- Note: Accurately measuring the trading volume of cryptocurrency markets can be a difficult job due to the propensity of fake volume reported by many exchanges. As a result, figures tend to differ wildly between various sources but on average, when making comparisons between specific cryptocurrencies, one can get a relatively adequate idea of trends.
After the 2017 bull run bubble burst in late December, the trading volume of most crypto assets slowly reduced throughout 2018, with many losing over 80%. Since December 2018, all top crypto assets have begun to attract more volume with most making new all-time-highs this year.
Bitcoin’s current 24-hour trading volume on the most popular metrics indicator, CoinMarketCap, is around $43.5 billion. On January 6th, following the 2017 bull run, Bitcoin’s 24-hour volume reached a high of only $23.3 billion before slowly reducing throughout the year to around $2.8 billion. It began to grow again through 2019, hitting $43 billion during the June 2019 rally and then reaching its new all-time-high of $49.9 billion on February 20th.
Ethereum (ETH) dropped from almost $10 billion in 24-hour volume on January 10th, 2018, to almost $1 billion in late October the same year. However, volume began to increase drastically through early 2019, recently peaking at $27.8 billion on February 13th. It has since leveled off somewhat, although it remains high, reaching $26 billion on February 20th this year.
Litecoin (LTC) is another coin that has broken its 24-hour volume record lately, peaking at $7 billion on February 13th this year. The coin’s previous high was $6.95 billion on May 16th, 2019, after falling from $5.5 billion in late 2017 to around $200 million in August 2018.
Despite Bitcoin currently enjoying a relatively high 24-hour trade volume, it is still considerably less than the asset with the highest 24-hour volume, Tether (USDT), at $54.7 billion.
The stablecoin Tether (USDT) has seen a particularly large rise in volume over the past two years due to its use as a replacement for trading with fiat currency, which can be costly and time-consuming. In this way, it’s volume doesn’t reflect an actual interest in the value of the asset itself, as with many other cryptocurrencies, but rather an interest in its use case. Prior to the development of stablecoins, Bitcoin’s volume was conflated in a similar way as it was used to buy other cryptocurrencies that did not have fiat trading pairs. As a result, Bitcoin’s current volume represents a more accurate reflection of investment purely in the asset itself.
Despite many other more advanced stablecoins being developed since USDT remains the most well-known and popular stablecoin amongst traders. This is most likely due to it being the first of its kind rather than it offering any kind of advantage over other coins. On the contrary, USDT has faced many criticisms since its inception and remains a stablecoin mired in controversy and allegations of manipulation regarding the 2017 bull run.