Bitcoin fell Tuesday after Coinbase, the leading platform for buying and selling bitcoin in the United States, said Tuesday it was rolling out support for bitcoin cash.
“Sends and receives are available immediately. Buys and sells will be available to all customers once there is sufficient liquidity on GDAX. We anticipate that this will take a few hours,” Coinbase said in a blog post Tuesday.
However, Coinbase said in a subsequent, 11:15 p.m. ET tweet that buying and selling would likely not be available until Wednesday. Bitcoin cash trading was also suspended on GDAX until noon ET Wednesday.Coinbase has struggled several times this year to keep up with high demand.
Bitcoin cash split off from the original bitcoin on Aug. 1 after a group of developers decided to try to improve bitcoin transaction speeds and costs. Roger Ver, an outspoken and early bitcoin investor, is a major supporter of bitcoin cash.
The majority of developers who supported the original bitcoin failed to reach an agreement this fall on their own upgrade proposal, SegWit2x.
The offshoot currency soared more than 70 percent Tuesday evening ET to a record high of $3,813.70 and was trading near $3,339 as of 11:37 p.m., ET, according to CoinMarketCap.
The original bitcoin was down about 10 percent to near $17,074, according to Coinbase, after earlier dropping as low as $15,005.
Investors in bitcoin at the time of the split should have received an equivalent amount of bitcoin cash, but Coinbase did not immediately do so, and said it would provide support by January. On Tuesday, Coinbase said all customers at the time of the split would have bitcoin cash.
The announcement follows news in the last few days that a large bitcoin payments processor BitPay and major cryptocurrency storage company Blockchain would support bitcoin cash.