Bitcoin cash slumps 62pc but Coinbase vows to support it

4 Aug 2017

Concept image for bitcoin and bitcoin cash. Image: Adrian Today/Shutterstock

Just a few days into the existence of bitcoin cash, Coinbase has reversed its decision and will now support the new cryptocurrency.

The schism of bitcoin had been a number of years in the making, but this week saw it finally take place, resulting in the creation of a new cryptocurrency: bitcoin cash.

Unsupported by the major exchanges and wallets that favoured a revamped version of bitcoin instead of a whole new form, bitcoin cash seemed to struggle to get going.

Future Human

Now though, the currency has established itself somewhat, creating a massive and controversial storm within the community.

The biggest such event occurred at Coinbase, one of the leading start-ups in the cryptocurrency space, which found that its vocal dismissal of bitcoin cash led to a massive exodus of users. This was so severe that its site actually crashed.

Fearing the worst, the company has now released a statement through its blog, saying that it will reverse its decision and support bitcoin cash from the beginning of 2018.

“We made this decision based on factors such as the security of the network, customer demand, trading volumes and regulatory considerations,” it said.

“Once supported, customers will be able to withdraw bitcoin cash. We’ll make a determination at a later date about adding trading support.”

Bitcoin price slumps

However, despite bowing to consumer demand, the new cryptocurrency is still lagging far behind its older sibling, with its price currently sitting (at the time of writing) at $286.28, 62pc lower than at its peak at $756.93 on 2 August.

By comparison, bitcoin is currently priced at $2,406.58, eight times more than bitcoin cash.

Speaking with CNBC, chief executive of digital currency comparison site CryptoCompare, Charles Hayter, said the price is likely to fall further.

“The fervour and price rises within the first few hours can be blamed on slow supply reaching markets, and excessive initial exuberant demand,” he said.

“The ability to short the market should bring about more efficiencies as reality bites into the price.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic