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.
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.”