South Korea-based Bithumb has overtaken Binance to become the top cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, according to the latest exchange review by Cryptocompare – a cryptocurrency prices and data site.
Bithumb has average daily trading volume of $1.24 billion while Binance has approximately half of those figures. Chinese cryptocurrency exchange ZB took the third spot with daily trading averages worth $560 million. Based on a reading of the review, trading at exchanges based in Asia doubled during a month when cryptocurrency markets crashed.
Interestingly, Bithumb is the only exchange with significant fiat-to-crypto trading volumes among the top three exchanges. This means that it is the only exchange where consumers can directly convert their fiat currency, such as US dollar, to cryptocurrencies and vice versa. Binance introduced its crypto-to-fiat exchange in Uganda in October while ZB only trades cryptocurrency pairs, meaning that traders need to purchase cryptocurrencies on another exchange with fiat money and transfer their holdings to ZB using their wallet.
A Reversal in Rankings
In October, the rankings were reversed. Malta-based Binance had the highest volumes and Bithumb was second and had half of its competitor’s numbers. But a series of token airdrops helped Bithumb’s trading volumes. As part of the Super Airdrop Festival, Bithumb rewards members with bitcoin or cryptocurrency worth thousands of Won for conducting trades. The rewards are tiered meaning that the longer members trade, the greater their chances of winning bitcoin through a lucky draw. While they are allowed in China and South Korea, airdrops could run afoul of securities regulations in the United States.
Not surprisingly, the South Korean Won accounted for approximately 50% all fiat to cryptocurrency pairs traded. South Korea also accounted for the highest daily trading at its exchange and Malta was second.