Cryptocurrency prices tumble and exchange trading falters as snags crop up


FILE PHOTO: A representation of cryptocurrency Bitcoin is seen in this illustration taken August 6, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo/File Photo/File Photo/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The price of cryptocurrencies plunged and crypto trading was delayed on Tuesday, a day in which El Salvador ran into snags as the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender.

Shares of blockchain-related firms also fell as crypto stocks were hit by trading platform outages. But the major focus was on El Salvador, where the government had to temporarily unplug a digital wallet to cope with demand.

Bitcoin, the world's biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, tumbled more than 17% to $43,000 before paring some losses to trade down 9.20% at $47,140.27. Earlier bitcoin had hit a session high of $52,948.00.

Smaller rival ether, the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, fell 11.99%.

Major cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase Global Inc and Kraken said they faced delays in some transactions on their platforms.

Coinbase said some transactions were delayed or canceled at "elevated rates" and that "our apps may be experiencing errors." The exchange later said issues with Coinbase card swipes were resolved and that transactions were going through normally.

The Gemini exchange said it temporarily entered a full-maintenance period to address an exchange-related issue that caused performance trouble.

Coinbase shares slid 4.02%.

Anything related to cryptocurrencies appeared to suffer. Cryptocurrency miners Riot Blockchain fell 7.38% and Marathon Digital Holdings slipped 7.76%.

Shares of MicroStrategy Inc, a BTC buyer and business intelligence software firm, fell 7.64%.

(Reporting by Herbert Lash in New York, additional reporting by Saikat Chatterjee in London and Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; editing by Sujata Rao and Rosalba O'Brien)

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