Rookies, pros take cryptocurrency trade volume to new high

Mumbai: Cryptocurrency exchanges have seen a spurt in trading volumes in the past two weeks as new investors joined the crypto wave and mature investors hedged their bets in a volatile market, even as the Indian government appeared to be moving toward bringing in regulation for the new asset class.

Top exchanges saw a 50-150% month-on-month surge in trading volumes in November, driven by new sign-ups and diversification strategies of mature investors as volatility went up.

The wider crypto market witnessed two mini crashes in the past four days, with Bitcoin down more than 17% from an all-time high of 68,521 scaled on November 5.



Industry trackers said those who had invested in cryptocurrency long ago and were sitting on profits were squaring off their positions and buying new alt coins.

“Day traders are constantly putting both buy and sell orders, while old portfolio positive investors are selling off their principal amounts, and new investors are increasing the buy side of the trades,” said Shivam Thakral, CEO, BuyUcoin, a cryptocurrency exchange. BuyUcoin’s trading volume has jumped 500% since August.

WazirX, one of India’s biggest exchanges, said it witnessed 44% month-on-month volume growth on average since January this year.


More nos of smaller investors join trade

In most cases, investors who had made large returns sold part of their crypto assets.

Figures collated from exchanges showed that the number of smaller investors – those who invest Rs 2,000-10,000 – registering and investing in cryptocurrencies went up in the past two weeks.

“We have seen a robust growth of 10 million users in November. Within 2021, our sign-ups have grown 10x,” said Shashi Jha, head of legal and compliance at WazirX.

This comes at a time when India is looking to regulate cryptocurrency.

The government could come out with a basic framework as early as December, said people in the know.

The regulators, especially the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), have raised red flags over cryptocurrency and could be pushing for a complete ban of the asset class.

While there is no clarity on what exactly could happen, Prime Minister Narendara Modi’s recent tweet on the issue seems to have created flutter in the industry. “It is important that all democratic nations work together on this and ensure it does not end up in the wrong hands, which can spoil our youth,” the PM tweeted on Thursday.

Jay Hao, CEO of OKEx.com, a cryptocurrency exchange, said, “We have always believed that crypto and blockchain are a global phenomenon and not limited to just one country. The recent tweet from the Prime Minister resonates with the vision of OKEx which is to promote the responsible use of crypto and blockchain.”

The surge in trading volumes on Indian exchanges also comes at a time when globally crypto assets saw the worst week. Bitcoin, the biggest of cryptocurrencies, fell to a one-month low of $56,956 on Friday. Globally, too, traders rushed to book profits from a long rally, said industry experts.

Cryptocurrencies have hit the $10 billion mark, ET had reported on November 1. About 15 million Indians have invested in cryptocurrencies through Indian exchanges, as per data compiled by CREBACO, a research firm.

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