Crypto Derivative Volumes Saw Speedy Growth as Prices Rose in January

The numbers suggest speculation, not accumulation, was behind sizable gains for bitcoin and ether, according to a report.

AccessTimeIconFeb 8, 2023 at 4:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 8, 2023 at 6:01 p.m. UTC

Trading activity increased strongly across the board in January, but derivatives volume grew faster than spot markets, according to data from CryptoCompare.

Derivatives volume in January was up 76.1% from December to $2.04 trillion, the largest percentage increase since January 2021 when volume rose 114%.

Derivatives trading now represents 70.3% of the entire crypto market, up from 68% in December, according to CryptoCompare data.

The large trading activity increase came alongside big gains for the world’s largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, with bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) up 40% and 32%, respectively, in January.

“This suggests that price increases were driven by derivative market speculation rather than spot market accumulation,” said CryptoCompare in its report.


With $1.26 trillion in volume, Binance continued as the largest derivatives exchange in January, followed by Bybit which had a 115% increase to $301 billion (the only integrated derivative exchange with triple-digit, month-on-month growth). Bybit recorded its highest-ever market share in derivative markets at 14.6% in January.

Though not keeping up with derivatives, spot markets also witnessed large volume gains in January, with CryptoCompare’s AA- or A-graded exchanges posting a 67% jump in trading activity. Binance, Coinbase and Kraken were the top exchanges in terms of spot volume.


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Lyllah Ledesma

Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.

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