BitFinex suspends fiat deposits amid rumours of HSBC withdrawal

According to sources cited by The Block, Bitfinex has paused all USD, Euro, Yen and Pound deposits indefinitely. 

Tweets have also show an alleged screenshot from the exchange saying that it “expects the situation to normalize within a week”.


 

Earlier in the week we reported on alleged problems with BitFinex and its somewhat-twinned stablecoin Tether, and BitFinex being forced to deny allegations that it was insolvent. Now, the ongoing problem the pair have faced in securing a fiat on/off ramp for its customers appears to have raised its head again. The latest rumours regarding BitFinex’s financial health emerged after Bloomberg reported that the bank associated with the pair in recent months, Puerto Rico’s Noble Bank, was looking for a buyer at a bargain-basement price.

In the wake of that news, BitMex Research reported its belief that BitFinex had already removed its funds from Noble Bank – possibly precipitating the sale – and that it was now banking elsewhere. Later in the week, The Block’s Larry Cermak reported his belief that BitFinex was currently banking with HSBC using a private account held by a Global Trading Solutions, long-known as a partner/off-shoot of the exchange – though perhaps not to HSBC.

Thus it is possible – as we speculated on Monday – that the spotlight thrown onto the relationship between Global Trading Solutions and BitFinex has caused HSBC to reconsider providing its services, thus leaving BitFinex with no way to accept fiat deposits. Fiat withdrawals from the exchange have been the subject of long delays of late, and the source of much consternation for some time now among users of Reddit and other observers.

Akin to this, and possibly linked due to the close relationship of the pair, is the rising Premium being put on the purchasing Bitcoin with Tether – the US dollar-pinned crypto that BitFinex uses in lieu of being able to offer USD pairings.

As this chart from our colleagues at CryptoGlobe shows, it currently costs around $100 more to buy a bitcoin with USDT than with USD, though that was as much as $120 overnight as Bitcoin suffered something of flash sell-off. It is likely this premium will grow more as news of the banking problems at BitFinex filters through.

2 Month USDT Premium.png

We’ll report more as an when it becomes known.