Bitcoin Network Congestion Causes Binance to Pause Withdrawals

The world’s biggest crypto exchange has now resumed withdrawals, but problems continue to linger for the Bitcoin protocol.

AccessTimeIconMay 7, 2023 at 7:06 p.m. UTC
Updated May 8, 2023 at 8:10 p.m. UTC
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Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange, temporarily paused bitcoin (BTC) withdrawals Sunday morning U.S. time as the Bitcoin blockchain became overwhelmed with pending transactions and sky-high fees.

The company resumed withdrawals within two hours of its initial Twitter posting about the withdrawals.

On-chain data shows that there are nearly 400,000 unconfirmed Bitcoin transactions, which is higher than anything seen during the bull runs of 2018 and 2021.

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The average transaction fee has also doubled since March, pushing it to a two-year high. The current transaction fee is just over $8, a 309% change from a year ago.

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“This current fee spree is an anomaly,” CoinDesk previously quoted Colin Harper, head of content at Luxor Technologies, a full-stack Bitcoin mining pool. “Biggest difference now between this jump in transaction fees and past ones with inscriptions is that BRC-20 standard is a new way to inscribe. Adoption of this standard is driving fees up.”

Bitcoin ordinal inscription tokens, known by its BRC-20 standard designator, currently have a market cap of $482 million across 14,000 tokens.

Bitcoin is currently trading at $28,935, down 0.15% in the last 24 hours.

UPDATE (May 7, 2023, 19:16 UTC): Adds line about resumption of withdrawals.

Edited by James Rubin.

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