Date
18 October 2018
A slide in values of bitcoin and other virtual currencies has dampened retail trading activity on major crypto exchanges. Photo: Reuters
A slide in values of bitcoin and other virtual currencies has dampened retail trading activity on major crypto exchanges. Photo: Reuters

Crypto trading on exchanges halved from Dec peak: report

Trading activity on cryptocurrency exchanges has halved from its December peak, Reuters reports, citing data compiled by crypto analysis website CryptoCompare.

Average daily traded volumes across cryptocurrency exchanges fell to US$9.1 billion in March and to US$7.4 billion in the first half of April, compared to almost US$17 billion in December, according to the report.

The slide in trading activity on exchanges came after virtual coins suffered steep falls in prices amid worries of regulatory crackdown.

China, a major market, has shut down local cryptocurrency trading exchanges.

Since peaking in December and January, bitcoin’s price has more than halved, while the second and third largest cryptocurrencies, ethereum and Ripple, have lost even more of their value.

But crypto-trading volumes in March and April have only fallen back to their levels of November. They remain as much as 25 times above their levels of March-April last year.

“Volumes are down because there was a hype cycle in December on the back of futures products coming to market. You’ll find that most of that was retail-driven, with Korea and Japan as major instigators,” Charles Hayter, co-founder of London-based CryptoCompare, told Reuters.

“The governments have now dampened some of that irrational exuberance.”

People involved in the industry say trading activity outside of exchanges, on over-the-counter markets, where larger institutional investors tend to trade, has held up far better.

Major exchanges with drops of more than half in daily traded volumes between December and March include Bitfinex, Coinbase, Bitstamp and Poloniex.

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RC

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