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Dollar overtakes yuan in popularity on cryptocurrency exchanges


Margareth Nail

Compared to the beginning of the year, in February-July 2017 the number of exchange transactions of cryptocurrency for fiat money has dropped. It is caused by the decline of cryptocurrency conversion into the Chinese yuan due to regulatory changes. In 2017 the US dollar became a new leader in terms of conversions.

Europe is the leader in terms of cryptocurrency exchange

According to the Global Cryptocurrency benchmarking study, the European countries account for 37% of all exchange transactions, a little less than a third (27%) of transactions were registered in the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, 18% in North America, 14% – in Latin America, 4% – in Africa and the Middle East.

Five countries account for 48% of exchange transactions: Great Britain (18%), USA (12%), Canada (6%), China (6%), Japan (6%).

The largest exchanges

According to data.bitcoinity.org, the largest exchanges that allow trading cryptocurrency for fiat money are: Bitfinex, Bitflyer, Bitstamp, Btcchina, BTC-E, Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken, Okcoin. They account for 84% of the total number of buy/sell transactions over the past six months.

Market share of cryptocurrency exchanges (February-July 2017)

Pic. 1 Market share of cryptocurrency exchanges (February-July 2017)
Source: data.bitcoinity.org

More than half of all exchanges offer to trade cryptocurrency for US dollars

According to the analytical report, 65% of exchanges allow to trade cryptocurrencies for dollars, 49% – for euro, 39% – for pounds sterling, 18% – for yen, 14% – for yuan.

The chart below shows the exchanges that work with different fiat currencies.

Fiat currencyExchangesVolume (BTC) over the past 6 months
USD bitfinex, coinbase, bitstamp, gemini, btce, kraken, okcoin, bit-x, itbit and others 14.1М
CNY okcoin, btcchina, huobi, localbitcoins, lakebtc 5.0M
EUR kraken, bit-x, bitstamp, coinbase, bitcoinde and others 3.6М
GBP coinfloor, bit-x, localbitcoins, coinbase, kraken 0.4M
JPY bitflyer, kraken, localbitcoins 0.05M
COP localbitcoins 0.005M
PKR localbitcoins 0.002M
BRL mercadobitcoin, localbitcoins 0.05M
ILS bit2c 0.005M

Chart – Fiat currencies, that can be exchanged for cryptocurrencies on exchanges
Source: information based on data.bitcoinity.org

Over the last 6 months:

  • 14.1M BTC have been converted into dollars. And a third of operations was carried out on the Bitfinex exchange, 16% – on coinbase, 15% – on Bitstamp.
  • 3,6M BTC have been exchanged for euro. More than 66% of transactions were carried out on the Kraken exchange, 10.3% – on BIT-X.
  • Pounds sterling were traded for 398.1k BTC. More than 37% of transactions were made on the Coinfloor exchange, 33.46% – on BIT-X, 15.15% – on Localbitcoins.
  • 49.9k BTC were converted to Japanese yen. More than 90% of the transactions were carried out on the Bitflyer exchange.
  • About 5M BTC were exchanged for yuan. 44% of the conversions were made on the Okcoin exchange, 38% – on Btcchina, 15.3% – on Huobi.

According to the data presented on the service data.bitcoinity.org, cryptocoins can be exchanged for 43 fiat currencies.

As Global cryptocurrency benchmarking study reports, in early 2017 the number of cryptocoins converted in CNY significantly decreased due to regulatory changes in the sphere of cryptocurrency in China.

From the diagram below, it is clear that until 2017 almost all conversions were made with yuan, but throughout February-July 2017, the US dollar took the leading positions from all the fiat currencies involved in exchange operations with crypto money. The US currency accounts for more than a half of all transactions.

Structure of exchange transactions (per fiat currencies)

Pic. 2 Structure of exchange transactions (per fiat currencies), %
Source: information based on data.bitcoinity.org

It should be noted that the decline of yuan transactions takes place at the time when the total number of exchange transactions falls. So, whereas at the beginning of this January 65.3 M of exchange transactions were recorded, by the end of July this indicator fell to 1.1M.

Dynamics of cryptocurrency exchange operationsPic. 3 Dynamics of cryptocurrency exchange operations
Source: information based on data.bitcoinity.org

As indicated in the report, all exchanges allow trading bitcoins for fiat money, while 43% of stock exchanges work with Ether (ETH), 35% with Litecoin (ETH), 16% with Ripple (XRP), Ether Classic (ETC) 14%, Monero (XMR) – 12%, Dogecoin (DOGE) – 10%. Researchers point out that most of the major exchanges work with two or more cryptocurrencies, while 73% of small exchanges work with only one or two cryptocoins.

The "GLOBAL CRYPTOCURRENCY BENCHMARKING STUDY" report, made by Dr Garrick Hileman & Michel Rauchs, 2017


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