Binance Booted From Top Exchange Spot During January Lull

As total cryptocurrency trading volumes declined during January, Binance, Huobi and Bitfinex have now suffered significant month-on-month declines in volume over the last three months, according to CryptoCompare’s latest monthly Exchange Review. Indeed, following a 15% drop off in crypto trading via its platform, Binance has now been displaced as the top volume exchange according to the data aggregation site.

Taking Binance's place at the top of CrytpoCompare's volume charts is, ZB.com, the somewhat controversial China-based exchange (with an eye to following its main competitor Binance to Malta), which experienced a 6.2% increase in business, bucking the general trend of the quieter January crypto scene. ZB managed a total volume of $19.6 billion, according to CryptoCompare’s numbers, at an average daily volume of $633 million. Binance totalled $17.5 billion for the month, with OKEX around a billion behind it. 

Top Exchanges by Volume

Among the major exchanges, Huobi Pro's monthly volume slipped below the $10 billion mark for the first time since CryptoCompare began compiling the report, dropping from almost $12 billion in December to around $5.6 billion. Bitfinex, however, appears to have fared the worse in recent months, having seen close to $12 billion in volume during November, it fell to under nine in December, and lost almost half of that during January, leaving it outside of the Top 10. 

Top Exchange by Volume

In Autumn of last year, Blockchain-watchers began to call into question the volumes on ZB.com, with a CER report on the exchange's "magic volume" alleging its teams “found definite patterns of unnatural and obviously artificial trade volume performance on 10 out of the top-20 most-traded exchange’s pairs.” 

Even during January, one particular day of trading in QTUM - where the volume spiked to USDT 120 million - raised eyebrows. You can see the spike clearly on the CryptoCompare chart. 

CryptoCompare ZB QTUM spike

 

However, another contributory factor to the rise of ZB appears to be a marked downturn in trading volume for exchanges that offer fiat pairs; volumes on those exchanges decreased by 26.5% in January, while crypto-to-crypto exchange volume decreased by just 7.2% in comparison. In general, the crypto-to-crypto exchanges represent a much larger market, with at total trade of $132 billion during January compared to $37.5 billion for those offering fiat trading pairs - meaning fiat-crypto trading represented 22% of total spot volume during the month, down from 26% in December. 

BTC-currency trading volumes

Indeed, trading in Tether (USDT) - though decreasing - still dominates the crypto space as a whole, accounting for 65% of the total business across all the exchanges aggregated by CryptoCompare. Its share is up slightly on December, corresponding to a marked reduction in US dollar trading. Interest in Japanese Yen pairs rose, according to the numbers, while other options remained relatively stable. 

While Tether’s share of the entire market rose, its dominance of the Stablecoin sector took another chip. While usage of Gemini’s GUSD and Circle’s USDC appeared proportionately steady, it would appear that PAX confirmed itself as the main pretender to Tether’s throne, with another month-on-month move into it’s market share. Admittedly, it has a long way to go, as Tether still accounts for 97.6% of all stablecoin-crypto trading, but from a standing start in October, PAX now holds nigh-on 2% of the sector. 

 

Stablecoin market share

Away from the main exchanges, the interest in Decentralised options remains negligible. DEX’s account for just 0.19% of all crypto volume in January, with Ethermium remaining the number on choice, followed by WavesDEX and Open Ledger. The combined market, however, totalled just $385 million for the month. 

Opera Launches Blockchain, Cryptocurrency-Ready Browser for iOS

Opera Ltd., the company behind the Opera browser, has recently launched a new blockchain and cryptocurrency-ready browser for iOS, following the company’s addition of a built-in cryptocurrency wallet to its Android and PC browsers.

According to a press release shared with CryptoGlobe, the company’s Opera Touch browser for iOS features “crypto wallet integration and Web 3 support,” meaning users can interact with blockchain-based applications through it, as if they were using an extension like MetaMask. The company hinted at the move in March of this year.

The company touts it now offers browsers supporting blockchain-based applications and with a built-in cryptocurrency wallet in various operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS, allowing users to “seamlessly interact with the next generation of Web 3 applications.”

Currently, the browser only supports ERC-20 tokens, stablecoins, and non-fungible tokens, although the company has revealed earlier this year it’s looking to add support for TRON and multiple other blockchains within a  year.

Charles Hamel, Opera’s head of crypto, stated:

We believe that all modern browsers should integrate a crypto wallet. This will enable new business models to emerge on the web. Opera is the first browser to make using crypto on the Web seamless and easy. Following a strong demand from the crypto-community, we are now making this experience available on iOS.

In the press release the company added it believes the “web of today will be the interface to the decentralized web of tomorrow,” with cryptocurrencies being at its forefront. Along with the iOS release, the company announced it partnered with a decentralized-application (dApp) called Marble.Cards, which allows users to turn unique web pages into collectible cards on the blockchain, each being a non-fungible token.

The Opera touch browser itself has a user interface built to let users use large phone screens with ease, as it shifts the navigation towards the bottom of the screen and adds features that make it easy to share pages across devices.

Opera’s main Android browser is also its cryptocurrency-ready browser for the operating system, and it has made it easier for users to buy cryptocurrencies directly from their mobile phones.