The suspension of dollar transfers will begin this Wednesday. When in doubt, many users have already made withdrawals from their cryptocurrencies.

Blow of pressure on the giant Binance since Monday. The platform announced a “temporary” suspension of dollar transfers from February 8. “Only a small proportion of our users will be impacted by this and we are working hard to restart the service as soon as possible,” Binance nevertheless warns.

This decision, which does not affect Binance’s US subsidiary, Binance US, does affect all non-US customers looking to transfer money to or from dollar bank accounts, either to make withdrawals or deposits in dollars.

The trading platform clarifies that all “other methods of buying and selling cryptocurrencies remain unchanged”.

But what can bother users is that the reasons for this decision have not been mentioned. Hence a lot of questions: normally this temporary suspension could last for a week, Binance ensuring that it wants to resolve a technical problem as quickly as possible. Questions are emerging around the American bank Signature Bank, which decided at the end of January to no longer process Binance transactions greater than $100,000 via the SWIFT system, a decision which took effect a week ago.

Withdrawals from some customers

According to the platform, the problem may eventually affect those with leveraged dollar positions, which constitute a micro-share of the clientele, around 0.01%.

“It should be noted that only 0.01% of our monthly active users use USD bank transfers, but we are working hard to restart the service as soon as possible,” a Binance spokesperson said.

In any case, it was enough to cause many withdrawals from customers, many users therefore preferring to protect their cryptocurrencies, and especially their stablecoins such as Tether or USDC. Even if in 24 hours, there were 172 million dollars in withdrawals, so not much when Binance has more than 42 billion cryptocurrencies under management.

But we will have to follow the movements this week, especially since Binance, once again, gives no indication of what could have happened: technical bug, security problem or hacking? And even if there is better from the point of view of the climate of confidence vis-à-vis the activity of custody of cryptocurrencies, we could see in the statistics of the previous months that the users at the slightest worrying sign now preferred recover cryptocurrencies to keep them on personal physical wallets. Indeed, many still remember the FTX scandal.

Antoine Larigaudrie, Pauline Armandet

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