Crypto OTC Volumes on Wintermute Soared 400% in 2023

The market maker said the uptick in over-the-counter trading was due to volumes moving off-exchange.

AccessTimeIconJan 10, 2024 at 5:44 a.m. UTC
Updated Jan 10, 2024 at 7:11 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

In a new report from Wintermute, the market maker and liquidity provider, said that its over-the-counter (OTC) volume was up 400% throughout the year as volumes moved off-exchanges.


Wintermute said that during the first half of 2023, its OTC trading volume decreased, while the number of individual trades remained stable. In the second half of the year, however, the number of unique trades grew sixfold to 29 million while weekly OTC volume hit $2 billion.

“The developments in the space at the end of 2022 left the whole industry facing a challenging outlook. Markets slowed down, liquidity dried up, and we observed volumes starting to shift from exchanges to OTC,” Evgeny Gaevoy, CEO and Co-Founder of Wintermute Group, said in the report.

Liquidity in cryptocurrency trading refers to how easily large orders can be executed without significantly affecting the market price. Without sufficient liquidity, making large trades is more likely to alter prices.

A lack of liquidity has been a persistent challenge for exchanges throughout 2023, which has led many large institutional traders to move over to OTC desks.

Even as bitcoin rallied by over 150% through the year, the market was still plagued by the ‘Alameda Gap’ in liquidity, CoinDesk reported.

Liquidity, as measured by the 0.1% market depth on major exchanges, crashed on major exchanges. (Kaiko)
Liquidity, as measured by the 0.1% market depth on major exchanges, crashed on major exchanges. (Kaiko) (Kaiko)

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, had a particularly challenging time with liquidity, as the liquidity available in its order book dropped by 25% in November, compounded by its $4 billion settlement with U.S. authorities and the subsequent resignation of its CEO Changpeng ‘CZ' Zhao.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.