The Celsius network, which has 1.7 million customers, said “extreme market conditions” forced it to temporarily suspend all withdrawals, crypto exchanges and transfers between accounts.
“We are taking this necessary action for the benefit of our entire community to stabilize liquidity and operations while taking steps to preserve and protect assets,” the company said in a blog post.
The UK-registered company has around $3.7 billion in assets, according to its website. It pays interest on cryptocurrency deposits,
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, said it has temporarily suspended withdrawals on its bitcoin network. He said bitcoin can still be withdrawn on his other networks.
The company said it made the decision because some transactions got “stuck” and were causing a backlog.
“Binance will reopen withdrawals on the bitcoin (BTC) network once our withdrawal system is stable, and we will notify users in a new announcement,” the company said in a statement.
Ether, the second most valuable digital coin, plunged 17% and has now lost around 75% of its value since November.
So-called “stablecoins” – cryptocurrencies tied to the value of more traditional assets – have also taken a hit. Tether, a popular stablecoin, broke its peg to the US dollar in May, shattering the idea that it could serve as a hedge against volatility.
TerraUSD, a riskier algorithmic stablecoin that used complex code to peg its value to the US dollar, crashed the same month, wiping out the life savings of thousands of investors. The coin was valued at just over $18 billion in early May before crashing, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
Celsius Network did not say when it would allow customers to withdraw their deposits again, only that it would “take time”.
Meanwhile, governments are watching the fallout from the crypto crash closely and could act to protect investors.
“There are many risks associated with cryptocurrencies,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the Senate last month. She said her department should issue a report on the matter.
— Julia Horowitz contributed reporting.