Payments firm PayPal has hit a new record in cryptocurrency transaction trading volumes as the price of bitcoin bounces back from a plunge that saw it drop from a near $42,000 all-time high to $30,500.
On social media, Alex Saunders pointed out that PayPal doubled its previous crypto trading volume record yesterday, as first spotted by Finance Magnates, the day BTC’s price started recovering, by looking at the trading volume of cryptocurrency exchange ItBit, the institutional-grade crypto exchange launched by Paxes that PayPal uses.
It isn’t clear whether the trading volumes were due to an increase in bitcoin purchases, or whether they came from cryptocurrency investors panic selling their holdings as the price of BTC had dropped significantly from its all-time high.
PayPal, it’s worth noting, announced in October of last year it would allow its customers to “buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency directly from their PayPal account.” Furthermore, PayPal plans to “significantly increase cryptocurrency’s utility by making it available as a funding source for purchases at its 26 million merchants worldwide.”
Only users in the U.S. can currently buy bitcoin with PayPal, although the payments firm plans on rolling out the service globally in the future. Data from CryptoCompare for ItBit shows just how much trading volumes surged on PayPal.
Most of the trading volume, data shows, was on the BTC/USD pair, while a significant portion was also for ETH. ItBit has trading pairs for BTC, ETH, LTC, and BCH – the four cryptoassets PayPal lets its users buy – and for Paxos Gold (PXG). Trading volume for the latter, it’s worth noting, was negligible.
Bitcoin’s price is currently trading at $34,400 after heavy selling led to a long squeeze leading to the liquidations of highly-leveraged long positions on crypto derivatives exchanges at a time in which the U.S. dollar started gaining strength.
During the sell-off bitcoin addresses with over 1,000 BTC – so-called whales – kept on growing, while those with 0.1 BTC or less dropped, implying large investors kept accumulating and retail investors sold their funds.
To some analysts, including Lark Davis, the sell-off was shorted by whales who then took advantage of lower prices to gobble up funds retail investors panic-sold. The analyst warned investors they should avoid becoming “whale food.”
Featured image via Pexels.