Binance, a pure crypto-to-crypto exchange, has been found to still be on top of the cryptocurrency exchange market, at a time in which exchanges using the controversial trans-fee mining model have been gaining a bigger piece of the pie.
According to CryptoCompare’s December 2018 Exchange Review, Binance has managed to maintain its status as the number one crypto exchange in the ecosystem last month. The document shows that, on average, $664 million worth of cryptocurrencies changed hands on the exchange per day, for a total of $20.5 billion traded in December.
Binance was seemingly also the most visited exchange, after receiving 2.2 million visitors. Its users are currently able to trade 166 cryptos on the platform, on a total of 427 trading pairs. Behind Binance came OKEx, which traded $19.2 billion in December.
While Binance, by itself, represented little over 10% of the cryptocurrency exchange market, CryptoCompare also found that exchanges using the controversial trans-fee mining model, which has been described as a “disguised ICO” revenue model, as it reimburses users’ trading fees with tokens.
Trans-Fee Mining Exchanges Gain Market Share
According to the report CoinBene, the number one cryptocurrency exchange using the controversial revenue model, traded $10.4 billion in December, followed by ZBG and EXX, which traded $5.13 billion, and $4.58 billion respectively. In total, trans-fee mining exchanges traded $23.2 billion, equivalent to 12% of the global spot trading volume, up from 7% in October as shown in figure 6:
It has in the past been found that these exchanges have unusually thin order books, and a relatively low amount of traffic, taking into account the total trading volume they have. Thin order books mean these exchanges can see large price swings if their order books face large orders.
Order Book Depth Drops on Top Exchanges
Per CryptoCompare’s report, top cryptocurrency exchanges would have to, on average, face a $2.56 million sell order to see bitcoin’s price crash 10%, a figure that has dropped since November, and is lower on trans-fee mining exchanges.
The report reads:
Bitfinex, Kraken and Bitstamp maintained the most stable markets in December, while exchanges CoinBene, Bitforex, IDAX showed thin markets combined with high volumes.
It adds that on Bitfinex, where an average of $68.5 million were traded in December among its top 5 trading pairs, it would take a $9.5 million order to crash the price 10%, while on CoinBene it would take only a $13,600 order.
An analysis of the crypto exchanges’ web traffic showed that these exchanges attracted “significantly lower daily visitors than similarly-sized exchanges.” CoinBene, for example, received 48,000 visitors per day, and traded $10.4 billion in December, while exchanges like Bitfinex and HitBTC with “similar high volumes” attracted over 360,000 visitors.