost more than one-third of its value.

Hot on the heels of bitcoin dropping over 20 percent in value this morning, buying and selling is once again no longer available on the bitcoin exchange Coinbase for the second time this week.

Ripple topped the psychologically key $1 level earlier Thursday, and its gains accelerated throughout the session to a record high of $1.38, according to CoinMarketCap. Most are down over -10 percent in 24 hours, including Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin is the world's highest-valued currency, as one Bitcoin hit almost $20,000 this December.

As the Bitcoin bears and sharks begin to circle, these new Bitcoin futures may give them a place to strike. On Tuesday, Coinbase surprised many by announcing it was launching trading in the bitcoin offshoot, bitcoin cash.

It was not immediately clear what caused the digital currency's sudden dive.

Warnings and red flags piled up for cryptocurrency investors over the past week.

"These don't concern me for the long-term because we've seen more and greater issues in the past", said Joe DiPasquale, founder and CEO of BitBull Capital, a cryptofund that invests in other cryptofunds. Tech Crunch's Jon Russellreports that most other prominent cryptocurrencies also fell, including Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash (which is, confusingly, separate from Bitcoin proper). Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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