Days after Binance Global, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by client count, briefly suspended bitcoin (BTC) withdrawals, statistics show that its US arm, Binance.US, sold the coin at a premium on May 9.
The bitcoin premium
At 09:26 UTC on May 9, the BTC/USD pair traded at a $600 premium, significantly increasing from the $20 premium seen at the end of April.
A premium in crypto trading occurs when a given pair trades at different prices across centralized exchanges. There could be various reasons determining the size of the divergence, with liquidity a significant factor.
Intraday trading data also shows that Binance.US traded BTC at a significant premium compared to its market price. Specifically, bitcoin reached highs of $28,600 on Binance.US versus $28,004 on Binance Global and other major centralized exchanges. Meanwhile, the coin’s low fluctuated between $27,350 and $27,669.
On May 7, Binance Global temporarily halted bitcoin withdrawals citing mempool congestion and rising fees.
The 1-hr BTC withdrawal suspension window proved inconvenient for users.
Responding to a deluge of criticism, Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao said that though the exchange was resuming normalcy, they were also considering integrating the Bitcoin Lightning Network, a layer-2 platform allowing for the instantaneous settlement of BTC.