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Bitcoin Price Surges Above $1,240 as Bitfinex Wire Transfer Problems Increase

April 21, 2017 at 23:43 by Yahia Barakah

Prices of Bitcoin surged on Friday, as exchanges of the virtual currency attempted to reduce the price gap with Bitfinex, one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in the world. Bitfinex, which had its wire transfers in US dollars and other currencies blocked amid banking issues, is experiencing rapid price gains as traders try to cash out their Bitcoins on the exchange.

The story came to light when Bitfinex announced on April 13 that withdrawals in US dollars are experiencing delays, citing issues with financial channels the exchange used to use. This forced Bitfinex to look for alternative channels for US dollar withdrawals, while withdrawals involving other currencies were believed to be functional.

On April 17, Bitfinex said that its Taiwan banks are blocking wire deposits into the exchange. The issue continued to worsen following a third announcement yesterday, which stated that Bitfinex will be unable to process international withdrawals in Hong Kong dollars and Swiss francs, in addition to US dollars.

The exchange said that the troubles it is having with overseas transfers is due to changes forced by its correspondent banks. However, these changes did not appear to affect domestic withdrawals or deposits, or digital currency transfers.

The gap between Bitcoin prices on Bitfinex and other international exchanges widened along these recent developments, which pushed the overall price higher as some people continue to buy Bitcoin because of the gap. However, traders are concerned that once the current situation is over, either when the issues Bitfinex is having are solved or when the exchange collapses, the price of Bitcoin will greatly suffer.

BTC/USD traded at 1,240.8 as of 23:20 GMT on Friday on Bitstamp from 1,252.0 as of 12:05 GMT, the pair’s strongest level since March 16. BTC/USD began the day at 1,236.0.

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