Crypto exchange Binance, the world’s largest by volume, suspended withdrawals of the tether (USDT) stablecoin Monday morning during what it called a period of heightened activity.
Withdrawal functionality has since been returned, according to Binance’s website, which previously stated “wallet maintenance, withdrawal suspended” on the page for USDT. A customer service administrator on the platform’s English-language Telegram channel had previously said that the suspension was due to “USDT network congestion.”
In another message, an administrator in the channel said earlier Monday that the “maintenance [is] due to network congestion. Expected date/time cannot be provided. We are fixing it as soon as possible.”
The outage was the second to occur on Binance Monday – the exchange suspended USDT withdrawals earlier in the day, though customers were able to briefly resume withdrawals around 11:33 UTC. Roughly 15 minutes later, withdrawals were suspended again.
When reached for comment, Zhao said:
“I have no comment on that for now, the company will let the public know of the new developments once it’s concluded.”
USDT’s price sank to an 18-month low of $0.925 Monday morning. The loss of its dollar peg would seem to contradict a long-existing statement on Tether’s website, which states that “USD₮ is always equivalent to 1 USD.”
Prior to the suspension, Binance’s bitcoin-USDT trading pair hit a high of $7,680, well above the global average price. At press time, bitcoin was trading at roughly $6,520.
Notably, Binance is the largest holder of USDT tokens, with more than 768.5 million in its reserves, according to a wallet richlist posted to Tether.to. Tether, the company behind the stablecoin, comes in second with 486.7 million tokens.