IT in Banking

Bitcoin trading volume in SA driven by R100K trades

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While the Bitcoin price recently dropped to $8 000, more than 65% of the daily trading volume on SA’s biggest exchanges is made up of trades above 0.5 Bitcoin (BTC), roughly R100 000.

This is according to a report from local crypto-currency exchange Coindirect. The figures are based on a study that was concluded last month.

At the time of publishing, Bitcoin was trading at $8 200 (R126 000).

Coindirect COO Nic Haralambous says the platform has seen an increase in serious traders and investors making large volume trades over the last six months.

“There are many people in South Africa who have dipped their toes into the world of crypto-currency. These customers account for a very small percentage of the daily trading volume,” says Haralambous.

“These are traders who are still learning the ropes and getting comfortable with the idea of crypto. After doing research into the local trade sizes and general volumes, we noticed it’s the serious traders who are really moving the needle. A handful of people are doing most of the large trades seen each day.”

According to Coindirect, crypto-currency traders who perform large volume transactions normally do manual research to source the best Bitcoin prices and lowest fees in the market, due to Bitcoin prices having no centralised market price.

For most of them, it adds, this comes at a time cost that makes the market difficult to navigate efficiently.

The company explains that usually these traders need to do multiple trades across many platforms throughout a day.

“This can be very time-consuming and often frustrating for traders looking to buy large volumes of crypto-currency,” it notes.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin last week shed over 15% to below the $8 000 mark for the first time since June. It also dragged down the price of altcoins.

“Both Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash are also struggling to find buyers and are at $166 and $214 respectively,” comments Marius Reitz, Luno’s general manager for Africa.

“The negative outlook for altcoins continues. The Asian market trading in digital assets has opened in the red following trouble in Hong Kong over the weekend. With mixed data out of China, the current range of geopolitical issues will continue to be market drivers. Resolution of any of these could help restore confidence in crypto-currencies.”

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