Bitcoin exchange Coinbase watched its iOS app surge to the top of the free apps chart in Apple’s App Store yesterday, amid a speculative frenzy surrounding the blockchain cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin prices on Coinbase’s GDAX exchange flew past $16,000 to almost $20,000 in around 90 minutes on Thursday, reported Bloomberg, extending its record-breaking run and causing the software to crash and the service’s website to go down intermittently in the process. The digital currency fluctuated during a turbulent Asian session, before falling back to about $16,000.
BREAKING: Coinbase unavailable.
The company now has more customers than Charles Schwab and has opened as many as 300,000 accounts in a day.
Today has unprecedented volume and demand.
There are litterally so many people trying to buy Bitcoin that exchanges are crashing. pic.twitter.com/ZzMKkplyga
— Bruce Fenton (@brucefenton) December 7, 2017
The rise and rise of bitcoin has brought it into the mainstream in the last few weeks, but many observers are warning that the cryptocurrency could be a bubble. Investors have also been reminded of the dangers of hackers, after bitcoin mining marketplace NiceHash lost $64 million in BTC following a “sophisticated and professional attack”.
Apple has had its own problems with cryptocurrencies in the past. In August 2016, the tech giant had to remove several fake bitcoin wallets from the App Store after users of the digital currency were scammed out of thousands of dollars.
For anyone interested in observing the hourly fluctuations of bitcoin while maintaining a safe distance, free app CoinHub offers real-time quotes and up-to-date cryptocurrency news all within an impressive-looking dark-themed dashboard.