Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges mostly make money from the fees they charge to users making trades (though that’s beginning to change).
When trade volumes are low, bitcoin exchanges get into trouble–and right now they’re pretty low.
Combined with the recent slump in the bitcoin price, which has dragged on the wider market, the nascent cryptocurrency industry could be headed for a perfect storm.
Bitcoin trading volume among the top ten biggest bitcoin and crypto exchanges has fallen to under $200 million a day, according to bitcoin and crypto data company Messari, down 20-fold from a peak of $4 billion per day just a few months ago.
“Across all crypto venues, volumes are dismal,” eToro’s senior market analyst Mati Greenspan wrote in a Twitter thread, sparking industry concern.
“This is a giant lull in crypto volumes across the board.”
Bitcoin numbers from derivatives giant BitMEX and peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins reveal a similar slump.
Elsewhere, transactional volume on the bitcoin blockchain has also plummeted, with the amount of money being sent each day the lowest since May, falling below $800 million.
The number of individual transactions has though stayed steady at around 320,000 transactions per day, Greenspan pointed out, while reminding readers bitcoin is coming off a bull run that’s seen the bitcoin price more than double since the beginning of the year.
“Let’s not forget that bitcoin is one of the best performing assets this year. After all this action a period of stabilization is more than welcome. Bitcoin is not dead. It’s just resting.”
The bitcoin price has been trading sideways so far in October after moving sharply lower at the end of last month.
Meanwhile, after a brief surge in the middle of last week, the volume of bitcoin futures contracts being exchanged on the hotly-anticipated Bakkt platform remains lower than expected.
Bright spots remain, however, with Malta-based Binance recently passing the psychological $1 billion mark in cumulative profit, it was reported yesterday following the release of a third quarter trading update that appears to suggest the company made $183.5 million in profit over the three months to September.