The 2023 CEX Market Report by 0xScope, published on November 6, 2023, provides a comprehensive overview of the changing landscapes within the centralized exchanges (CEXs) over the past year. It highlights the shifting dynamics and the rise of second-tier exchanges like OKX and Upbit challenging Binance’s previously uncontested dominance.
Binance’s grip on the market has loosened, with its trading volume and other indicators shrinking by approximately 10%. Despite holding more than half of the market’s share at 51.2%, there’s been a noticeable decrease from its 54.6% share in October 2022.
Spot trading competition has intensified, with Binance’s share dropping from 62% to 52.5% over the year. Upbit’s ascent in the market has been significant, leaping from a 5% to a 15.3% share, largely propelled by the vibrant South Korean market.
While Binance still leads in derivatives with a share of around 45%, down from 50.9%, it is facing rising competition. OKX, in particular, has marked its territory, climbing from a 10% to a 15% share in derivatives, signifying a broader shift in the CEX ecosystem.
An examination of on-chain data and asset values shows that established exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, and Bitfinex collectively hold over 80% of market exchange funds. However, a mere 5% decline in Binance’s asset value share indicates a redistribution of market trust towards competitors like OKX and Coinbase.
Binance and Coinbase collectively account for over 60% of the CEX market’s deposit addresses, but the monthly increase in new deposit addresses has been waning, showcasing a challenge in new customer acquisition.
Analyzing web and social media data, Binance has seen a dip in website traffic and Twitter follower share, despite a net increase in followers. In contrast, OKX has witnessed its Twitter followers nearly triple, suggesting an aggressive and successful growth in market visibility.
Notably, the report emphasizes the lack of a direct correlation between web presence and exchange performance. It also acknowledges potential discrepancies due to the opaqueness in exchanges’ on-chain addresses.
This report serves as a critical barometer for understanding CEX dynamics, highlighting that while Binance remains at the forefront, it is facing a significant challenge from emerging players reshaping the market share equation.
The Guangzhou Housing Provident Fund Management Center has successfully implemented the usage of the Chinese version of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), commonly known as the digital Yuan, for housing provident fund loans. On June 19th, a lady received a loan of 480,000 yuan through the digital Renminbi (digital Yuan) wallet app, marking the official launch of the digital Renminbi loan application for housing provident funds in Guangzhou. This achievement represents a significant step towards achieving comprehensive coverage of digital Renminbi applications in the housing provident fund system, including deposits, withdrawals, and loans.
Since the introduction of the digital Renminbi service in August 2022, the Guangzhou Housing Provident Fund Management Center has witnessed a steady increase in transaction volumes. The digital Renminbi offers a simple transaction process, fast processing times, and high levels of fund security. The procedures for handling digital Renminbi transactions are similar to regular transactions, supporting counter, online, and mobile transactions. As of now, the center has successfully processed 6,433 digital Renminbi deposit transactions, amounting to 9.0842 million yuan. Remarkably, 97% of depositors have repeatedly used digital Renminbi for housing provident fund deposits. Additionally, 729 digital Renminbi withdrawal transactions have been completed, totaling 6.6706 million yuan. Leveraging the instant settlement feature of digital Renminbi, 464 depositors were able to make timely repayments on the due date, avoiding late fees. Moreover, the system has assisted 164 depositors whose transactions failed due to issues with their bank cards, enabling them to complete their transactions seamlessly.
Moving forward, the Guangzhou Housing Provident Fund Management Center will continue to promote the digitization of the housing provident fund system. Their focus will be on optimizing public services to meet the diverse and specialized needs of businesses and the public. By enhancing the quality of the housing provident fund industry in Guangzhou, the center aims to improve the well-being of city residents and contribute to the overall economic development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
In a move that has disrupted the cryptocurrency industry, Kraken, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has announced that it will no longer support ACH deposits and withdrawals via Silvergate, citing difficulties with the automated clearing house. According to reports, Kraken sent an email notice to its users on March 22, notifying them that ACH deposits and withdrawals would no longer be available from March 27.
Kraken has assured its users that no other services would be affected by this change, including ACH instant purchases via Online Banking. The exchange has also advised its users to use alternative funding options, such as MVB Bank for Fedwire deposits and withdrawals, and other instant purchase options, to ensure an uninterrupted funding experience.
Kraken has joined the growing list of cryptocurrency exchanges that have halted their ACH deposits and withdrawals via Silvergate. The Winklevoss brothers-founded exchange, Gemini, also stopped accepting customer deposits and processing withdrawals through Silvergate ACH and wire transfers on March 2.
Silvergate is one of the crypto-friendly U.S. banks that collapsed in early March, alongside other lenders like Silicon Valley Bank, posing major challenges for the cryptocurrency industry. Many cryptocurrency firms hold significant exposure to these banks, which has led to disruptions in the cryptocurrency market.
Kraken joined the Silvergate Exchange Network in 2019, which allowed the exchange to offer deposits and withdrawals in U.S. dollars from Silvergate accounts. Kraken has assured its users that its team is working to make ACH funding available again as soon as possible.
Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell, who is currently the CEO. The exchange is based in San Francisco, California, and is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, trading over $1 billion daily, according to data from CoinGecko.
Silvergate is a U.S.-based bank that is known for its cryptocurrency-friendly policies. The bank is based in La Jolla, California, and was founded in 1988. In 2019, Silvergate launched the Silvergate Exchange Network, which allows cryptocurrency exchanges to offer deposits and withdrawals in U.S. dollars from Silvergate accounts.
Automated clearing house (ACH) is an electronic funds transfer system that allows businesses and consumers to send and receive payments electronically. ACH transfers are commonly used for direct deposit, payroll, and bill payments. ACH transfers are typically slower than wire transfers but are more cost-effective.
The cryptocurrency industry has faced significant challenges in recent years due to the lack of regulatory clarity and the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies. The industry has also faced challenges with banking relationships, as many traditional banks are hesitant to work with cryptocurrency firms due to concerns over money laundering and fraud. As a result, many cryptocurrency firms have turned to banks like Silvergate, which have more favorable policies towards cryptocurrencies.
CoinDCX, an India-based major cryptocurrency exchange, has suspended crypto deposits and withdrawals for various users,citing compliance measures as the reason for the move.
After many customers expressed their disappointment on social media, Ramalingam S, Head of Branding, Marketing, and Communications at CoinDCX, stated: “While some wallets are under maintenance, there is a larger compliance requirement due to evolving regulatory needs resulting in increased scrutiny. The new process is being rolled out in phases, & it will reach all users in due course. Until then, I request your support.”
The exchange mentioned that customers must complete the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process to enable crypto deposits and withdrawals.
Since 13th May, CoinDCX has put in place withdrawal restrictions, which have been extended until further notice to strengthen its compliance and risk framework.
CoinDCX is not the only one affected. Coinswitch Kuber also stated that the withdrawal suspension is because of the KYC requirements.
Last week, Coinswitch Kuber responded to its customers’ dismay via Twitter, stating that deposits and withdrawals have been disabled for everyone because it needs further clarity from regulators and policymakers.
Users Hit Hard by Crypto Meltdown
The latest suspensions by the major exchanges have not pleased Indian crypto investors. Some users have raised fears that the exchanges’ assets might have been swallowed by financial woes facing Celsius Network and BlockFi.
However, there is no evidence linking fallouts from Celsius and BlockFi with the suspensions. For now, it appears that users will have to complete the KYC process to ensure access to their funds.
The current global crypto plunge has come at a time when other factors already slow down India’s crypto industry.
Early last week, Bitcoin’s price declined to $18,000 while the market cap of crypto markets dropped to about $950 billion from $2.97 trillion witnessed in November 2021. Several crypto firms, including Coinbase, BlockFi, and Cryoto.com, have announced massive layoffs and frozen hiring, including those in India, amid challenging times for crypto and equity markets.
The current downturn on the broader capital markets has been triggered by rising inflation and increasing interest rates by global central banks.
Since March, the Indian ecosystem has seen a 90% decline in trade volumes. Besides the global economic crisis, India’s tax rules and inadequate banking channels have also played disastrously. A weak risk appetite due to the global macroeconomic situation might keep India’s investors on edge in the near term.
BlockFi, a major crypto lending platform based in New Jersey, announced last Friday that it would increase deposit rates across several cryptocurrencies starting from July 1.
The crypto lender said it would lower withdrawal fees on various cryptocurrencies. Additionally, the firm also stated it will end a policy that allows one free withdrawal per month. All these policies start taking effect on July 1.
BlockFi stated the reason for increasing interest rates comes from its ongoing mission to offer substantial and long-term customer service while expanding its product offerings, as well as a changing macro yield environment and decreasing market competition.
The crypto lender said it would increase deposit rates for BTC, ETH, USDC, GUSD, PAX, BUSD, and USDT in its BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) beginning next month. The firm also said it would reduce fees for withdrawing BTC, ETH, and stablecoins starting from July 1 as well.
Interest rates are normally set based on the market trends for lending and borrowing assets. The company said all prices shown on its rate dashboard are current; therefore, the new rates will be effective at the start of next month.
BlockFi further mentioned that the rates on cryptocurrencies held in its BIA accounts are basically driven by institutional demand for borrowing assets.
Apart from the increased interest rates, the firm further said it is changing its withdrawal structure effective July 1 because of high withdrawal demands.
The company stated it will scrap a policy allowing one-free monthly withdrawal for BTC, ETH, and stablecoins. The firm also said it will lower all those assets’ withdrawal fees.
BlockFi said it has accommodated the new withdrawal structure based on the current market downtrend. Therefore customers are expected to pay a maximum of $25 for transaction fees, depending on the asset.
The latest announcements by BlockFi come after the lender had secured a $250 million loan from FTX exchange and laid off 20% of its employees to improve its finances.
On Wednesday, BlockFi announced that it received a $250 million line of credit from FTX a day after Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX CEO, said that the exchange would bail out other struggling crypto firms.
Meanwhile, other related reports indicate that FTX is in talks to acquire a stake in BlockFi. According to Reuters, no equity agreement has yet been reached, and discussions are ongoing.
Last week, BlockFi joined many crypto firms hit by the current dramatic market downturn. BlockFi announced massive job cuts to weather the ongoing crypto winter.
Traders are increasingly checking on-chain data to “predict” both the short-term and long-term price trend of Bitcoin (BTC) using such platforms as CryptoQuant, Glassnode and WhaleAlert.
Particularly, data points such as Bitcoin exchange inflows, outflows, and stablecoin inflows are actively used by traders to anticipate where BTC may go next.
499 #BTC (29,979,163 USD) transferred from unknown wallet to #Coinbasehttps://t.co/zkhywRQS82
— Whale Alert (@whale_alert) March 14, 2021
However, this type of data should be taken with a grain of salt as large holders also realize that this data is being increasingly used by many individuals in their trading strategies. Hence, high-net-worth individuals or whales can manipulate this data to tilt the market to their advantage. But how?
Bitcoin on-chain data can be used for “psyops”
When large amounts of Bitcoin are deposited into an exchange, it typically signals that a whale or a high-net-worth investor is planning to sell BTC, at least in theory.
Investors who hold a lot of Bitcoin usually leave them in non-custodial or self-hosted wallets for privacy and security reasons.
Hence, when these holdings hit exchanges, it makes it seem like whales are about to put massive selling pressure on the market.
However, since whales know that investors can track deposits through such on-chain data tracking platforms, this aopens the door to a fakeout situation.
In technical analysis, a fakeout is a term used to refer to a situation in which a trader enters a position anticipating a future transaction signal or price movement, but the signal or movement never develops and the asset moves in the opposite direction.
For example, whales could deposit large amounts of BTC into various exchanges, make it seem like they are selling a lot of BTC, causing fear in the market to drive BTC down.
In reality, whales might not be selling the BTC deposited into exchanges at all. Instead, they may use this fakeout situation to buy the asset at a lower price, for example.
Well-known pseudonymous trader Cantering Clark explained:
“Fair to say that on-chain data and shuffling of Bitcoin from wallets to exchanges and the other way around is an abused ploy now. Do you think a huge player is going to make it known in such an open way that they plan to sell? I guess everyone still falls for the quarter trick?”
Ki Young Ju, the CEO of CryptoQuant, raised a similar point regarding what he calls “psyops” with on-chain data.
Ki noted that whales may deposit BTC to exchanges in order to shift market sentiment from greed to fear.
The negative market sentiment alone could be sufficient to drive the price down, which may also lead to cascading liquidations if the futures market is overcrowded. Ki said:
“Speculative guess, but whales might deposit a large amount of BTC into exchanges to make people scared as a lot of people follow whale alerts.”
For instance, Gemini reportedly saw large BTC deposit before Bitcoin dropped on March 15 to as low as $54,500.
At the time, Ki emphasized that while it could be sell orders, it also could be psyops to lead the market into thinking that selling pressure is coming. He explained:
“Maybe it’s one of the three: 1. Psyops 2. Gemini running a private brokerage service, executing sell orders to other exchanges. 3. Some brokerage service uses Gemini Custody, executing sell orders to other exchanges.”
According to Philip Swift, an analyst and co-founder of Decentrader:
“It can be dangerous for traders to put too much weight on the importance of transaction movements between wallets on the Bitcoin blockchain. As we have seen today, there is often confusion around who actually owns specific wallets.”
Swift further explained that “there is clearly an opportunity for ‘pysops’, where large players trick avid wallet watchers into thinking that funds are being moved ahead of being sold on the market.”
Regarding these wallet transfers Swift said:
“That is not the intention, the intention is simply to trick people into thinking the Bitcoin are about to be sold. It is important to remember that large players have many other ways to buy or sell $BTC such as OTC, unwinding futures positions, etc. They don’t have to always move their funds on-chain before buying or selling.”
Pretty accurate but no silver bullet
Nevertheless, Bitcoin deposits into exchanges have historically been a fairly accurate predictor of the direction BTC will go.
For example, in the past three weeks alone, two major spikes in BTC exchange inflow marked the local top on Feb. 22 and March 15.
Therefore, many on-chain metrics, including BTC transfers to and from exchanges, have shown to be very useful in anticipating BTC price action.
But traders should also be aware that this information is open to everyone and thus cannot be considered the silver bullet of metrics. As its popularity rises, it can be gamed by whales, the media, and other influential entities. This can ultimately mislead traders and shift sentiment to give a false picture of market conditions, particularly in the short term.
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As the cryptocurrency market reaches all time high retail interest, exchange giant Binance has announced a temporary suspension of services for maintenance on its platform.
Altcoins are surging, Bitcoin is consolidating and the crypto markets remain hot, however, Binance has just announced on their site that it will be undergoing temporary system maintenance and has suspended a number of core services.
According to the official notice on Feb.11, the Binance team writes:
“Binance is undergoing temporary system maintenance. Binance has suspended deposits, withdrawals, spot and margin trading, P2P trading, OTC Portal trading, savings & redemption, as well as asset transfers from sub-accounts, margin accounts, futures accounts and fiat wallets.”
The post adds that Binance Futures trading will continue unaffected during the maintenance period and assures users that their funds are safe.
Along with an apology, Binance noted that users will be notified once the exchange’s system maintenance is complete and will have “30 minutes to cancel orders, make deposit and withdrawals, and make asset transfers, before trading resumes.”
As Binance suspends services the current cryptocurrency market cap sits at $1,36 Trillion with an astonishing 24 hours trading volume of $219 billion according to CoinMarketCap. There is currently no ETA given for the completion of the major global exchange’s resumption of services.
Crypto firms are often a rich source of low-cost deposits for the few banks that openly serve the sector. As such, analysts have paid close attention to non-interest bearing deposit growth at Signature. These deposits represent nearly 30% of total deposits at the bank.
Total deposits increased at the bank quarter-over-quarter by $8.98 billion, with money-market deposits representing the lion’s share.
Signature’s average cost of deposits and average cost of funds for the fourth quarter of 2020 decreased by 66 and 69 basis points to 0.42% and 0.57%, respectively.
Bitcoin address reuse, which is a poor privacy practice, continued its downward trend in 2020. However, 43% of addresses receiving deposits are being reused! https://t.co/OA3oIhHeIj https://t.co/GlWy9yTa5P