Investors flocking to open new accounts or place orders Thursday left Coinbase, the largest United States exchange, warning of outages and slow transactions.
Additional data from CoinMarketCap highlights the price disparities, though it seems that a number of the top-10 exchanges are seeing prices below $16,000, including Bitstamp, Gemini and HitBTC. "This is a very, very unusual market, that shows we're not in a normal two-way trading market".
Coinbase added at least 300,000 users since just before the Thanksgiving holiday.
The price of bitcoin was all over the place on Thursday, with numerous exchanges listing it at drastically different prices.
Investors continue to pile into Bitcoin ahead of the launch of futures contracts by CBOE at the weekend in the United States. Nasdaq Inc is planning to offer futures in 2018, according to a person familiar with the matter. The digital currency also got a boost from a successful test of a technology that will attempt to ease congestion in purchases of the digital currency.
In some cases, the differences amount to more than $2,000 in value, particularly among some of the most voluminous exchanges. They also argue it is preferable to traditional currencies because it is not subject to central bank manipulation.
The exchange was down for about an hour on Friday, two days after a major system outage kept many users from accessing their bitcoin wallets. The immaturity of the bitcoin markets has often created price discrepancies, which would be unheard of elsewhere on Wall Street. JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon has called bitcoin a "fraud".
"Also, an asset that goes nearly vertically up should typically raise alarm bells for investors", he added.