Binance restarted withdrawals of bitcoin after citing congestion on the token’s blockchain for two halts in less than 12 hours, suspensions that weighed on cryptocurrency markets.
The company said higher fees have been applied to pending transactions, so they get picked up by bitcoin miners — the computer rigs that operate the network. Withdrawals were down for more than two hours yesterday in Asia.
“To prevent a similar recurrence in the future, our fees have been adjusted,” it said. “We will continue to monitor on-chain activity and adjust accordingly if needed.”
Binance had also halted bitcoin withdrawals on Sunday for about 90 minutes, blaming congestion on the token’s blockchain.
Data from research company CryptoQuant showed that the platform experienced its highest-ever net daily outflow of bitcoin — a net 175,646 tokens — on Sunday.
Binance moved about US$4.4 billion worth of bitcoin across its digital-asset wallets on Sunday, analysis from CryptoQuant showed.
The tokens were moved in two tranches, of 117,000 and 40,000, CryptoQuant research head Julio Moreno wrote on Twitter.
In Asia, bitcoin was moved “between Binance hot and cold wallets due to the BTC address adjustments,” Binance wrote on Twitter yesterday, referring to bitcoin.
Cold wallets are not connected to the Internet, unlike hot ones, and are often viewed as a more secure way of storing digital currency.
In response to a request for comment, Binance referenced a blog posted earlier this year, in which it said that large crypto exchanges run management systems that operate dynamically with cold and hot wallets for “liquidity and security.”
Last year’s crypto crash and bankruptcies such as FTX undermined confidence in digital-asset platforms.
Lingering skepticism about the industry has left crypto traders on alert for major shifts related to assets at exchanges.
Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency by market value, yesterday retreated amid a wider drop in crypto markets, shedding as much as 3.1 percent before paring some of the slide.
It was trading at US$28,180 as of 7:52am in London.
Binance is by far the largest exchange in the digital-asset sector following the collapse of rival FTX last year. Volumes on the platform exceeded US$6 billion in the past 24 hours, five times as much as the next nearest platform OKX, CoinGecko data showed.
Earlier this year, bitcoin developer Casey Rodarmor released a protocol — called Ordinals — that helps people mint nonfungible tokens (NFTs) on the network. That boosted transactions on the bitcoin blockchain.
NFTs, or digital collectibles, are often based on ethereum, crypto’s most important commercial highway. Their emergence on the bitcoin network represents a new application of a blockchain that is better known for its store-of-value and payment functions.
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