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13 Jun, 2017 03:13

Cryptocurrency exchanges shut down amid heavy trading, rollercoaster Bitcoin

Cryptocurrency exchanges shut down amid heavy trading, rollercoaster Bitcoin

The Bitcoin market hit record highs over the weekend before dropping further than it has in years. Several exchanges for the cryptocurrency suffered outages during the fluctuation, leaving customers unable to buy or sell for hours.

Coinbase, one of the most popular ways to buy and sell popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin experienced an outage Monday. For several hours, buyers and sellers were met with a screen that read, “service unavailable.”

The company cited high customer traffic and trading volume for being “down for maintenance.” Coinbase claimed that the issue was resolved by 7:44pm EST. 

As the site experienced such high traffic, the entire market for Bitcoin was in a state of wild fluctuation. On Sunday, Bitcoin climbed to a record high of $3,041.36, according to CNBC.

Then, on Monday, Bitcoin experienced its largest crash since January 2015, falling more than 16 percent to $2,532.87. Those looking to sell their Bitcoin on Monday as the price plummeted by more than $500 were unable to do so through Coinbase. 

Coinbase also experienced an outage due to increased traffic on May 25, less than three weeks ago.

During that week, bitcoin reached an all-time high of $2,791.70 before losing $400, according to CoinDesk

Another exchange, BTC-e, tweeted on Monday that it was hit by a distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS. Their website was back online at 4:00pm EST, according to CNBC. 

Many customers voiced their concern with the exchanges, which they say are not capable of handling the traffic that accompanies large fluctuations in the price of Bitcoin. 

Bitcoin competitor cuts in on cryptocurrency buying frenzy, reaching new record

On Monday, an initial coin offering (ICO) for a blockchain project called Bancor set an industry record, raising over $150 million in ether, the digital currency for the Ethereum network. 

READ MORE: Bitcoin rival ethereum hits record high rallying almost 3,000% this year

The blockchain is the public ledger where transactions in cryptocurrencies are recorded.

Overall, 9,323,978 Bancor network tokens (BNTs) were created as part of the ICO, making it the largest-ever ICO, according to CoinDesk

However, Bancor was forced to extend their ICO by three hours, due to “overwhelming demand and traffic, and massive malicious attacks,” according to a blog post from the company.