(Reuters) -Cryptocurrency lending firm Celsius Network will pause withdrawals and transfers between accounts due to "extreme market conditions", the company said on Monday, in the latest sign of pressure in the crypto industry.
Bitcoin extended earlier declines after Celsius's announcement, falling more than 6% to as low as $24,888, an 18-month low. Ether, the world's second-largest cryptocurrency, dropped more than 8% to $1,311, its lowest since March 2021.
"We are taking this necessary action ... in order to stabilize liquidity and operations while we take steps to preserve and protect assets," the company said https://blog.celsius.network/a-memo-to-the-celsius-community-59532a06ecc6 in a blog post.
"Furthermore, customers will continue to accrue rewards during the pause in line with our commitment to our customers."
Celsius Network, which raised $750 million in funding late last year, is a significant player in crypto lending. It offers interest-bearing products to customers who deposit their cryptocurrencies with the company, and lends out crypto currencies to earn a return.
The sector has come under regulatory scrutiny however, particularly in the U.S.
Crypto markets have been under pressure in recent months, falling alongside other so-called risk assets as interest rates have risen around the world.
Price falls have also both been caused by and contributed to the collapse of some crypto projects, most notably the collapse of stablecoin TerraUSD.
TerraUSD last month broke its dollar peg and collapsed in value, rocking the crypto industry.