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Binance closes BTC withdrawals amid congestion on the Bitcoin network

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Crypto exchange Binance closed Bitcoin (BTC) withdrawals on May 7 due to an alleged overflow of transactions on the Bitcoin network.

Bitcoin mempool was clogged with over 400,000 transactions waiting to be processed at the time of writing. The mempool is known as the "waiting area" for incoming transactions before they are verified independently by each node on the network.

Bitcoin mempool at 16:42 UTC on May 7. Source: mempool.space

Binance tweeted that withdrawals had resumed after nearly an hour of halting.

Behind the congestion is believed to be a surge in BRC-20 transactions in the last few days. The trading frenzy on memecoins like Pepe (PEPE) drove Bitcoin transaction fees to their highest point in two years. The PEPE token has jumped over 263% in the past 7 days, according to CoinMarketCap.

Developed after Ethereum’s ERC-20 token standard, BRC-20 is an experimental token standard recently introduced that allows users to create and transfer fungible tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain.

We've temporarily closed $BTC withdrawals as the #Bitcoin network is experiencing a congestion issue.
Our team is currently working on a fix until the network is stabilized and will reopen $BTC withdrawals as soon as possible.
Rest assured, funds are SAFU.

— Binance (@binance) May 7, 2023

This is a developing story, and further information will be added as it becomes available.

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