🚀 AI-picked stocks soar in May. PRFT is +55%—in just 16 days! Don’t miss June’s top picks.Unlock full list

Crypto trading concentration a 'considerable concern', EU watchdog says

Published 04/10/2024, 08:23 AM
Updated 04/10/2024, 03:47 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Representation of Bitcoin cryptocurrency is seen in this illustration taken January 11, 2024. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
BNB/USD
-

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) -The high concentration in crypto trading on a handful of exchanges, with Binance alone accounting for about half the market, raises concerns about the impact of a failure on the sector, the EU's securities watchdog said on Wednesday.

The bloc is rolling out the world's first comprehensive set of rules to regulate trading in cryptoassets such as bitcoin, Ether and Tether, requiring exchanges to be authorised.

The European Securities and Markets Authority's detailed analysis of what's being traded and by whom found that so far the euro currency plays only a minor role.

Trading volumes are highly concentrated, with 10 exchanges processing about 90% of trades, and the largest, Binance, accounting for about half the market.

"While this might be advantageous from an efficiency standpoint due to economies of scale, it raises considerable concerns regarding the implications of a failure or malfunction at a major asset or exchange for the wider crypto ecosystem," ESMA said.

"We observe that the market concentration among exchanges has increased over time, and that Binance alone accounts for more than 50% of trading volume."

Binance said in a statement that it believes that the healthy and sustainable growth of the crypto industry is a key responsibility for the company and other players in the market.

"Our focus continues to be on... continuing to invest in compliance processes for a new era of regulatory certainty," Binance said.

Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $73,803.25 in March, but the total value of all cryptocurrencies - $2.7 trillion, according to CoinGecko - still represents a tiny fraction of the global financial system.

ESMA said identifying the origin of order flow or the geographic location of crypto exchanges remains problematic, with about 55% of current global trading volumes executed on exchanges that hold an EU licence.

Most transactions occur outside the bloc at exchanges domiciled in tax havens, ESMA said.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Representation of Bitcoin cryptocurrency is seen in this illustration taken January 11, 2024. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

"Contrary to the frequent claim that crypto assets could represent a safe haven in times of wider market stress, we find a certain co-movement with equities and no stable relationship with gold," ESMA said.

ESMA will hold a webinar on April 25 to discuss its findings.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.