Bitcoin may have shed 80 percent of its value in the last 12 months, but crypto exchanges had their best year yet. Coinbase, the biggest exchange in the U.S, experienced a 21 percent increase in 2018, with the first quarter of the year being the most successful. However, the volume on some crypto exchanges dipped significantly, mirroring the price dip. On Binance however, the number of trades has soared towards the end of the year.
The report, which was released by research firm Diar, also revealed the steadily increasing Bitcoin dominance. With the prices of most altcoins shedding over 95 percent of their value, investors turned to Bitcoin en masse. On Binance, Bitcoin’s dominance gained 11 percent to account for 50 percent of the total volume. On Kraken, Bitcoin’s dominance went down mid-year to 36 percent. It regained its dominance towards the end of the year, standing at 52 percent in the fourth quarter.
The Trading Is Thriving
2018 saw the crypto industry experience one of its worst years yet. The bear market wiped out $700 billion in market capitalization, with some cryptos shedding up to 99 percent of their value. Consequently, it was expected that most traders had gotten cold feet and exited the market.
A report by crypto and blockchain research firm Diar, however, paints a very different picture. The report revealed a thriving crypto exchange ecosystem, with some exchanges doubling their volumes from 2017.
One of the exchanges that have experienced the highest gain is San Franciso, California-based Kraken. The exchange, which two months ago was named the safest exchange globally, registered a 192 percent increase in 2018. Expectedly, Bitcoin accounted for the majority of the volume. In the fourth quarter, Bitcoin’s dominance stood at 52 percent.
Hong Kong-based Bitfinex also enjoyed 2018, with its volume rising by 50 percent from 2017. There has been a great decline however since the beginning of the year, with the fourth quarter reporting $25 billion worth of trades. In the first quarter of 2018, the exchange registered $107 billion. Bitcoin’s dominance averaged at 42 percent for the year.
The Number of Trades Increases
On Binance, the trend has been similar. However, Bitcoin’s dominance in the global giant has seen a slight decrease. Bitcoin started the year at 56 percent dominance in January, hitting its highest for the year at 67 percent in March. It subsequently declined and in December, it stood at 46 percent. August was Binance’s most successful month, with the Changeng Zhao-led exchange facilitating just over $21 billion worth of trades.
The number of trades in Binance has also increased steadily over the year. In January, the number of trades stood at 17.1 million, spiking the next month to 27.7 million. The trades have risen steadily since April when the price of Bitcoin stood above $9,000. Despite the price of Bitcoin standing at a third of the price now, the number of trades has doubled over that time.
On Coinbase, the number of trades has held steady since the second quarter at 19 million.