Feb 17, 2023
Binance Temporarily Suspends USD Bank Transfers
Binance, the world’s leading crypto exchange by trading volume, recently announced that it will temporarily suspend bank transfers in U.S. dollars. The exchange stated in a tweet on Feb. 6 that no other trading methods would be affected. The announcement came with no explanation, however CEO Changpeng Zhao noted in a tweet that only 0.01% of the exchange’s total users will be affected by the suspension while assuring that they are looking to resolve the issue soon.
The move follows on the heels of Signature Bank’s Jan. 21 announcement that, as of Feb. 1, it would only accept trades from clients with U.S. dollar bank accounts over $100,000. Signature Bank had previously declared that it was severely restricting deposits from cryptocurrency consumers.
In response, Binance stated that it was looking for a new SWIFT partner and that all SWIFT trades involving other currencies, as well as trading in U.S. dollars using credit or debit cards, will continue to be accepted. Signature Bank’s most recent action came after it disclosed plans to sell up to $10 billion in crypto deposits in December in an effort to reduce its exposure to the turbulent market changes.
Nansen data shared with Cointelegraph shows that notable stablecoin movements include crypto trading group Jump withdrawing $160 million in stablecoins and Oapital, a digital asset investment firm, withdrawing $230 million. Andrew Thurman, head of content at Nansen, told Cointelegraph that the seven-day outflows might be a little high, but the 24-hour inflows show it’s nowhere close to panic.
The turmoil in the crypto market has made banks cautious. Banks are generally hesitant to deal with digital assets, especially without uniform regulations governing the nascent market. Tony Petrov, chief legal officer at compliance-as-a-service provider Sumsub, told Cointelegraph that the ongoing bear market is another reason behind the bank’s recent action. He believes that when the crypto market was skyrocketing, some banks were simply pushed into the open arms of crypto exchanges.
Lars Seier Christensen, the founder of Saxo Bank, believes the developments around FTX and other crypto disasters, combined with the low volumes in the market, have hurt confidence in the industry. Banks believe the benefits associated with crypto trading activity are not proportional to the increasing regulatory and business risks.
Eddie Hui, chief operating officer at crypto exchange platform MetaComp, told Cointelegraph that it is not uncommon to see an increase in bank runs on exchanges where clients try to withdraw their cash at the same time. He added that crypto businesses will make an effort to “reinstate their reputation, and for that, they will need more stringent compliance infrastructure.”
The recent action of Binance’s USD banking partner raised many eyebrows in the crypto community, especially after a disastrous 2022 that saw many crypto goliaths fall from the top, confidence in the crypto ecosystem taking a hit. While regulatory bodies have said that crypto will be their priority, experts believe uniform regulations are a must to build that trust back. Until then, exchanges will have to mitigate the hurdles and risks on their own.
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