Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, paused Bitcoin withdrawals on Monday for a few hours owing to a "stuck transaction", its founder and chief executive said in a tweet.
The network withdrawals, which faced a temporary halt starting at 4pm UAE time, resumed around 7.30pm UAE time.
Changpeng Zhao's initial tweet said the issue would be resolved in 30 minutes. "Temporary pause of $BTC withdrawals on #Binance due to a stuck transaction causing a backlog. Should be fixed in ~30 minutes. Will update," he said.
This was shortly followed by another tweet saying: "Likely this is going to take a bit longer to fix than my initial estimate. More updates soon. Thanks for your patience and understanding."
"This is only impacting the Bitcoin network. You can still withdraw Bitcoin on other networks like BEP-20," Mr Zhao added in a tweet. "Funds are SAFU." The term SAFU in crypto stands for "secure asset fund for users", which is an emergency insurance fund that was established by Binance in 2018 to protect users' funds.
The news comes as Bitcoin tumbled on Monday after major US cryptocurrency lending company Celsius Network froze withdrawals and transfers — citing "extreme" conditions.
Bitcoin touched an 18-month low of under $23,300, in the latest sign of pressure on the sector from tumbling crypto markets. The largest cryptocurrency, which surged in 2020 and 2021, is down around 50 per cent so far this year, a Reuters report said.
Binance has recently been strengthening its ties in the Middle East and Europe, after receiving in-principle approval from the Abu Dhabi Global Market to operate as a broker-dealer in virtual assets in the capital in April.
Founded in China in 2017, the company also secured a virtual asset licence to operate in Dubai and regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Bahrain in March to operate as a crypto-asset service provider in the kingdom.