Crypto Spring? Spot Volumes Up by 49% in April at Crypto-to-Crypto Exchanges

Siamak Masnavi

Over the past three months, although the fundamentals of Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies may not have changed by a huge amount, we have witnessed a significant change in market sentiment, as the result of which the price of Bitcoin has gone from $3,924 (on February 19) to $7,773 (as of 15:15 UTC on May 20), for a gain of over 98%, as can be seen in the 3-month BTC price chart below:

BTC - 3 Month CC Chart - 20 May 2019.jpg

In fact, on May 14, the Bitcoin price went over $8,000 for the first time in 2019:

BTC - One Month CC Chart - 20 May 2019.jpg

This article looks at CryptoCompare's "April 2019 Exchange Review" (which was released earlier today), and highlights four general trends that can be observed during the past three months:

  • Significant increases in the monthly trading volumes at both crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto spot changes.
  • Crypto-to-crypto spot exchange continuing to dominate fiat-to-crypto spot exchanges with respect to monthly trading volumes; in particular, among those exchanges that have a trans-fee mining (TFM) business model, FCoin, recorded a 3X increase in its trading volume from March to April.
  • USD continuing to increase it's share of the total trading from Bitcoin into fiat.
  • Tether (USDT) continuing to maintain its dominance over the other stablecoins when it comes to Bitcoin-to-stablecoin trading.

Spot Exchange Trading Volumes

Monthly trading volume from crypto-to-crypto exchanges (i.e. that offer only crypto pairs) went up by 49% (from $267 billion to $396 billion) in April (compared to March), while that from fiat-to-crypto exchanges (i.e. those that offer fiat pairs) increased by 25% (from $58 billion to $72 billion):

CC ER May 2019 - Fig 4.png

The top 15 crypto-to-crypto exchanges all had increases in their monthly trading volumes in April with an average increase of 57%. FCoin, in contrast to previous months, was the largest exchange by monthly volume at $37.1 billion USD (up 300%), followed by OKEx at $35.1 billion (up 12.4%), and ZB at 35.1 $32.4 billion (up 18.8%):

CC ER May 2019 - Fig 10.png

Bithumb was the top exchange by total volume in April at $17 billion, despite experiencing a 47% drop in volume. This was followed by Upbit at $8.7 billion USD (up 20%) and Bitfinex at $6.7 billion USD (up 114%):

CC ER May 2019 - Fig 11.png

Bitcoin (BTC) to Fiat Trading Volumes

In April:

USD, JPY, EUR and KRW made up 95% of total trading from Bitcoin into fiat (i.e. only 5% went from Bitcoin to other fiat currencies), with a 60% share for USD (up from 46% in March) and a 10% share for JPY (down from 24% in March):

CC ER May 2019 - Fig 6.png

BTC to USD volume increased by 74.7% to 1.6 million BTC (from 0.92 million BTC in March); BTC to JPY volume decreased by 40% to 0.29 million BTC (from 0.48 million BTC in March); and BTC to KRW volume increased by 17.6% to 0.25 million (from 0.21 million BTC in March):

CC ER May 2019 - Fig 5.png

Bitcoin to Stablecoin Volumes

In April:

BTC trading into Tether (USDT) represented 78.9% of the total monthly Bitcoin trading into fiat or stablecoins, totalling 10.3 million BTC (an increase of 15% compared to March); BTC-to-USDT's share went down from 81.7% in March to 78.9% in April:

CC ER May 2019 - Fig 7.png

CC ER May 2019 - Fig 8.png

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com. All charts courtesy of CryptoCompare Research.

Tim Draper Explains Why Buffett Is Bashing Bitcoin, CZ Invites Him to Lunch

Siamak Masnavi

On Monday (February 24), legendary American tech investor Tim Draper spoke about why he recently moved most of his investment funds into crypto, why he is still bullish on Bitcoin and confident about his $250 price prediction, and why he thinks billionaire investor Warren Buffett is so critical of Bitcoin.

Draper, a co-founder of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and an early investor in quite a few unicorns, including Hotmail, Skype, Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter, was being interviewed on CNBC's "Squawk Alley" at a time when U.S. stocks were down (due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic) and Bitcoin was trading around $9,700.

Principal anchor Carl Quintanilla started the interview by asking Draper about his thoughts on the valuations of U.S. stocks and whether thery were too frothy.

Draper Replied:

"Actually, I got to admit [that] I have been out of the market for about six months. It felt pretty lofty for me, and I kind of moved most of my stuff to crypto and Bitcoin. I think that's kind of a safe haven now, and I think this correction may end up being more than that, but I think we're in for a kind of an interesting ride."

Quintanilla then wanted to know what pushed Draper out of stocks six months ago.

Draper said:

"Well, it just got very frothy -- the market got too excited and Uber drivers were doing day trading, and you know all the signs were there. So, I think it was time.

"I think it's a good time to be in the private markets -- that's what I do, and so at Draper Associates, we're very happy that we're continuing to be in the private markets, but I think in the public markets. it just got frothy and then there's the fear of socialism.

"I mean, nobody wants socialism. Capitalism may only work 70% of the time, but socialism has never worked in the history of man. So, I don't understand why there's this move, but I think there's some fear there, and I think there's some interesting things coming."

Co-anchor Morgan Brennan then asked Draper where he saw the Bitcoin going from here.

Draper answered:

"I'm still holding to my prediction. I think Bitcoin in 2022, or at the beginning of 2023, will hit $250,000, and that is a big move from where it is here. And I think that the reason is that Bitcoin will be the currency of choice.

Right now, you have this choice, and Bitcoin is not as easy to move around, but eventually it will be, and then you'll have a choice, and you'll say 'hey do I want to pay the banks 2.5 to 4 percent every time I swipe my credit card or do I want a currency that's frictionless, open, transparent, global, and not tied to any political force?'.

"At some point people are going to make that switch and Bitcoin is going to be the big winner."

Another co-anchor, Jon Fortt, wanted to know how much of Draper's money was invested in Bitcoin, but Draper did want to give him a specific number, and he just said "a lot of it." 

He then added:

"I think the world is going to be much better off because [of] this decentralized movement, and it's not just Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is decentralized currency, but it's decentralized everything, and I think that the some of the politicians are clinging to the past and clinging to their tribalism, but most of the best politicians are moving toward this new world that's global and open and transparent.

I think that's going to be the new world. I think it'll be a more beautiful, more loving, and more peaceful world, but you're going to see a lot of tension on the way to getting to that world."

Draper was also asked by Quintanilla to comment on Warren Buffett's interview on the same program earlier in the day, when he said that cryptocurrencies have "no value" and "don't produce anything" and that people who invest in them are essentially believers in The Greater Fool Theory. Buffett also said in the same interview that he would never own any crypto (even though TRON Foundation CEO Justin Sun has claimed that during a recent dinner, he gave Buffett as gifts two Samsung Galaxy Fold phones containing Bitcoin and a few other cryptocurrencies).

Draper had this to say:

"That is hilarious. 50% of his holdings are banks and insurance companies. They're not gonna do well in this new decentralized economy.

Of course, he is not going to like it. He sees a huge threat to his holdings -- his holdings are more than 50 percent in banks and insurance companies [at Berkshire Hathaway]."

After seeing this interview, Binance Co-Founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao (aka "CZ") went on Twitter to compliment Draper on his excellent understanding of crypto, and invited him to lunch so that they could have a chance to speak on this topic:

Last month, Draper was asked during an interview on FOX Business to give his "best advice" to millennials when it comes to investing for retirement.

He offered this advice:

"Go Bitcoin, go decentralized, start building your empire in the new model that doesn't require that you to have to pay two and a half to four percent every time you swipe your credit card to some bank or another and doesn't require all the heavy regulations we have that are all tied to the dollar... I think if you really want it to work, I think you go Bitcoin or crypto or the new way... I would focus on the future..."