The review, which offers institutional and retail investors insights into key developments in the cryptocurrency exchange market and its participants, covers exchange rankings by volume; country analysis and predominant fee type model; derivatives and institutional products; fiat, bitcoin and stablecoin volumes. The review also looks at how volumes have developed historically for the top trans-fee mining and decentralised exchanges.
Charles Hayter, CEO of CryptoCompare, says: “We continue to see great appetite from both retail and institutional investors to capitalise on the opportunities crypto asset trading can bring. And we have recently seen crypto markets taking positive steps in two main areas in order to attract institutional investors: the development of a nascent crypto derivatives market, and better trading tools.
“Our goal remains the same: to act as gatekeepers for accurate, real-time cryptocurrency market data, that can be trusted as a basis for any investment decisions”.
According to the March review, Malta-registered exchanges represented the majority of trading volume, followed by those legally registered in Hong Kong and South Korea. Monthly trading volume from Malta-registered exchanges increased 56 per cent since February, while that of Hong Kong and South Korea-registered exchanges increased 54 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.
Exchanges that charge taker fees represented 84 per cent of total exchange volume in March, while those that implement trans-fee mining (TFM) represented 14 per cent. Fee-charging exchanges traded a total of 272 billion USD in March, while those that implement TFM traded 51.3 billion USD.
OKEx traded the highest average daily derivatives volume in March (swaps and futures) at 1.5 billion USD, followed by Bitflyer Lighting (XBTJPY perpetual futures) at 1.14 billion USD and BitMEX (XBTUSD perpetual futures) at 645 million USD. Exchanges Deribit (73.6 million USD) and CryptoFacilities (26.1 million USD), still represent only a small proportion of this derivatives volume sample.
Regulated bitcoin derivatives product volumes are still dominated by CME. This is followed by Greyscale’s GBTC product, and CBOE’s bitcoin futures. The average trading volume of regulated Bitcoin futures products decreased in March. CME’s bitcoin futures product volumes decreased from 98.9 million USD to 70.5 million USD (-29 per cent) in March. Meanwhile, CBOE’s bitcoin futures volume decreased from 5.6 million USD to 4.7 million USD (15.9 per cent) as they have chosen to cease listing additional bitcoin futures products in the near future.
March saw a sharp increase in volume from crypto to crypto exchanges. Trading volume from exchanges that offer only crypto pairs increased by 70 per cent (267 billion USD) since February, while those that offer fiat pairs decreased 8 per cent to 58 billion USD. Following this increase in crypto to crypto trading volume, crypto to crypto trading volume represented 82 per cent of total spot volume in March, up from from 71 per cent in February.
Bitcoin to USD trading comprised 46 per cent of the total Bitcoin to fiat volume, similar to February. BTC/JPY represented a 20 per cent share of Bitcoin to fiat trading in March, down from 30 per cent in February, whereas Bitcoin to KRW trading increased its market share to approximately 10 per cent. In absolute terms BTC to USD volumes continued to decrease, from 1.24 million BTC in February to 0.92 million BTC in March (-26.2 per cent). Bitcoin trading into JPY experienced a sharp 47 per cent decrease in volume from 0.9 million BTC to 0.48 million BTC. Meanwhile, BTC trading into KRW increased by 41 per cent, from 0.15 million BTC in February to 0.21 million in March. USD, JPY, EUR and KRW made up 95 per cent of total trading from Bitcoin into fiat currencies.
In March, BTC trading into USDT represented 81.7 per cent of total volume (traded into fiat or stable coin), totalling 8.9 million BTC. Last month, the BTC to USDT pair represented 70 per cent. BTC trading into USDT totalled 8.9 million BTC in March, an increase of 43 per cent since the previous month. Meanwhile, BTC trading into other fiat currencies has generally decreased, except for the KRW which increased 41 per cent to 0.21 million BTC. USDT continues to be the most popular stable coin for trading with Bitcoin, followed by PAX, USDC and TUSD.
The top 15 crypto to crypto exchanges all experienced a surge in monthly volume in March with an average increase of 66 per cent. OKEx was the largest exchange by monthly volume at 31.2 billion USD (up 85 per cent), followed by ZB and Binance at 27.3 billion (up 51 per cent) and 24.7 billion (up 30 per cent) USD respectively.
Bithumb was the top exchange by total volume in March at 32 billion USD, followed by Upbit and Bitfinex. While crypto to crypto exchanges saw a surge in volume, top exchanges that offer fiat pairs experienced a general decrease in volume, except for South Korean exchanges Bithumb and Upbit. Bithumb’s total monthly trading volume in March increased by 21 per cent to 32 billion USD. Meanwhile, Upbit traded a total of 7.2 billion USD (up 26 per cent), followed by Bitfinex at 3.1 billion USD (down 28 per cent). Coinbase, Kraken, Liquid and Bitstamp all experienced a decrease in volumes in March.
All the top TFM exchanges saw a sharp increase in volumes in March. CoinBene was the largest TFM exchange, followed by ZBG and FCoin. CoinBene traded 17.8 billion USD in total volume in March, up 56 per cent since February. ZBG traded 11.6 billion USD and FCoin traded 9.3 billion USD, up 37 per cent and 128 per cent since February respectively. CoinBene, ZBG and FCoin represent 76 per cent of volume among the top 8 TFM exchanges.
Ethermium was the largest DEX in March, followed by OpenLedger and WavesDEX. Ethermium traded 336 million USD in monthly volume in March, up 42 per cent since February. OpenLedger volumes increased by 17 per cent in March, to 31.4 million USD. WavesDEX saw a sharp 55 per cent decrease in volume in March, from 69 million USD in February to 31 million USD. DEXs represent only a small fraction of global spot exchange volume (0.14 per cent), trading a monthly total of 447 million USD in March.