Pure crypto-to-crypto exchanges have been dominant in terms of trading volume, and last month have seen a somewhat mild decrease, while exchanges offering fiat trading pairs saw their trading volumes drop by 40%.
According to CryptoCompare’s December 2018 Exchange Review, cryptocurrency exchanges that didn’t offer any fiat trading pairs – pure crypto-to-crypto exchanges – only saw their trading volumes decrease by 7.7% in December.
These, specificially, traded a total of $143.9 billion that month, down from $155.9 billion in November. Exchanges with fiat trading pairs, on the other hand, dropped from $84.8 billion to $50.8 billion. Crypto-to-crypto exchanges, it adds, represent “three quarters of the total spot volume.”
Interestingly, data shows there are 82 fiat-to-crypto exchanges, and 71 crypto-to-crypto exchanges.
These exchanges likely have higher trading volumes as they have less strict know-your-customer (KYC) requirements, resulting in less friction, and offer their users stablecoins that allow them to trade as if they were using fiat currencies.
As for the exchanges that do offer fiat currency trading pairs, their volumes have also likely declined in December as Bithumb stopped offering its users incentives to trade. As CryptoGlobe covered, Bithumb became the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume in November thanks to these incentives.
BTC to Fiat Volumes Drop as Bithumb Stops “Incentivizing” Trading
According to CryptoCompare’s report, in December of last year 57% of all BTC trading to fiat was made up of USD as it increased 1.3% since November, meaning 2.88 million BTC were traded. Trading into the Japanese Yen increased 28% to 1.19 million BTC, while trading into the Korean Won dropped by 78%.
This can be explained by Bithumb’s drop in trading volume. Last year the exchange saw its trading volumes surge after Singapore-based BK Global Consortium acquired a controlling share in it. The organization then implemented a “series of airdrop competitions, raffles, rebates, and other programs” to bring in non-Korean users.
The exchange also implemented the controversial trans-fee mining model, which rewarded users with ‘Bithumb Cash.’ Shortly after CryptoGlobe reported on the exchange’s suspicious trading volumes, Bithumb’s KRW volume dropped significantly.
As for other fiat trading pairs, BTC to EUR and GBP trading volumes may start increasing in the near future after staying relatively stable in December. This, as leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance recently launched Binance Jersey, a trading platform that lets users trade BTC and ETH with these currencies in 58 jurisdictions.