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Circle hits $24 billion in OTC trades in 2018

Christopher Attard

Jan 4, 2019

The over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk at crypto-finance firm Circle had an aggregate exchange volume of $24 billion in 2018, according to an official blog post.

As per the statement on January 3rd, Per the statement, Circle executed 10,000 OTC trades with 600 counterparties, at $24 billion in volume. Following the announcement, the company now claim to have become a “core liquidity provider to the entire crypto ecosystem.”

As per the statement details, Circle now partners with over 1,000 institutional exchanges, token projects, OTC desks, asset managers, and other transnational endowments.

Circle stated: “This year, we anticipate further incremental growth in institutional adoption catalyzed by stablecoin usage, advancements in institutional custody solutions, increasing regulatory clarity particularly in the [United States], and improvements and innovation in core crypto infrastructure.”

OTC trading gives investors the opportunity to carry out trades directly with each other without relying on the services of a third-party exchange. OTC trading services in digital assets are particularly attractive to institutional investors, who are increasingly use OTC services of Circle and Coinbase.

Broadly speaking, institutional investors have shifted towards higher liquidity OTC Bitcoin markets. Investment in OTC funds like that offered by Coinbase, which opened its trading desk in November 2018, is also on the rise.

Coinbase outpaced Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) on OTC markets in BTC volume. While OTC volumes are much smaller in comparison to non-OTC investment, it is still significant since these markets are only open for 31% of yearly tradable hours.

Jumping on the OTC bandwagon, MV Index Solutions, a subsidiary of VanEck that develops, monitors and licenses MVIS indices, has also moved in this direction. Back in November 2018, MV Index Solutions released its Bitcoin index based on three major OTC desks in November.

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