Bitcoin trading volumes have tumbled this month by 47% from May’s record level, in a bleak turn of events for the digital-asset industry as cryptocurrency prices retreat.
A daily average of $34.8 billion of bitcoin has changed hands in the first eight days of June, compared with the unprecedented $67 billion charted last month, based on data from CoinDesk Research. The June average so far is the lowest for any month since December.
“Traders have certainly lost the appetite for bitcoin in this uncertain market environment,” the Norwegian cryptocurrency analysis firm Arcane Research wrote Tuesday in a report.
The drop in trading volumes could have implications for cryptocurrency exchanges, which derive revenue from handling the transactions. The big U.S. exchange Coinbase’s stock price is down by 31% since it listed on April 14.
“The big price crash in May and Elon Musk’s tweets really drove trading activity, making May a high-comp month,” said John Todaro, vice president of crypto asset and blockchain research at Needham & Company, referring to the CEO of Tesla.
Since the transaction volume is quoted in dollars rather than the number of BTC, the past month’s price drop by itself was a contributing factor, in addition to any waning in interest on the part of traders.
Todaro said the cryptocurrency will likely pick back up, and that June could end up coming in line with previous months like March and April in terms of trading activity.
On Wednesday, the price of bitcoin jumped the most in two weeks. The cryptocurrency was changing hands near $36,500 at press time, up from $31,000 where it traded late Tuesday.
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