June 12, 2017 / 7:47 PM / a month ago

Coinbase exchange has outage due to high trading volume

A Bitcoin (virtual currency) hardware wallet and a coin are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015.Benoit Tessier

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Digital currency exchange Coinbase said on Monday it was experiencing an outage due to an increase in traffic and trading volume.

One of the world's largest digital currency companies with operations in 32 countries, Coinbase engineers and support teams have been working to keep up with the volume, the exchange said in a statement to Reuters.

The market capitalization of digital currencies has increased by around 95 percent to $106 billion over the past month as demand for crypto-assets has soared with the creation of new tokens to raise funding for start-ups using blockchain technology.

This is the second time in about two weeks that Coinbase had an outage due to a surge in trading volume.

Coinbase has two trading platforms, one for retail investors and one for institutions.

The outage occurred just as bitcoin had a more than 10 percent drop in the price to $2,640, on the Bitstamp platform. Customers voiced on Twitter their displeasure at Coinbase for the outage, as it prevented them from taking advantage of the dip in price to buy bitcoins.

Despite Monday's fall in price, bitcoin still was up more 170 percent so far this year.

At the same time that bitcoin dropped, another digital currency ethereum soared to record highs on Monday. Ethereum, which has the second-largest market capitalization behind bitcoin, soared to $373.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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