CNA – Shares of crypto currency – and blockchain-related companies fell in premarket trading yesterday after Binance halted its bitcoin withdrawals for several hours due to heavy volumes and rising processing fees.
The halts pushed bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, down two per cent to a one-week low of USD27,900.
Crypto exchange Coinbase Inc fell four per cent, while blockchain-farm operator Bitfarms Ltd dropped 4.3 per cent. Crypto miners including Riot Platforms, Marathon Digital and Hut 8 Mining declined between 4.6 per cent and 7.2 per cent, tracking lower bitcoin prices.
Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, shut bitcoin withdrawals for an hour late on Sunday and for about three hours yesterday, saying there was a glut of pending transactions because it hadn’t offered so-called miners a high enough reward to log the trades on the blockchain.
The company said its set fees did not anticipate the recent surge in bitcoin-network gas fees – the payments made to crypto miners whose computing power processes transactions on the blockchain.
“To prevent a similar recurrence… our fees have been adjusted,” Binance had said.
In March, the company suspended deposits and withdrawals citing tech issues.