In yet another instance of just how volatile the cryptocurrency markets can be, the price of ether plummeted to $13 today on cryptocurrency exchange GDAX.
The steep decline, observed at roughly 20:30 UTC, had an outsized effect on the market for the digital token that powers the world’s second-largest blockchain. Overall, the value of ether fell to this price after trading at as much as $365.79 earlier in the session, according to GDAX data.
As a result, the flash crash represented a more than 96% decline from the daily high.
The move was so severe that Coinbase, the US-based operator of the exchange, opted to disable trading of the ETH/USD pair and block withdrawals of ether.
Further, the price of ether suffered this loss amid signs that the ethereum network has been struggling to cope with the demands of its rising use. Data provided by Etherscan reveals that more than 300,000 ether transactions were broadcast on 20th June, an all-time high for the two-year-old network.
As such, it remains unclear whether the decline and network congestion will be enough to stem enthusiasm, as until recently, many market observers were so bullish on the asset’s potential they believed it was on track to bypass bitcoin as the market leader.
At press time, ether was trading at roughly $300 across global exchanges.
Disclaimer: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Coinbase.
Correction: An original version of this article miscalculated ether’s decline. This has been corrected.
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