In December, overall volumes on crypto exchanges reached $1,100 billion. It was a level not seen since September 2022, as overall monthly volumes had never risen above one trillion since then.
Monthly volumes on crypto exchanges
These data are published by The Block, and the graph highlights how the monthly peak of 2023 prior to that of December was that of March, with less than 950 billion dollars.
The highest monthly peak ever recorded was May 2021, when altcoins reached new highs driven, among other things, by Elon Musk’s participation in Saturday Night Live which caused the price of Dogecoin to soar.
At the time they were even higher than 4,000 billion, while in November of the same year, when the historical maximum value ever reached by the price of Bitcoin was recorded, they had already fallen to just over 2,500 billion dollars.
However, excluding the great bullrun of 2021, still in May 2022, when the Terra/Luna crypto ecosystem imploded, the overall monthly trading volumes on crypto exchanges were more than 1,300 billion dollars.
The following month, however, they fell below one trillion, and from then on only in September 2022 did they return above this level, but for only one month.
The recent boom
So the 1,100 billion of December 2023 are not only higher than all the monthly volumes of 2023, but you have to go back to May 2022 to see higher volumes.
Furthermore, from this point of view, last month was quite similar to May 2022, indicating quite clearly that the crypto winter is over.
For example, in December 2020, when the last big bullrun started, there were no more than 700 billion, even if the following month they had already exceeded 1,500 billion.
In the entire history of the crypto markets, there have only been 19 months with a total trading volume on crypto exchanges exceeding one trillion dollars, including December 2023. However, there have only been 5 months with more than 2,000 billion.
Instead, excluding the great bullrun of 2021, which began at the end of 2020, there were only eight months with more than a trillion dollars of overall trades on the crypto markets, six of which were after the bubble, and only two (September 2022 and December 2023) after the final burst of the bubble.
Last month’s result is therefore a historic result, if we exclude those obtained during the last great bubble bubble, which not only highlights the end of the crypto winter but also gives hope for 2024.
In fact, it must be said that 2023 was the year before Bitcoin’s fourth halving (which will take place in April).
December 2019, i.e. the year before the third halving, saw very low monthly trading volumes, even lower than $90 billion.
The previous maximum peak was that of December 2017 and January 2018, with more than 600 billion, and the maximum peak of 2019 was 250 billion in June. Only at the end of 2020, with the start of the great bullrun, did volumes return above $600 billion.
So December 2023 was decidedly anomalous from this point of view, in many respects. Furthermore, the comparison with the past leads us to believe that there is still potentially large margins for growth for 2024.
Suffice it to say that in the first two and a half days of January 2024, trading volumes have already exceeded 70 billion dollars, so much so that today they could already exceed the 90 billion of December 2019.
Furthermore, for example, in January 2020 there was a boom, with monthly volumes skyrocketing to 170 billion dollars from 90 in December. Furthermore, this growth continued in February and March, reaching over 250 billion.
Therefore everything would suggest a further increase in monthly trading volumes also in January and February 2024, with March expected to be the month of the Fed’s first interest rate cut, and April which will be the month of the halving.
Crypto exchanges and growing volumes
Binance was still the master in December 2023, but its share of volumes fell to 39%. In second place, however, is Upbit with only 8%.
So although Binance has lost some of its market share during 2023, it remains by far the world’s favorite exchange for spot cryptocurrency trades .
For example, in March this year the monthly trading volume on Binance was 550 billion, while in December it was 430 billion. In September 2022 it was 560 billion, therefore in line with the March figure, as well as in May 2022 when it was 580 billion.
The decline in Binance’s market share, despite an overall increase in trade, occurred during the second half of 2023, particularly from October onwards.
In October the overall volume was 510 billion, a clear increase compared to 320 billion in September. On Binance, however, the increase was much lower, in percentage, going from 130 to 200 billion.
September was also the month with the lowest trading volumes of 2023, the only month of the year below 400 billion dollars in total.