Senior VP of Xapo’s Institutional Crypto Custody Business Moves to BitGo

Siamak Masnavi

On Monday (August 19), BitGo announced that Pete Najarian, who was until recently Senior Vice President for Xapo's institutional crypto custody business, is joining BitGo as the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO).

In a press release shared with CryptoGlobe, BitGo said that Najarian will be"responsible for driving the company’s global sales strategy and execution," and that he will be reporting directly to CEO Mike Belshe.

The BitGO CEO had this to say about Najarian's appointment as CRO:

Pete has a deep understanding of capital markets and an exceptional breadth of experience in financial services. This makes him a perfect partner for institutional investors who are entering the cryptocurrency market. We’re building the financial infrastructure of the future and Pete’s experience in both traditional financial markets and  cryptocurrency will be critical. I’m delighted to have him on my leadership team.

As for Najarian himself, he stated:

In my conversations with institutional investors, it’s clear that interest in cryptocurrency continues to grow, and that there is a real and significant opportunity. I’ve spent my career working with institutional investors and what impressed me about BitGo is the company’s commitment to delivering both the services and depth of client engagement that are required to build long-term partnerships with institutional investors.

Najarian arrives at BitGo with over 20 years of experience in "international finance with institutional investors." During his career, prior to working for a year and a half at Xapo, Najarian held several senior positions at Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS. He has a bachelor's degree in economics from Lafayette College, as well as an MBA from Duke University.

On August 14, crypto custody solution provider BitGo said that it was being approached by clients of rival custodian Xapo who are worried about Xapo's rumored deal with Coinbase Custody, which was formally announced on April 16.

Featured Image Courtesy of BitGo

Top-Tier Crypto Exchanges' Volumes Climb Back to One-Third of Total Market Share

The aggregate trading volume of top-tier cryptocurrency exchanges has increased by 61.2% during the month of January, while the volume of lower-tier crypto exchanges increased 46.4%.

According to CryptoCompare’s January 2020 Exchange Review, the trading volume of top-tier crypto exchanges – those rated AA-B according to its Exchange Benchmark – climbed last month to represent 29.3% of the total trading volume in the space.

The rise is significant as in December, the cryptoasset data provider’s report showed top-tier cryptocurrency exchanges were seeing their trading volumes drop as they lost market share to lower-tier crypto exchanges, those rated C-F. At the time, they represented 26.4% of the cryptocurrency market’s total trading volume.

top tier trading volumesSource: CryptoCompare Exchange Review

The report further found that exchanges that charge taker fees represented 76% of the total volume last month, while those that implement the controversial trans-fee mining (TFM) model represented 22%.

It also found that regulated bitcoin derivatives are still dominated by the CME, whose total trading volumes went up 145.6% since December. Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust product (GBTC) saw its total trading volume rise 131% since December.

As for derivatives trading on cryptocurrency exchanges, in January OKEx represented the majority of daily derivatives volumes, trading $4.96 billion per day and capturing 31.1% of the total market share. Huobi traded $4.29 billion a day for 26.9% of it, while BitMEX traded $3.13 billion for 19.6%.

Pure crypto-to-crypto exchanges notably represented 75.4% of the market’s trading volume, in a similar proportion to the last two months. The stablecoin space, per the report, is still dominated by Tether’s USDT, as it still represents 94% of the total Bitcoin trading volume into the top four stablecoins.

Decentralized Exchanges Lose Trading Volume

CryptoCompare’s report also addresses decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges, noting IDEX was the largest one in January. It traded a total of $10 million as its trading volume went up 25.4%, and it was followed by Switcheo and Bitsquare. While these platforms’ volumes went up, DEXs as a whole have been losing volume.

dex CHARTSource: CryptoCompare Exchange Review

According to the report they have diminished 88% since early 2019 to now represent a small fraction of the global spot exchange volume. In January, decentralized trading platform traded $17.8 million in total, representing 0.003% of the market. In January 2019, for comparison, they traded $148 million.

Featured image via Unsplash.