In the fast-paced world of cryptocurrency, 2016 feels like a lifetime ago. For many of the top cryptocurrency exchanges at the time it effectively was; several have fallen by the wayside and eight out of the top ten platforms by trading volume have lost their spot. It’s not just vintage altcoins that time has been unkind to: the same holds true for many of the exchanges that once listed them.
8/10 of the Top Cryptocurrency Exchanges Have Lost Their Place
Over the past two years, the makeup of the top cryptocurrency exchanges has changed dramatically – and so has the volumes traded. In August 2016, Coinmarketcap records the top exchange as being Okcoin.cn, with a 24-hour volume of $440 million. Today, it’s ranked 188th, with a trading volume of just $17,000. Then, as now, BTC and LTC were the top traded pairs.
Second on the list for trade volume in 2016 was Btctrade, with 24-hour volume of $218 million. Today, it sits in 54th place with volume of just $23 million. BTC and Ybcoin were its top traded pairs back then, the latter a Chinese coin which died in 2017. Today, Btctrade’s top pairs are BCH and ETH. Of the entire top 10 from 2016, just two exchanges remain there – Huobi and Kraken. Huobi occupied third place then and it lies in fourth spot today, despite its 24-hour volume having grown from $165 million to $1.3 billion. This is naturally a reflection of the increase in value that digital assets such as bitcoin have enjoyed in this period.
The top three exchanges in August 2016
A Lot Can Happen in Two Years
Here’s how the top ten cryptocurrency exchanges looked two years ago and today:
1. Okcoin.cn (188th now). Today: Bitmex
2. Btctrade (54th now). Today: Okex
3. Huobi (4th now). Today: Binance
4. CHBTC (dead now). Today: Huobi
5. BTCC (38th now). Today: Bitfinex
6. Poloniex (29th now). Today: Upbit
7. BTC100 (dead now). Today: Bithumb
8. Btcbox (25th now). Today: Hitbtc
9. Itbit (39th now). Today: GDAX
10. Kraken. Today: Kraken
Many people write altcoins off as having no permanency and predict that the majority of cryptos will die a slow death. They may well be right, but as a look at the dominant cryptocurrency exchanges from 2016 shows, few enterprises live long. The churn rate for exchanges exceeds even that of the coins themselves. Coinmarketcap listed 105 exchanges in 2016, versus 213 today, though only 60% of the listed exchanges back then had any sort of meaningful volume of over $10,000 a day. Even accounting for inflation, 90% of today’s exchanges have some semblance of a respectable volume.
Among the coins that accounted for the top trading volume in 2016 you’ll find Maidsafe, Nxt, Dogecoin, and even The DAO. Today, most people would agree that the top 10 exchanges have gotten better. Whether the top 10 cryptocurrencies, outside of bitcoin, have improved in quality is another matter. A final indicator of how much the landscape has changed in two years comes from the total trading volume. In August 2016, the top 10 exchanges saw just over $1 billion in cryptocurrencies traded in a day. Today, that figure stands at $10.6 billion. It will be interesting to see, two years from now, how many of 2018’s top exchanges are still standing.
How many of 2016’s top 10 exchanges do you recall? Let us know in the comments section below.