Coinbase stunned the cryptocurrency world on Tuesday evening by announcing that it would add full support for Bitcoin Cash, a payment network that split off from the mainstream bitcoin network in August. Coinbase users can send and receive Bitcoin Cash coins, and they’ll soon be able to buy and sell them as well.
The news sent the value of Bitcoin Cash soaring more than 30 percent, from $2,800 to $3,800 per coin. Trading on Coinbase’s cryptocurrency exchange, GDAX, briefly showed a much bigger gain, with Bitcoin Cash prices as high as $8,500 before trading was suspended. Other exchanges have not shown Bitcoin Cash prices that high, suggesting that these high prices may have merely been a technical glitch. At publication time, the price of Bitcoin Cash was around $3,300.
Meanwhile, the price of conventional bitcoins fell from $17,800 to less than $16,000—a decline of 10 percent—in the wake of the Coinbase announcement. It has since regained some ground and is now worth $16,800.