Thursday, 17 Jun 2021

Coinbase, Binance, other platforms see disruptions as crypto sell-off intensifies

Major cryptocurrency platforms including Binance and Coinbase (COIN) experienced service disruptions as volatility in bitcoin (BTC-USD), ethereum (ETH-USD) and other cryptocurrencies skyrocketed Wednesday. 

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S., wrote in a status update Wednesday morning that it was investigating delays in withdrawals for ethereum and ERC-20 tokens due to network congestion, and is experiencing intermittent downtime across the Coinbase platform. 

"We’re seeing some issues on Coinbase and Coinbase Pro and some features may not be functioning completely normal," a Coinbase spokesperson said in an email to Yahoo Finance. "We’re currently investigating these issues and will provide updates as soon as possible." 

Binance, the world's biggest crypto exchange, also announced temporary halts on ethereum and ERC-20 withdrawals. It added in a separate statement that it had temporarily suspended trading for all Binance Leveraged Tokens, with some exceptions including for BTCUP, BTCDOWN and ETHUP.

Other smaller cryptocurrency exchanges including Poloniex cited similar issues with Ethereum and ERC-20 withdrawals as investors flooded the network with trades.

The ETH network is experiencing very high network fee pricing at the moment. Customers may experience delays in transactions and when generating addresses.

Trading for ETH & ERC-20 tokens is enabled but we will update this thread if that changes. We thank you for your patience!

— Poloniex Customer Support (@PoloSupport) May 19, 2021

Shares of Coinbase sank more than 8% intraday on Wednesday following reports of the outages, trading below $220 apiece for the stock's lowest level since its direct listing last month. The stock has shed more than one-fifth of its value the past week alone, coinciding with a plunge in cryptocurrency prices.

Cryptocurrencies extended losses on Wednesday, with bitcoin prices trading lower by more than 18% to trade below $36,000. This marked the lowest level since early February, and sent prices below their closely watched 200-day moving average. Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, slid more than 24% to trade below $2,500, just a week after reaching an all-time high of over $4,300. 

The slide in prices for digital tokens over the past week followed an announcement from Tesla CEO Elon Musk that the electric car maker would no longer be accepting bitcoin as payment for vehicles, with the announcement coming just three months after the company first said it would accept the digital tokens. On Wednesday, the moves lower in crypto prices were exacerbated after the People's Bank of China doubled down on its stance that cryptocurrencies could not be used for payments.

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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