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    Bitcoin cash falls below $4,000 after leading exchange restarts trading

    • The digital currency fell near $3,330 in afternoon trading following the news before recovering the $4,000 level.
    • Coinbase had originally halted bitcoin cash trading as it waited for "sufficient liquidity" to reach the cryptocurrency.
    CNBC.com

    Bitcoin cash fell from its session highs on Wednesday, briefly trading back below $4,000, after Coinbase-owned GDAX restarted trading in the bitcoin offshoot.

    The digital currency fell near $3,330 in afternoon trading following the news, but had recovered to $4,184 as of 5:22 p.m., ET, up about 45 percent over the last 24 hours, according to Coinbase. Bitcoin itself fell about 8 percent to $16,130, the website data showed.

    Coinbase said late Wednesday afternoon ET that it was allowing bitcoin cash buys and sells, although the service was paused as of publication.

    The company had originally halted bitcoin cash trading as it waited for "sufficient liquidity" to reach the cryptocurrency.

    An attendee wearing a t-shirt decorated with a bitcoin rocket illustration and the words 'To the Moon' checks his smartphone at the CrytoSpace conference in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017.
    Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images
    An attendee wearing a t-shirt decorated with a bitcoin rocket illustration and the words 'To the Moon' checks his smartphone at the CrytoSpace conference in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017.

    Trading in bitcoin cash launched Tuesday on GDAX at 7:20 p.m., ET, before being suspended after only four minutes as a lack of sellers caused high volatility. Many tweets showed Coinbase charts temporarily indicated bitcoin cash was trading well above $8,000.

    Bitcoin cash was created on Aug. 1, when Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange Bitfinex said a group of bitcoin miners would be "forking" from the main bitcoin to create a new version that trades faster and more easily.

    The new digital currency has had a staggering run higher ever since it split off, rising more than 780 percent in that time period.

    Bitcoin cash seven-day performance

    Source: Coinbase

    The recently launched bitcoin futures contracts settled lower Wednesday.

    CME's bitcoin futures, which expire in January and launched Sunday, settled 6.4 percent lower at $17,040. Cboe's bitcoin futures contract for that month settled 4.9 percent lower at $16,700. Trading volume on the CME contract was slightly below that of the Cboe, which was near its best day so far at above 4,200 contracts.

    — CNBC's Evelyn Cheng and Reuters contributed to this report.

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    Fred ImbertMarkets Reporter

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