Binance lifts block on bitcoin withdrawals amid high volumes

  • Four hour block on bitcoin withdrawals on Sunday and Monday
  • Pending transactions cleared with higher fees – Binance

May 7 (Reuters) – Cryptocurrency exchange Binance halted bitcoin withdrawals for several hours on Monday, citing large volumes and an increase in processing fees, before clearing them at a higher price.

Late Sunday and again early Monday, the world’s largest crypto exchange shut down bitcoin withdrawals, saying there was an overabundance of pending transactions because it had not offered so-called miners a high enough reward to log trades on the blockchain.

The halt pushed bitcoin down although losses were marginal, with the cryptocurrency last down around 1% to $28,162, its lowest in nearly a week.

“Our set fees did not anticipate the recent increase in (bitcoin) network gas fees,” Binance said in a tweet. “We replace the pending bictoin withdrawal transactions with a higher fee so that they are picked up by mining pools.”

Gas fees refer to payments made to crypto miners whose computing power processes transactions on the blockchain.

“If the withdrawal amount is large, the gas fee required to process the transaction can also be large, especially during times of high network load,” Joshua Chu, group manager of risk management at blockchain technology group XBE, Coinllectibles and Marvion.

– We need more information about what has led to the large withdrawals. After an hour-long outage late on Sunday and several hours on Monday, Binance said withdrawals had resumed.

“To prevent a similar recurrence … our fees have been adjusted.” In a separate tweet, Binance denied that there had been large outflows from the platform.

In March, Binance had suspended deposits and withdrawals citing technical issues. Twenty-four-hour trading volume on Binance was $6.9 billion, according to analytics site CoinMarketCap, more than eight times that of the second-largest venue, Coinbase.

Reporting by Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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