Bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, fell on Tuesday more than 17% to $43,000 before paring some losses to trade down 9.2% at $47,140. Smaller rival Ethereum coin plunged 12 %. Shares of major cryptocurrency exchanges also fell as crypto stocks were hit by trading platform outages.
Although Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency in the world by the market cap, it is still viewed as more volatile than traditional currencies.
That was on full display on Tuesday as the digital asset’s price fell as much as 17% after breaking through $52,000 late Monday, reaching its highest level since May. The price move comes on the day El Salvador is set to adopt the largest cryptocurrency as legal tender, becoming the first-ever country to do so. Bitcoin dropped as much as 17% on Tuesday morning. It was last down about 9.2% and trading at $47,140, according to Coin Metrics. Ether fell 12% to $3,441.
Crypto adjacent stocks MicroStrategy and Coinbase also lost about 9% and 4%, respectively. Coinbase users were experiencing delayed or canceled transactions at “elevated rates” in the morning, the company said in an update on Twitter, but those issues were resolved by the afternoon. Customers expressed fury over the glitches in response to Coinbase’s social media posts, with several incensed about being unable to buy during the dip because of the problems.
The company confirmed to FOX Business: “For this morning’s incident, a sudden increase in network traffic led to a degradation in our services.”
Major cryptocurrency exchanges Kraken and Gemini also said they faced delays in some transactions on their platforms.
Earlier this day, El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender and already suffered teething problems when the government had to unplug a digital wallet to cope with demand.
According to a recent CNBC investigation, thousands of Coinbase customers have lodged complaints against the company this year. A growing number of users of the popular crypto exchange have found their accounts on the platform empty after hackers attacked and drain their cryptocurrency wallets.