A cryptocurrency exchange review shows that pure cryptocurrency exchanges – those that don’t include any fiat currencies – seemingly have twice the trading volume exchanges that do have fiat pairs do. The report also seems to show CME and Cboe bitcoin futures trading volumes are extremely low in comparison to bitcoin spot volumes.
CryptoCompare’s October 2018 Exchange Review shows that from mid-September to mid-October of this year, crypto exchanges with fiat currency pairs have seen their volumes peak at around $4 billion, while crypto-to-crypto exchanges peaked at about $7 billion a day.
While there are 63 cryptocurrency exchanges offering fiat pairs and only 61 pure crypto to crypto exchanges in the ecosystem, the report’s data shows that on average the 24-hour trading volume of exchanges offering only cryptocurrencies has been of about $4.7 billion, while that of those offering fiat was of $2 billion.
This means exchanges that offer only crypto-to-crypto pairs constitute “about three quarters” of the cryptocurrency ecosystem’s total spot trading market. In his interview with CryptoGlobe, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao may have pointed out the reason for this.
When asked about his progress setting up crypto-to-fiat exchanges – such as the one that recently launched in Uganda – Zhao revealed “fiat exchanges do take longer to set up” because its operators can’t “control some of the parts, specifically regarding bank accounts, fiat gateways, etc.” He added:
It's a lot more tricky than pure crypto because with pure crypto, we control everything; the blockchain does not reject us.
Notably Bithumb, a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange recently acquired by BK Global Consortium, has seen its trading volumes surge. Per the report, BTC to Korean Won (KRW) trading represented a tenth of the total bitcoin trading volume among the top five fiat currencies, before seeing a 230% surge help it reach a third, behind the Japanese Yen and the United States Dollar.
As seen in the figure above, USD represented half of all of bitcoin’s trading volume against fiat currencies, while the Japanese Yen represented 21% and the Korean Won 16%.
CryptoCompare’s report also found that bitcoin futures trading volumes have been relatively low, especially on the regulated exchanges: the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
The report notes the total spot volume averaged less than $7 billion in the above mentioned period, while the futures contracts trading volume averaged about $3.2 billion. Futures exchanges like BitMEX and BitFlyerFX, the report notes, averaged “just under a quarter” of the trading volumes.
The traditional exchanges, CBOE and CME. only accounted for, on average, 1% of the volume. Over the last month, BitMEX has represented over 90% of the futures market. Bakkt, a cryptocurrency venture launched by the Intercontinental Exchange, is set to offer physically settled bitcoin futures contracts, which could help regulated volumes grow.