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Israeli-American crypto firm Celsius halts trading as price plunge continues

The massive drop in value of Bitcoin, Ethereal and other cryptocurrencies has affected Israel, where many people own some.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The Israeli-American cryptocurrency company Celsius halted trading yesterday amid crypto’s plunge. 

Celsius tweeted that it paused withdrawals, swaps and transfers between accounts, saying, “Acting in the interest of our community is our top priority.”

Celsius is based in the US state of New Jersey and also has 100 employees in Israel. It was founded in 2017 by a group of Israeli entrepreneurs. Celsius functions like a cryptocurrency bank, allowing users to buy, borrow and pay with cryptocurrencies. 

Why it matters:  Several cryptocurrencies have plummeted in value in recent days. Bitcoin fell to around $20,000 today, its lowest point since late 2020. Ethereum fell to $1,200, its lowest value since early 2021. Other cryptocurrencies have fallen as well, such as LiteCoin. 

Cryptocurrency is growing in Israel, and as many as one-third of Israelis own some. 

Crypto’s plunge is already affecting Israel. The Cayman Islands-based crypto exchange Binance, which is popular in Israel, temporarily halted Bitcoin withdrawals yesterday. 

Know more:  Cryptocurrency is growing throughout the Middle East. Last week, a charity in Dubai began accepting donations in crypto. Many Jordanians and Lebanese are also turning to crypto due to economic problems there.