CoinDesk reports that Binance “temporarily paused bitcoin 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. 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.
In an earlier CoinDesk article, an executive at Luxor Technologies, a full-stack Bitcoin mining pool, blamed the rising fees on the adoption of the new BRC-20 token standard, a new way to “inscribe” additional data during transactions.
But meanwhile, an anonymous reader shared another report from Mashable about Binance:
Bloomberg reported that the crypto exchange (currently the world’s largest) is facing a U.S. Department of Justice probe over possibly allowing Russians to move money in a way that would violate U.S. sanctions… It’s worth noting that no formal accusation has been made against Binance, as this is just a probe. It may be some time before accusations manifest — if they manifest at all. In 2021, Binance was under a similar investigation related to possible money laundering.
But another Reuters article adds that Bloomberg’s sources “also said that Binance is discussing the possibility of settling with the Department of Justice regarding previous allegations that the exchange was also used to move money to circumvent U.S. sanctions against Iran.”
And elsewhere, Reuters reports:
Israel has seized around 190 crypto accounts at crypto exchange Binance since 2021 , including two it said were linked to Islamic State and dozens of others it said were owned by Palestinian firms connected to the Islamist Hamas group, documents released by the country’s counter-terror authorities show…
In a blog post after its publication, Binance said that Reuters was “deliberately leaving out critical facts.” The exchange has been “working closely with international counter-terrorism authorities” on the seizures, Binance said. “With regard to the specific organizations mentioned in the article, it’s important to clarify that bad actors don’t register accounts under the names of their criminal enterprises,” it said…
Under Israeli law, the country’s defense minister can order the seizure and confiscation of assets that the ministry deems related to terrorism… The seizures by Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing highlight how governments are targeting crypto companies in their efforts to prevent illegal activity. Binance, founded in 2017 by CEO Changpeng Zhao, says on its website it reviews information requests from governments and law enforcement agencies on a case-by-case basis, disclosing information as legally required.
Binance has also said it checks users for connections to terrorism and has “continued to invest tremendous resources to enhance its compliance program,” it told U.S. senators in March in response to their requests for information on Binance’s regulatory compliance and finances.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.