New report highlights the small Island playing a big role in the world of crypto

CryptoCompare’s Exchange Report for October has revealed that a small European island is now home to a large chunk of there world’s cryptocurrency exchange trade. 

Despite having a population of less than 500,000, Malta-based exchanges now see the highest daily volume of trade in the cryptocurrency world, according to research by Cryptocurrency data site, CryptoCompare. In fact, every single day, exchanges based in the small European country see more than $3 worth of business for every one of the 460,000-or-so men, women, and children domiciled there. That $1.4bn of average daily volume is not far off being double the amount registered by the next country on the chart, South Korea, which sees around $840m-worth of trade every 24hrs.

The main reason for this seemingly anomalous figure is that Binance, according to the study the world’s biggest exchange by volume, is legally registered there. Drawn to the country by its vehemently pro-crypto approach and impending blockchain-specific legislation, it offers a good combination of regulatory clarity and access to the wider European financial system through its access to EU passporting – a feature of harmonisation across the EU financial zone, that allows companies to offer their services to any other EU member without restriction as long as they are approved in one territory. The company has also recently announced its part in a project hosted by another pro-crypto European principality, Lichtenstein.

Malta is currently home to three exchanges that are part of CryptoCompare’s study. However, virtually all of the volume quoted comes from two: Binance and OKEX, with a combined contribution of $1.38bn. The relatively tiny Nebula exchange provides the rest of that eye-catching daily volume figure. South Korea’s high average volume comes mainly from Bithumb and UpBit.

Of CryptoCompare’s overview of the ecosystem – which covers traditional fee-paying, decentralised and Transaction-fee Mining exchanges – the countries hosting the most such concerns are the USA and UK, with eight exchanges each. They, however, rank 5th and 9th out of 10 countries surveyed, in terms of average daily volume. Indeed, by CryptoCompare’s reckoning, the British Virgin Islands-registered BitFinex – despite (or, perhaps, because of) all its recent problems – saw per-day volume roughly equivalent to all the surveyed US exchanges combined.

Despite this, the report makes it clear that US Dollar still dominates BTC pairing, making up something like half of the BTC-to-fiat trading on average over the past 30 days. The next most popular currency was Japanese Yen (21%), with a spike in the use of  the Korean Won via Bithumb seeing it move into third place with 16% of the total. However, as we pointed out yesterday, according to the report, fiat-to-crypto pairs only accounts for around 25% of total volume across all the surveyed markets.