Bitcoin rally stokes huge volumes for Australian crypto exchanges such as BTC

The so-called bitcoin halving reduces the number of tokens that bitcoin miners receive to help cap supply at 21 million tokens. In each of the last three events, the coin hit a record.

According to CoinMarketCap, cryptocurrency markets recorded a total market value of $US1.6 trillion ($2.4 trillion) on Friday, with bitcoin reaching a market cap of $US847.2 billion on a 24-hour trading volume of $US27.7 billion.

The oldest cryptocurrency has now rocketed 175 per cent in 2023 and is on track to be the best-performing major asset this year, thumping the returns on traditional assets such as stocks, gold and bonds.

The renewed appetite has been largely attributed to expectations the US Securities Exchange Commission will approve a bitcoin ETF in January, which will pave the way for Wall Street players such as BlackRock and Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest to market the funds to massive swaths of new investors.

Dumping Binance

Caroline Bowler, chief executive of ASIC-regulated exchange BTC Markets, said Binance customers had withdrawn more than $US2.3 billion from the troubled exchange in seven days after the founder pleaded guilty to US charges that included allowing transactions with terrorist group Hamas.

Mr Zhao’s guilty plea also followed the conviction of Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of now collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, in a high-profile trial in October.

BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler said the exchange trousered $6.5 million of inflows just from Binance clients in the week following its November 21 plea deal.  Oscar Colman

Ms Bowler said BTC pocketed $6.5 million of inflows from Binance users alone between November 21 to November 28, with total crypto inflows to the exchange soaring 122 per cent on the prior comparable week in 2022.

“People aren’t happy about what they heard from Binance,” said Ms Bowler. “The Australian exchanges are now viewed by Australian investors as a flight to safety in times of uncertainty. We saw inflows in May of last year when Terra Luna collapsed and people are cautious after what happened with FTX.”

She added that the federal government’s proposal for cryptocurrency exchanges to obtain an Australian Financial Services License could make the sector more appealing to institutional investors and foster mainstream adoption.

Ms Bowler said the strong inflows had extended into December to elongate a steady upswing in crypto trading volumes and markets after a horror end to 2022, bookmarked by the collapse of FTX.

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