Ethereum Classic, an offshoot of the second-biggest cryptocurrency, soared as much as 22 per cent after the digital exchange Coinbase Inc. said it will begin trading the virtual token in the next few months.

Engineering work for supporting the cryptocurrency will now begin, Coinbase said in a blog post. The San Francisco-based company noted that customers can expect to see public-facing software applications and other signs that the asset is being added.

Once the “market reaches sufficient liquidity, we will then enable trading," Coinbase said. Ethereum Classic support will be offered in "all geographies where the asset is compliant with local law."

Ethereum Classic was the 18th-largest cryptocurrency with a market value of about US$1.56 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap.