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Bitcoin slides below $23K for first time

Bitcoin dipped below $23,000 for the first time since 2020 as Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange stopped users from withdrawing bitcoin early Monday.

Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao blamed the temporary pause on a stuck transaction causing a backlog in a tweet at 8 a.m. on Monday.

The cryptocurrency exchange ultimately restored service about three hours later, even though Zhao had initially claimed the clog would take just 30 minutes to clear.

Binance’s freeze came as cryptocurrency investors scrambled to cut their losses during an increasingly brutal rout.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, fell more than 14% on Monday, recently trading as low as at $22,680 in the afternoon before ticking back up to around $23,296.

The second-largest cryptocurrency, ethereum, was also down 14% at around $1,235.

The stock market was also battered, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index slumping 4.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 2.8%.

The selloff is an indication that investors are shedding risky assets in favor of safer options like the dollar as the US continues to be slammed by record levels of inflation

forcing the Fed to hike interest rates which could potentially push the economy into a recession.

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