May 30, 2023

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Crypto stocks plunge after Binance halted bitcoin withdrawals for hours

May 8 (Reuters) – Shares of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies fell in early trading hours Monday after Binance halted bitcoin withdrawals for several hours due to high volumes and high processing fees.

The stops sent bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, down 2% to a one-week low of $27,900.

Crypto exchange Coinbase Inc (COIN.O) fell 3.6%, while blockchain farm operator Bitfarms Ltd fell 5.1%. Crypto miners including Riot Platforms (RIOT.O), Marathon Digital (MARA.O) and US-listed stocks in Hut 8 Mining (HUT.TO) fell between 5.3% and 6.6%, tracking lower bitcoin prices.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, shut down bitcoin withdrawals for an hour late Sunday and for about three hours on Monday, saying there was a glut of pending transactions because it did not offer so-called miners a high enough reward for logging in. transactions on the blockchain.

The company said its set fee does not anticipate a recent spike in gas fees on the bitcoin network — payments made to crypto miners whose computing power processes transactions on the blockchain.

“There was a lot of traffic and also gas charges were very high over the weekend … even by historical standards,” Owen Lau told Reuters.

Binance said in a tweet that the company had modified its fees to “prevent a similar recurrence.”

In March, it suspended deposits and withdrawals due to technical issues.

Additional reporting by Jaiver Singh Shekhawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Siamnath

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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