Crypto stocks fall after Binance halts bitcoin withdrawals for hours

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

The stops pushed bitcoin , the world̵[ads1]7;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 U.S.-listed shares of Hut 8 Mining ( HUT.TO ) fell between 5.3% and 6.6%, tracking lower bitcoin prices.

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, closed bitcoin withdrawals for an hour late on Sunday and for about three hours on Monday, 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 company said the set fees did not anticipate a recent increase in bitcoin network gas fees — the payments to crypto miners whose computing power processes transactions on the blockchain.

“There was so much traffic congestion and also gas taxes were so high over the weekend … even by historical standards,” Oppenheimer’s Owen Lau told Reuters.

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

In March, it had suspended deposits and withdrawals citing technical problems.

Reporting by Jaiveer Singh Shekhawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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