CryptoCompare, the global cryptocurrency market data provider, published its February 2019 Exchange Review, offering institutional and retail investors insights into the cryptocurrency exchange industry.
The February Monthly Review provides the latest exchange rankings; an evaluation of spot vs futures volumes including both crypto exchanges (BitMEX and BitflyerFX) and traditional exchanges (CBOE and CME); and an evaluation of volumes for the top trans-fee mining and decentralised exchanges.
New charts include an overview of derivatives exchanges with volume data from OKEx, CryptoFacilities and Deribit. In addition, a short trade data analysis for the end of February covers a selection of exchanges that trade either BTC to USD or USDT.
Highlights of the macro analysis and market segmentation include:
Top Exchange Volumes-Bithumb was the top exchange by total volume in February, followed by Binance and ZB. Bithumbs total trading volume in February was 26.8 billion USD (up 2.8% since January). Meanwhile, Binance traded a total of 18.9 billion USD (up 8%), followed by ZB at 18.1 billion USD (down 7.8%).
February Trade Snapshot Analysis-Among a selection of top exchanges that trade BTC to USD, Coinbase traded the most at the end of February with over 40,000 trades in a day followed by Bitfinex (23,000) and Bitstamp (11,800). Among the above exchanges, Coinbase also traded the lowest average trade size at 600 USD while other exchanges (Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Kraken, itBit) traded between 1500-2600 USD.
Country Analysis-Malta-registered exchanges represented the majority of trading volume, followed by those legally registered in Hong Kong and South Korea. Monthly trading volumes from Malta-registered exchanges increased 8% since January, while those of Hong Kong and South Korea-registered exchanges increased 12% and 6% respectively.
Predominant Fee Type-Exchanges that charge taker fees represented 84% of total exchange volume in February, while those that implement trans-fee mining (TFM) represented 14%. Fee-charging exchanges traded a total of 186 billion USD in February, while those that implement TFM traded 31.4 billion USD. The remaining volume represented trading by exchanges that charge no trading fees, at 3.1 billion USD.
Futures Trading-Total futures trading volume from exchanges bitFlyerFX and BitMEX totalled 54.8 billion USD in February, while volume from spot exchanges totalled 220 billion USD. Meanwhile, CMEs average Bitcoin futures contract trading volumes increased from 79.9 million USD in January to 98.9 million USD in February while those of CBOE decreased from a daily average of 8.1 million USD to 5.6 million USD in February. According to a mid-March volume snapshot, OKEx traded the highest daily derivatives volume (swaps and futures) at 1.76 billion USD, followed by BitflyerFX (1.15 billion USD) and BitMEX (708 million USD). Exchanges Deribit (67 million USD), CryptoFacilities (27 million USD), CME (61 million USD) and CBOE (13 million USD) still represented only a small proportion of this.
Fiat Capabilities-Trading volume from exchanges that offer fiat pairs did not change from January to February (63 billion USD), however that of crypto to crypto exchanges increased by 20% to 157 billion USD. Following this increase in crypto to crypto trading volume, fiat to crypto trading volume represented 29% of total spot volume, down from 33% in January.
Bitcoin to Fiat Volumes-In February, 46% of all Bitcoin trading into fiat was made up of the US Dollar, down from 48% in January. BTC to USD volumes decreased from 1.47 million BTC to 1.24 million BTC in February (-15.3%). Bitcoin trading into JPY formed 33% of Bitcoin into Fiat in February, up from 30% in January; volumes remained stable at ~0.9 million BTC. Meanwhile, BTC trading into EUR and KRW decreased by 22% and 14.6% respectively. In February, USD, JPY, EUR and KRW made up 95% of total trading from Bitcoin into fiat.
Bitcoin to Stablecoin Volumes-In February, BTC trading into USDT represented 70% of total volume (fiat or stable coin), totalling 6.24 million BTC. USDT continues to be the most popular stable coin followed by PAX, USDC and GUSD. USDT represents 98% of the total Bitcoin trading into these stablecoins.
Charles Hayter, CEO of CryptoCompare, said:
We continue to see great interest in our monthly reports and are pleased to introduce new charts and features for our users. Real-time, accurate cryptocurrency market data is crucial to our universe of retail and institutional investors and a reliable basis for their investment decisions. Our monthly report safeguards data accuracy and integrity, to ensure consistency and confidence in the market
The Methodology: CryptoCompares Monthly Exchange Review evaluates the consistency and quality of exchange data, which is incorporated into CryptoCompares real-time Aggregate Index Methodology (the CCCAGG), used to calculate the best price estimation of cryptocurrency pairs traded across global exchanges. It aggregates transactional data from more than 70 exchanges using a 24-hour volume weighted average for every cryptocurrency pair. Constituent CCCAGG exchanges are reviewed and amended each month to ensure that the most representative and reliable market data is used in CCCAGG pair pricing calculations.
CryptoCompare assesses exchanges on the basis of spot 24-hour volume and pricing data. The current process operates as follows: for each exchange, the 24-hour volume and price of every live trading pair is recorded. Each pair volume is compared to the total market volume for that specific pair and assigned a market share ranking. Pricing for each pair is then compared to that of the CCCAGG pair, and a percentage price difference is calculated. Finally, a 24-hour volume weighted % price difference per pair is calculated to produce a figure for how close the overall exchange pricing differences are to that of the CCCAGG.
As a general guideline, CryptoCompare assumes that exchanges with an overall percentage pricing difference of under 10% is within acceptable boundaries. The reasons for pricing differences across exchanges may be related to a number of factors that include exchange fees, jurisdiction, tax considerations among a series of other factors. It is however, the first indicator of acceptability within the CCCAGG exchange list.