Bitfinex's banking issues appear to be affecting the wider bitcoin exchange markets.
As fiat withdrawal problems at the world's largest US dollar bitcoin exchange continued today, the spread between bitcoin prices observed on Bitfinex and other international exchanges surged, rising to more than $90, or roughly 7%, in some cases.
At approximately 17:15 UTC, for example, bitcoin traded at $1,325 on Bitfinex, roughly $92 (or 7% higher) than the price of $1,233 observed on itBit, according to data from the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).
The spread was similar on Bitstamp and CoinBase's GDAX exchange – where the digital currency traded at an $85 spread at that time. The difference was smaller when observed on OKCoin, though OKCoin has also reported banking issues in recent days.
These figures were sharply higher than the start of the session, when bitcoin was trading at $1,265 on Bitfinex, approximately $50 higher than the price on both itBit and GDAX, according to data from the CoinDesk BPI.
At press time, these price gaps continued to be outsized with a $60 spread observed between Bitstamp and GDAX and Bitfinex.
The development follows Bitfinex's announcement today that it is unable to send wire transfers overseas due to challenges with its correspondent banks. At first, Bitfinex claimed it was informed by these financial institutions that the exchange lacked the ability to process transfers involving Hong Kong dollars and Swiss francs.
While the exchange said it was able to make some transfers involving these fiat currencies, the financial institutions later informed Bitfinex it would no longer be able to make transfers using these currencies.
These difficulties come days after Bitfinex announced on 13th April that its USD withdrawals were suffering delays. On 17th April, it further said its Taiwan-based banking providers were refusing incoming wire transfers.
At the time, the exchange emphasized that it was working on "alternative solutions" that would allow its customers to make deposits and withdrawals using fiat currencies.
Still, while this has stoked worries about a Mt Gox-style insolvency, the exchange vehemently denied these allegations today.
It's worth noting, too, that Bitfinex has a history of bouncing back from issues as well, as it recently finished paying back users for a $65m hack experienced early last August.
While it remains to be seen how the situation will unfold, with BTC-e and OKCoin joining Bitfinex in announcing banking issues, the developments have sparked some fears of wider crackdowns on exchanges.
BTC-e representatives told CoinDesk its issue had to do with a third-party payment service, Mayzus, one it reported happens multiple times a year.
As such, it's possible the uptick in issues is merely reflective of the tough environment bitcoin businesses have always faced when seeking to secure banking partnerships.
Suspension bridge image via Shutterstock
Iceland's 'Big Bitcoin Heist' Suspect Has Been Arrested
Iceland's now-infamous bitcoin miner thief has reportedly been arrested.
A Dutch police spokesperson confirmed that Sindri Thor Stefansson - who is accused of masterminding the theft of $2 million
Snoop Dogg to Perform at Ripple's Blockchain Week NYC Party
Distributed ledger startup Ripple is hosting a VIP gathering featuring Snoop Dogg - and will be giving away 10 tickets to the event on Twitter.
The company announced Tuesday that Snoop would perfor
Arizona's Crypto Tax Payments Bill Clears Hurdle
A key committee in Arizona's House of Representatives has given its blessing to a bill that would clear the way for the state to accept cryptocurrencies as payment for taxes.
The House Rules Commit
Bitcoin jumps 7% amid massive market sell-off
Bitcoin rose to its highest level in more than a month as the broader U.S. financial markets sold off Tuesday. The digital currency was trading near $9,436 as of 4:21 p.m. ET, and has jumped
16 Exchanges Pledge to Restore Crypto Market Confidence
A group of licensed cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan is looking to restore market confidence by adopting self-imposed rules.
According to the Japanese news outlet Asahi Shimbun Tuesday, 16 exchang
Korea's SK Telecom to Build Blockchain for Identity and Asset Exchange
South Korea's SK Telecom is reportedly launching a blockchain-based platform for authenticating customers' identities within the year.
According to a ZDNet report on Tuesday, the telecoms giant - a
Bitcoin Is Facing Stiff Resistance On Road to $10K
Bitcoin is solidly bid on Tuesday and could test the $10,000 mark in the next few days, chart analysis suggests.
Following a sharp price spike just after midnight (UTC), the cryptocurrency rose to
Crypto Winter or Spring Revival? Take CoinDesk's State of Blockchain Survey
After a historic 2017, the cryptocurrency markets took a decided downturn in Q1.
Bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin - and most major cryptocurrencies - saw declines in a variety of metrics: exchange volu