Crypto Update: The financialisation of crypto

Cryptocurrencies 4 minutes to read

Jacob Pouncey

Cryptocurrency analyst, Saxo Bank Group

Summary:  A rising total market cap, record futures volume on the CME, and some big moves by major financial institutions mean that the crypto space is seeing increased liquidity and the prospect of further expansion as new instruments and infrastructure enter the arena.


This week the entire crypto market cap rose by 1%, bringing the market cap to just above $175 billion. Bitcoin rose by 5%, while Ethereum saw a negligible decline over the week. Recently, the number of on-chain transactions reached a volume not seen since late 2017. The number of transactions bottomed in April 2018 and has been increasing steadily ever since.

CME futures volume sets new record

In the past 24 hours, the CME futures market has had more volume than the top spot exchange by over $74 million or close to 13,000 BTC. Binance, the world largest spot exchange, had a volume of $294m while CME had a notational volume of $367m according to data compiled by Bitwise. This comes after the exchange saw its largest Bitcoin futures volume on record at the beginning of the month.

TD Ameritrade testing BTC trading

Litecoin inventor and founder Charlie Lee confirmed that TD Ameritrade is testing the trading of Litecoin and Bitcoin on its platform. The news broke from a quantitative analyst who clarified the broker was testing paper trading on its platform through NASDAQ. Although paper trading does not directly mean an increase for the underlying asset, it could lead to more effective price discovery should the instrument find adequate liquidity.

eToro launches new crypto initiative

The online exchange eToro recently launched a new, three-pronged approach aiming to bring more adoption to cryptocurrencies. First, the company released a new cryptocurrency exchange, eToroX, which trades the top digital assets. Secondly, the exchange launched a range of stable coins for the assets to trade against CAD, USD, GBP.JPY, AUD, CHF, NZD and EUR. Lastly, the exchange launched its proprietary digital asset wallet that allows users to send and receive digital assets as well as third-party payments. This is good news in the effort of bringing greater liquidity to digital assets.

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