The world’s largest cryptocurrency had been rocketing toward $14,000 (£11,029) earlier this week, but gains were wiped out last night when the Coinbase website showed an error message. A notice on Coinbase read: “An error has occurred. We’ve been notified about the issue and are taking a look.” The website was up and running again by 4.30am BST.
After jumping to an 18-month high of above $13,700 (£10,792) on Tuesday, bitcoin dropped more than $1,700 in minutes and sank below $12,000 (£9,453), according to data on Market Watch.
Bitcoin had clawed back some ground by early trading hours today was trading hands at $12,515 (£9,859) at 8.17am BST.
It means BTC is still up around 240 percent since the start of this year.
But it remains well below its peak of December 2017, when the price of bitcoin surged as high as almost $20,000 (£15,755) before crashing throughout 2018.
Bitcoin had gained in recent days after a Facebook announcement regarding the launch of its own digital currency sparked renewed interest in cryptocurrencies.
The social media giant unveiled plans for a coin that can be used across its vast network of more than two billion users who will be able to transfer money and purchase goods without fees.
In a statement released earlier this month, Facebook said Libra would be available under a project labelled ‘Calibra’.
Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, told Inverse website: “The latest rally appears to be tied to the launch of Facebook’s Libra coin and the publicity it has received.
“Whether people see this as legitimizing cryptocurrencies — being tied to Facebook — or the size of the rally has attracted people seeking quick profits, like back in 2017, isn’t important but it’s clearly helped it find its groove again.”
Other analysts have suggested some investors might be flocking to cryptocurrencies as major central banks keep interest rates near all-time lows.
They predict investors have been looking for ways to diversify their portfolios.
Other digital currencies have also benefited in recent days, with the price of Ethereum’s ether and Ripple’s XRP also up.
At the time of writing, Ethereum was at $320.72 (£252.84), while Ripple was worth $0.43 (£0.34).