Coinbase Halts Buying And Selling As Bitcoin Crashes [Updated]

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Coinbase, one of the larger markets for buying and selling bitcoin, announced that all buying and selling has been temporarily disabled. The announcement comes in the midst of a price slump for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and it’s not yet clear when Coinbase will open back up again.


Bitcoin’s value has surged over the past few months, but has been correcting back downward this week and experienced a significant drop in value today. Although its value has been fluctuating quickly, it’s currently down about 33 percent for the week.

Image: Screenshot
Image: Screenshot

On its status website, Coinbase said that the freeze was caused by high traffic. “Due to today’s high traffic, buys and sells may be temporarily offline. We’re working on restoring full availability as soon as possible,” the site said.

This isn’t the first time Coinbase has been forced to initiate a temporary freeze. Earlier this month, the site halted sales of ethereum twice in one day, CNBC reported. Coinbase also attributed that issue to high traffic, which came during a spike in ethereum’s value.

Stock exchanges sometimes issue trading halts when a public company is announcing news that may cause its stock to fluctuate. But these exchanges are heavily regulated—and cryptocurrency exchanges, of course, are not.


Update 1:45 p.m.: Coinbase is back online and users can start buying and selling again, according to the site status page. Coinbase says it is “monitoring for stability.”

Kate Conger is a senior reporter at Gizmodo.



Hey Bitcoin newcomers, here’s some stuff you should know:

1) Swings like this happen. Not everyone sees it as future currency, but rather a store of value that has been fantastic in the long run.

2) You can buy partial coins, with USD, and sell partial coins, receiving USD. Seems to be a lot of confusion here. You can put real, actual dollars into your bank account.

3) No one knows what’s coming in bitcoin’s future. News like this will bring a lot of “I told you so’ers” and make it seem like end days, but Bitcoin has seen much worse. It’s still up 50% for the month, after all.

4) If you’re patient, and hold onto your coin, history shows there’s a decent chance you’ll make money. Don’t put in more than you’re willing to lose. People like to think that Bitcoin holders are irrational, and dump their life savings, but of course that’s an idiotic strategy.

Do some research, outside of Gizmodo, to get some good facts. Open an account, throw in $20 and enjoy the ride. It’s worth it, it’s fun, and you’ll learn a lot about finance, investments, and crypto tech along the way.