Bitcoin Network Congestion Causes Binance to Pause Withdrawals

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.

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

Edited by James Rubin.

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