Bitcoin Plunge and Crypto Crash Claims Another Victim

London (CNN Business) – Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are plummeting on Monday, and two of the world’s largest cryptocurrency platforms have restricted their activity as the market crash continues in full swing.

Celsius network, which has 1.7 million customers, said that “harsh market conditions” forced it to temporarily stop all withdrawals, cryptocurrency exchanges and transfers between accounts.

“We are taking this necessary action in the interest of our entire community to stabilize liquidity and operations while taking steps to preserve and protect assets,” the company said in a blog post.

According to its website, the UK-registered company has about $3.7 billion in assets. He pays interest on cryptocurrency deposits and lends them for a return.

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Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, said it has temporarily suspended withdrawals from its bitcoin network, although it has clarified that the cryptocurrency can still be withdrawn from its other networks.

The company said it made the decision because some transactions were “disrupted” and causing delays.

“Binance will reinstate withdrawals on the Bitcoin network once our withdrawal system is stable, and we will notify users in another announcement,” the company said in a statement.

The cryptocurrency market took a hit in recent months after the pandemic boom turned into a crash. With the world’s major central banks raising interest rates to stem spiraling inflation, traders have been quick to dump riskier investments, including their volatile crypto assets.

Bitcoin, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency, has lost 15% in the past 24 hours, putting it 66% below its all-time high in November last year, when it traded around $69,000, according to Coinbase data. Bitcoin plunged below $24,000 on Monday, sending the cryptocurrency to its lowest level since December 2020.

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Ether, the second most expensive digital currency, is down 17% and has now lost about 75% of its value since November.

The so-called “stablecoins” – cryptocurrencies tied to the value of traditional assets – have also taken a hard hit. Tether, a popular stablecoin, broke its peg to the US dollar in May, debunking the idea that it could act as a hedge against volatility.

TerraUSD, a riskier algorithm-based stablecoin that uses complex code to peg its value to the US dollar, collapsed in the same month, wiping out the savings of thousands of investors. The coin was worth just over $18 billion in early May before it crashed, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Celsius did not say when it would allow customers to withdraw their deposits again, saying only that “it will take some time”.

Meanwhile, governments are closely watching the fallout from the cryptocurrency crash and may take steps to protect investors.

“There are a lot of risks associated with cryptocurrencies,” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the Senate last month. He said that his ministry will publish a report on the matter.

Julia Horowitz contributed reporting.

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