The Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange (BitMEX) has set a world record for the most trading volume in a single day on a cryptocurrency related exchange. On 24 July 2018, 1 million Bitcoin contracts worth over USD 8 billion were traded on BitMEX. This is more volume than all the other Bitcoin exchanges in the world combined.

BitMEX doesn’t offer trading of actual Bitcoins. Instead, as a derivatives market, it offers XBT contracts that represent Bitcoins. CoinMarketCap doesn’t include BitMEX’s volume in Bitcoin daily volume numbers, nor does it rank BitMEX among other Bitcoin exchanges that trade actual Bitcoins. Binance, which has the first ranking on CoinMarketCap, has a relatively low trading volume of USD 1.5 billion in the past day. FCoin has a daily trading volume of USD 1.6 billion, but it generally isn’t included in the rankings since it uses transaction fee mining which causes volume numbers to be inflated via wash trading.

Bitcoin’s overall daily volume on 24 July 2018, excluding BitMEX, was USD 7 billion. This represents a significant volume surge to levels not seen since April and May 2018 when daily Bitcoin trading volume exceeded USD 10 billion at times. The current volume spike is coinciding with a strong Bitcoin rally that has brought Bitcoin’s price from USD 6,200 to USD 8,500.

Although the current volume numbers for Bitcoin are impressive, especially on BitMEX, daily Bitcoin trading volume is still far lower than the all-time highs near USD 23 billion in December 2017 and January 2018 when Bitcoin’s price rallied to USD 20,000. Total cryptocurrency daily trading volume hit USD 70 billion around the same time.

Since BitMEX is a derivatives market, it allows for short selling, and actually offers leveraging up to 100x. When this volume record was set on 24 July, there was a strong upward price movement, so most traders were probably leveraging long.


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