Bitcoin entered the week in near freefall. The cryptocurrency fell past $24,000, losing nearly 18% between midday Sunday and Monday. It’s the coin’s lowest value since December 2020.
The chain reaction took its toll on The Celsius Network, which put its 1.7 million customers on alert that "extreme market conditions" had forced it to pause all withdrawals, swaps, and account transfers.
“Acting in the interest of our community is our top priority. Our operations continue and we will continue to share information with the community,” the company said in a memo to its investor community. “We understand that this news is difficult, but we believe that our decision … is the most responsible action we can take to protect our community. We are working with a singular focus: to protect and preserve assets to meet our obligations to customers.
“Our ultimate objective is stabilizing liquidity and restoring withdrawals, Swap, and transfers between accounts as quickly as possible. There is a lot of work ahead as we consider various options, this process will take time, and there may be delays.”
More caught in the snowball effect
The snowball effect may have started with Celcius, but it didn’t stop there. Binance also tweeted that it paused bitcoin withdrawals temporarily in response to a "stuck transaction causing a backlog.”
Consumers will have to wait to see if Binance’s move will send the snowball rolling further downhill. When it comes to trading volume, the platform is the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange. To make matters worse, the pause is happening right in the middle of a swift cryptocurrency market sell-off.
The value of Bitcoin’s cryptocurrency kin – Ether – actually had it worse. By noon on Monday, its value had fallen more than 20% in a 24-hour period. Things look pretty bleak for other cryptocurrencies too. Binance Coin (BNB) fell by nearly 16%, Ripple (XRP) fell by 14%, and Dogecoin's value plummeted by (DOGE) 19%.
Things are also bad at Coinbase – the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. Protocol reports that employees are pushing the exchange firm to remove three top leaders over actions "that have led to questionable results.”