Hong Kong’s active over-the-counter crypto market drove $64 billion in volume, not too far below China’s $86.4 billion, during the last year despite the territory having a much smaller population, and the global chill through crypto markets.
While data shows that the value of transactions in both China and Hong Kong have dropped over the last year because of Beijing's continued strict prohibition on crypto assets and a prolonged downturn in the crypto market, Chainalysis argues that the presence of large OTC markets – and their relative stability in the face of both regional and global decline – shows a certain degree of tolerance by Beijing to crypto.
“The increasingly close relationship between China and Hong Kong leads some to speculate that Hong Kong's growing status as a crypto hub may signal that the Chinese government is reversing course on digital assets, or at least becoming more open to crypto initiatives,” it said in its report.
Chainalysis said that Hong Kong dominates in large institutional crypto transactions compared to other Asian regions. Its data shows that 46.8% of Hong Kong's annual crypto trades were institutional transactions exceeding $10 million, while retail trades under $10,000 accounted for just 4% of the City’s volume, marginally below the global average of 4.7%
On the other hand, South Korea leans heavily on retail trading on centralized exchanges, with “professional” traders between $10,000 and $1 million in transaction volume making up 40% of volume.
Japan's transaction breakdown aligns closely with global trends, balancing centralized exchanges with DeFi protocols.
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