Overall, the performance of the cryptocurrency trading market in the second quarter was not as good as in the first quarter. The main reason was that the market fluctuated very little throughout the month of June and remained sideways for a long time. The market sentiment brought about by the Bitcoin halving has been exhausted, and when the money-making effect is low, the entire market is relatively quiet.
According to our research, it is believed that the derivatives market, especially the competition in contract transactions, will become intensified in the near future. The core reason for this is because of the incomplete product forms of different exchanges at this stage. When similar products (forward perpetual, reverse perpetual, delivery, and options) are complete, the competitive landscape will be broken again.
Through our research and judgment, in the long run, USDT contracts will occupy the mainstream market. Therefore, at this stage, exchanges with leading position in forward contracts will have a greater advantage. The reverse contract market will continue to exist. At this stage, large positions still account for a relatively high proportion of reverse contracts, especially in the BitMEX exchange.
The transaction volume of deliverable contracts rose rapidly in the first quarter of this year, among which Huobi is the most attractive. Recently Binance has also launched deliverable contracts. We judge that more exchanges will also launch deliverable contracts in the near future. In the future, the market share of Huobi and OKEx's deliverable contracts is likely to fall; Binance's deliverable contracts will also occupy part of the market, while Bybit will also gain a certain market share if it launches deliverable contracts.
For users, it is supposed that the leverage ratio of the overall contract market should be between 20-50 times. The use of high leverage ratio will shorten the life cycle of ordinary users. At this stage, the life cycle of contract users is about two months. One point that needs attention is that many platforms adopt a "customer loss" model. After users lose money in the industry, the funds earned by exchanges, and a large part of it is actually transferred out of the industry. Therefore, high-risk, high-leverage and other irregular behaviors in the derivatives field are actually consuming the vitality of the industry and users. Exchanges have to face the problems of high customer acquisition costs and high retention costs.
Specialization is the future of derivatives trading. Contract fund transactions will account for more trading volume; but at this stage, the imperfect cryptocurrency custody infrastructure will limit the development of GP and LP; and the "Counterparty Risk" that LP faced is also an important factor.
The price war between different exchanges is to begin, but it has not yet officially started; Transaction fees are still at a relatively expensive stage compared to the traditional market, unfortunately, most ordinary users care little about it. In addition, there is a big gap among different exchanges in API, document specification and quality, and the imperfect infrastructure is also a key factor preventing many professional investors or funds from entering the market. Some exchanges’ API and documentations lacks of proper standard and maintenance.
1. In the second quarter of 2020, TokenInsight calculated based on 42 exchanges that the trading volume of the cryptocurrency derivatives market was $2.159 trillion, with an increase of 2.57% from the previous quarter and a year-on-year increase of 165.56% from the second quarter of 2019.
2. In the second quarter of 2020, the market-wide open interest increased by 111%, and the amount of single transaction by cryptocurrency derivatives investors may increase.
3. In this quarter, the total spot market transaction volume decreased by about 18% compared with the previous quarter, but the derivatives market transaction volume continued to increase. The cryptocurrency derivatives industry has more flexibility and space to develop than the spot market.
4. During the TI Index sideways, the overall market position level can still be maintained at a high level. After breaking the deadlock, the market trend is bound to be more fierce.
5. Large integrated exchanges attach great importance to derivatives trading, with the average volume ratio of derivatives and spot reaching 4.4. Huobi Futures leads the market in volume.
6. The major derivatives exchanges target different segments of the market, among which Bybit focuses on the perpetual contract track. Their quarterly total volume reached $105B, and the average daily volume was $1.17B.
7. Some late entrants generally have low trading volume and are difficult to break the deadlock. They often choose to focus on a certain part of the market. ZBG's efforts to educate investors, HBTC's reform of the platform currency economic model, and Bingbon's strategies to explore the Southeast Asian market have all achieved certain results.
8. Compliant exchanges accounted for 1% of the trading volume this quarter (reported $21.62B).The compliance system needs to be further improved.
9. At present, cryptocurrency derivatives exchanges are actively deploying options, but they are still far away from ordinary traders.
1. Industry Updates
① Coinbase invested $1.1 million in Uniswap and PoolTogether;
② The original BHEX exchange was upgraded to HBTC hobbit, the platform currency HBC and its own public chain were launched;
③ Binance announced that they have takeovered CoinMarketCap by $400 million;
④ Gemini launched Dai;
⑤ Poloniex went down twice during the month;
① Huobi DM upgraded to Huobi Futures, and continued to take the first palce in the derivatives market;
② ZBG was invited to hold the "Cryptocurrency Trading Contest-KOL Elite Contest";
③ Bitfinex applied for a subpoena in the US court, seeking to recover $850 million of client funds that had been seized;
④ Bybit released the "offensive and defensive" trading concept, including "mutual protection" and "strategy reminder" functions;
⑤ After BitMEX, Deribit stopped providing services to Japanese users;
⑥ Binance raised USDT daily lending rate to 0.04%;
⑦ Coinbase went down in the short-term market decline;
⑧ Huobi Global announced that the HT destruction cycle will be maintained "on a monthly basis";
⑨ CoinMarketCap updates the exchange ranking system that includes network traffic indicators, and its ranking is controversial;
⑩ bitFlyer reported a net loss of US$7 million in 19 years;
① Olivia, a well-known cryptocurrency practitioner, has served as the brand director of Bingbon Exchange;
② Coincheck encountered a data breach crisis, and customer assets have not been affected;
③ Coinsquare may use automated trading software to forge trading volume;
④ The total amount of ETH balance held by the exchange reached a new low level;
⑤ Former BitMEX COO Angelina Kwan joins Deribit's investor board of directors;
⑥ Ebang International plans to start the BTC exchange in 2020.
2. Industry landscape
‘ $100B Club
20Q2 Volume of top-5 derivatives exchanges (by volume)，Source：TokenInsight
20H1 Change of market share of top-5 derivatives exchanges (by volume)，Source：TokenInsight
20H1 Change of market share of top-5 derivatives exchanges (by volume)，Source：TokenInsight
3.1 Market volume
‘ The total market volume in this quarter remained at the $2 trillion level, and cryptocurrency derivatives are more flexible than spot products
In this quarter, TokenInsight obtained data from 42 exchanges in the cryptocurrency derivatives industry, and classified them into six categories for research by the characteristics of these exchanges. The classification criteria are detailed below.
In the second quarter of 2020, the trading volume of the cryptocurrency derivatives market is $2.159 trillion, with an increase of 2.57% from the previous quarter and a year-on-year increase of 165.56% from the second quarter of 2019.
19Q2 - 20Q2 quarterly market volume of derivatives，Source：TokenInsight
19Q2-20Q2 Quarterly market volume of spot，Source：TokenInsight
During the same period, the cryptocurrency spot market turnover is shown on the left. This quarter, the spot market turnover decreased by about 18% from the previous quarter and increased by about 25% from the second quarter of 19. The volume of transactions in the derivatives market did not decrease but increased, and the year-on-year increase was 6.6 times that of spot. The cryptocurrency derivatives industry has more flexibility and space to develop than the spot.
The total transaction volume of cryptocurrency derivatives in this quarter is about 27.4% of the total spot transaction volume, which has not reached the estimated value of TokenInsight in. It is expected that there will still be room for growth of more than $2 trillion in the second half of 2020.
20Q2 Volume of derivatives vs. spot，Source：TokenInsight
‘ The average volatility of daily trading volume is reduced, and the weakness of market causes investors' willingness to trade decrease.
The average daily trading volume of the cryptocurrency derivatives market for this quarter was $22.64B, and the highest single-day transaction appeared is $60,29B on April 30th
20Q2 Daily market volume of derivatives and spot，Source：TokenInsight
In this quarter, the standard deviation of daily trading volume of derivatives in the whole market was 7.92, which was 1.91 lower than the first quarter of 2020 (9.86). The reduction in the standard deviation of average daily trading volume means that the volatility of the cryptocurrency derivatives market in this quarter is less than that in the previous quarter, which in turn causes a decrease in investors’ willingness to trade and leads to market weakness.
"The number of trading users doubled this quarter. The number of traders in April and May showed an upward trend, and there was a certain decline in June. We are optimistic about the future of the contract."——Phemex Jack
3.2 Market Open Interest
‘ Open interest in this quarter is on the rise, and the average volume per trader may increase
In the second quarter of 2020, the market-wide open interest rose from $2.62B at the beginning of the quarter to $5.53B at the end of the quarter, with an increase of 111%. Combined with the above judgment on the decline of investors' trading willingness, it is supposed that the single transaction amount of cryptocurrency derivatives investors may increase. In addition, the increase in open interest may mean that investors generally have a longer holding period; in other words, investors in this market may become more patient.
20Q2 Comparison of daily holdings of the whole market and TI Index，Source：TokenInsight
19Q2-20Q2 Quarterly volume of spot，Source：TokenInsight
‘ The storm is brewing in the sideways, investors need to pay attention to risk control
It is worth noting that during the horizontal side of the TI Index (full market index) in June 2020, the level of open positions in the whole market can still be maintained at a high level. Monthly transaction volume statistics for the quarter (picture on the left) show that due to factors such as the halving of Bitcoin in April, February, and February, and other factors affecting market sentiment, bitcoin prices fluctuated significantly, resulting in greater trading volume; while in many market sentiment factors After being depleted, the trading volume of derivatives in the whole market decreased in June.
The decrease in trading volume means that price fluctuations are reduced, and short-term funds are not profitable; while the high position position means that the divergence between the long and short sides is high. In summary, if the long and short sides take the lead in breaking the deadlock in the market outlook, the subsequent trend will be more fierce. Investors should pay attention to proper risk management in the third quarter of 2020.
3.3 Major Contract
This quarter BTC contract volume accounted for 82% of the total market, with an increase of 4% compared to the last quarter; the volume of the three major contracts (ie BTC, ETH and EOS) increased 5% compared to the previous quarter, reaching 95%. Compared with the spot, the cryptocurrency derivatives market was highly unified.
20Q2 main contract market share compared with the previous quarter，Source：TokenInsight
"After new money and traditional funds enter the market, the cryptocurrency market may expand, but the downturn could continue in the second half of the year.”——Bitget Linda
4.1 Overall comparison of exchanges
‘ The competition in the derivatives exchange industry continues to increase, and is much higher than that in the spot exchange industry
The total volume of transactions on various derivatives exchanges this quarter is shown in the figure below. Among them, the trading volume of the top three exchanges accounted for 61%, and the trading volume of the top six exchanges accounted for 83%, with an increment of 5% and 2% compared with the first quarter of 2020.
20Q2 Trading Volume and Market Concentration of Derivatives Exchanges，Source：TokenInsight
During the same period, the trading volume of the top three in the spot exchange industry accounted for approximately 7.3%, less than one-eighth of the derivatives exchange industry; at the same time, no single spot exchange accounted for more than 3% of the total market volume, while the trading volume of Huobi Futures accounted for more than 25% of the total market share of derivatives in this quarter. The fierce competition in the cryptocurrency derivatives exchange industry continued to increase this quarter, and the competition among top tier exchanges became more serious.
Specifically, the changes in the market share of the top eight derivatives exchanges (in terms of trading volume) this quarter are as follows. Among them, Huobi Futures accounted for slightly less than 30%, and the proportion of Binance Futures increased 10%, occupying part of the market that originally belonged to BitMEX and OKEx. Except for these four, no exchange exceeded the transaction volume of more than 10%, and the total quarterly transaction volume have exceed $200B.
20Q2Comparison of the market share of the top eight derivatives exchanges (in terms of trading volume) in 20Q2 compared with the previous quarter，Source：TokenInsight
4.2 Exchange classification standards
‘ The cryptocurrency derivatives industry tracks cannot be generalized
Currently, significant difference in products, users and regions among various cryptocurrency derivatives exchanges have existed. For example, large exchanges represented by Huobi Global / Huobi Futures have comprehensively developed from multiple perspectives such as spot, derivatives and OTC; professional derivatives exchanges represented by Bybit etc. are dedicated to developing contract trading; the representative exchanges such as Bakkt focus on the establishment of the compliance system. Some emerging exchanges with low current trading volume (such as HBTC, ZBG, Bingbon, etc.) also have their own unique features; even the decentralized exchange dYdX has launched the BTC perpetual contract.
The development plans of different exchanges are different. Therefore, for the analysis of cryptocurrency derivatives exchanges, it is more practical to compare similar exchanges (rather than compare all exchanges at once). TokenInsight classified the 42 cryptocurrency derivatives exchanges involved in this report according to the following standards.
20Q2 Classification standards of derivatives exchanges in this report，Source：TokenInsight
Other exchanges have not been included in the list cannot be classified due to huge differences. Considering the cost and scale of this report, there is no more detailed analysis below.
“There are two ways for derivatives exchanges later: Firstly, focus on professional trading such as Bybit and FTX; secondly, focus on comprehensive perspectives such as Huobi and Biance. Some little exchanges will encounter challenges in the second half of this year.”——Hopex Xiaoleng
4.3 Large derivatives exchange
‘ Serving derivatives traders, large derivatives exchanges are targeting specific market segments
Based on the quarterly turnover exceeding $45B, and mainly providing derivatives trading as the standard, large derivatives exchanges include Bybit, FTX and BitMEX. Different from the large-scale integrated exchanges that are fully blooming in various business lines, these three are all exchanges that focus on derivatives business. Only FTX has a small amount ($2.15B, accounting for 0.04% of the total market share) spot trading. The development process of large derivatives exchanges may point out a new strategy for market participants: targeting market segments.
20Q2 daily trading volume of large derivatives，Source：TokenInsight
In this quarter, Bybit reported an average daily trading volume of $1.15B, an increase of 180% over the entire year of 2019, leading the growth of trading volume; BitMEX reported an average daily trading volume of $2.24B, a decrease of 16% compared to the entire year of last year. Because FTX was established in mid-2019, there are no comparative conditions.
Changes in average daily trading volume of large derivatives exchanges in 20Q2 and 2019，Source：TokenInsight
20Q2 Volume of perpetual contact and deliverable contact，Source：TokenInsight
As shown in the figure on the left, in the second quarter of 2020, the market share of perpetual contract transactions rose to 75.2%. This figure was 39.1% in the first quarter of 2020. This change indicates that the focus of cryptocurrency derivatives traders is shifting from deliverable contracts to perpetual contracts. At the same time, this phenomenon favours large-scale derivatives exchanges whose main business is about perpetual contracts.
4.4 Large integrated exchange
‘ Large-scale integrated exchanges attach great importance to derivatives trading, and the average contract volume is 4.4 times the spot volume, which is much higher than the overall market level
In this quarter, large comprehensive exchanges have focused on the development of derivatives trading, and their daily trading volume comparison is shown in the figure below.
20Q2 daily trading volume of derivatives on large comprehensive exchanges，Source：TokenInsight
Volume of Huobi Futures in 20Q2 &Q1，Source：TokenInsight
Among the four large-scale comprehensive exchanges with quarterly total trading volume exceeding $200B, Huobi Futures consistently ranked first in daily trading volume this quarter, with an average daily trading volume of approximately $4.8B, leading Binance Futures ($3.73B) by nearly 30%. The average daily turnover of OKEx and BitMEX is $2.7B and $2.26B, respectively.
In terms of growth, Huobi Futures' total turnover in this quarter was 0.88x higher than last year. Its derivatives/spot trading volume multiples increased by 3.7x compared with 20Q1, and now reach 7.26x, the highest value among large comprehensive exchanges.
20Q1 - 20Q2 Derivatives/spot volume ratio of comprehensive exchanges，Source：TokenInsight
In this quarter, Binance Futures' derivatives/spot trading volume ratio also increased significantly, while OKEx almost remained at the level of the first quarter of 2020; this ratio is 4.4 in the large comprehensive exchanges, exceeding the market average level (0.274) 160 times. In other words, large comprehensive exchanges attach great importance to derivatives trading.
20Q2 Comprehensive exchange (and BitMEX) derivatives daily open interest，Source：TokenInsight
‘ Open interest shows that the majority of funds mostly trade on BitMEX
From April to May 2020, there wasn’t a clear leader of open interest between BitMEX (average value of $769.9M) and OKEx (average value of $773.4M). In June, BitMEX's holdings continued to rise, with an average value of $1019.2M during the month; while OKEx increased less, with an average daily holdings of $883.8M during the same period. During the June, the average value of BitMEX's holdings was 39% ahead of the average of large comprehensive exchanges ($731.6M); this set of data shows that most of the funds (large accounts) may mostly trade on BitMEX.
"In the cryptocurrency exchange industry, the competition between multiple HBOs will continue, and the stronger become stronger, the winner takes all. The market for small and medium exchanges will continue to be compressed and they may face severe survival challenges."——Huobi Futures Tom
4.5 Key Emerging Exchanges
‘ Key emerging exchanges impact the market from different perspectives
Compared with large comprehensive exchanges whose trading volume is over 100 billion, key emerging exchanges generally have low trading volume. Because that they enter the market too late, it is difficult for them to compete with large-scale integrated exchanges in terms of trading volume in the short term. So they often choose to focus on a certain part of the market.
As a sister exchange of ZB (Chinese currency), ZBG fills the gap of ZB in the contract market. ZBG takes user education as the market breakthrough point. In the past quarter, it successfully obtained more than 2.5 million visits and the page stay time reached more than 15 minutes. The effect of this strategy is significant, and its quarterly transaction volume increased 11.1 times from the first quarter of 2020 ($2.76B).
Bingbon Exchange has adopted a circuitous tactic, starting from the Southeast Asian market and providing USDC compliant stablecoin transactions to it. It has now accumulated more than 100,000 traders.
Major derivatives exchanges usually only use part of the spot fee income for platform currency repurchase and destruction, while HBTC has improved the existing platform economic model, and has made a breakthrough in allocating part of the exchange contract revenue to its platform currency (HBC) Holder. Data shows that HBTC has repurchased over 450,000 HBC in total.
Phemex is the first to launch membership-based spot trading. Its member accounts can be exempted from transaction fees, which helps attract large-value traders and deposit these traders in Phemex.
The cryptocurrency derivatives market is extremely competitive, and the development of emerging exchanges is full of difficulties. But as the so-called Eight Immortals cross the sea, each has its own magical powers, and market opportunities will always be in a corner waiting for the interested people to discover.
"Risk control is very important. We do not encourage new users to blindly conduct contract transactions. These users can try the ZBG demo board first.”——ZBG Xiang Xiang
4.6 Compliance Exchange
‘ Compliance exchanges account for a low percentage of transactions, and the cryptocurrency derivatives compliance system is still in its early stage
Bakkt, CME and Kraken Futures (Crypto Facilities) are the compliant exchanges for the data obtained in this report. The three reported a total of $21.62B in trading volume this quarter.
As a blockchain product, cryptocurrencies follow the idea of distribution; however, distribution does not mean chaos, disorder or no supervision. On the contrary, the establishment of a regulatory system can better protect the interests of market participants and the safety of funds. TokenInsight expects that the cryptocurrency derivatives exchange industry will be able to perform a “soft landing” at the regulatory level in some way in the near future, so as to improve the overall industry environment.
4.7 Decentralized exchange
The PBTC-USDC transaction on the decentralized exchange dYdX has reported a trading volume of approximately $22M this quarter, accounting for approximately 0.1% of the total market volume. It is reported that the contract is a BTC forward contract that supports 10x leverage and uses a variety of DeFi technologies such as oracles to feed prices.
The launch of the decentralized cryptocurrency derivatives exchange helped the industry to see the infinite possibilities of DeFi. We have also released 2020 Q2 DeFi Industry Industry Report to provide a comprehensive overview on the DeFi sector.
“In the second quarter of this year, the spot market was relatively sluggish, and the derivatives contract trading market was relatively better. There were fewer new good projects in the spot market. Many projects have died down in 2019, which caused investors disappointed, but the money were still in the crypto market and flooded into the contract trading.”——BiKi Winter
‘ Cryptocurrency derivatives exchanges are positive to build the foundation for the options market, but it is still far away from ordinary traders
Currently, many cryptocurrency derivatives exchanges have launched options or options-like products. Limited by the difficulty of technological development and the basis of market dealer, the degree of freedom of options provided by different exchanges is very different. T-quote standard options represented by Deribit and OKEx, and ATM options represented by Binance Futures are the two major directions of the current industry. In addition to mainstream cryptocurrency options, some platform currency options have also appeared in the market. For example, among the key emerging exchanges, HBTC provides BNB, HT and OKB option trading.
Deribit accounted for about 60% of the entire market's option trading volume this quarter, with an average daily trading volume of more than $45M; in addition, OKEx and CME also occupy a certain market share. In terms of open interest, at the end of June 2020, the value of Deribit's open BTC options once reached $1.3B, while the value of CME's open BTC options also reached $439M during the same period. These two are the main players in the current cryptocurrency options market.
However, various option products of cryptocurrencies currently have more or less liquidity problems. Taking Deribit as an example, there is a certain lack of integrity in its option market; for example, the distribution of exercise prices is relatively scattered, and the bid-ask spreads are relatively large. Compared with Deribit, other cryptocurrency derivatives exchange options products have more shortcomings.
20Q2 Open interest of BTC options on each exchange on the 20Q2 main delivery day，Source：Skew；TokenInsight
As an important part of the financial derivatives instrument basket, options are extremely active in traditional financial market transactions, and the volume of over-the-counter options can even reach dozens of times the volume of the underlying asset. It is suppose that the cryptocurrency options market will have a certain amount of space for development, and exchanges that carry out product layout in advance may occupy a larger market share in the later stage.
"Cryptocurrency options products are at a very early stage. The number of people trading options on Deribit is about one-tenth of the number of people trading contracts. In addition, I don't think there will be a large number of American options in the market before European options are mature.” ——Deribit Li
① The Canadian Securities Administration (CSA) has issued guidelines for cryptocurrency exchanges;
② The 5th European Union Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) came into effect and has been applied to cryptocurrency exchanges;
③ Japan’s Financial Services Agency: In order to conduct cryptocurrency derivatives transactions, you must apply for registration in advance
① Switzerland has stepped up supervision, requiring cryptocurrency exchanges to identify customers for transactions over US$1,000;
② The International Securities Regulatory Commission issued a report saying that it looks forward to stricter supervision of cryptocurrency exchanges;
③ The Singapore Court of Appeal rejected the Quoine Exchange Appeal because of its illegal reversal of the transaction;
① CFTC, the highest regulator of US financial derivatives, specifies the parameters used for physical delivery of cryptocurrencies;
② South Korea promulgated the Amendment Law of the “Report and Use of Specific Financial Transaction Information Act” to allow the application of AML and CFT rules to cryptocurrency exchanges;
③ Several exchanges were granted PSA exemption licenses by the Monetary Authority of Singapore;
① Japan implements a revised bill that requires opening two KYC documents to open an account on a cryptocurrency exchange;
② The US Securities Regulatory Commission postponed the approval of the cryptocurrency exchange under the Overstock subsidiary;
① Affected by the new Dutch regulatory policy, the cryptocurrency exchange BitKassa closed on May 17;
② The Cayman Islands government promulgated the "Virtual Assets (Service Provider) Act 2020";
③ The US Securities Regulatory Commission postponed the approval of the cryptocurrency exchange under the Overstock subsidiary;
① The cryptocurrency exchange is legally recognized as a money service business (MSB) in Canada and needs to be registered with the financial regulator FINTRAC;
② The Fed chairman supports the replacement of Libor with Ethereum-based exchange products.
7. Users and Popularity
7.1 Market Popularity
TokenInsight recorded the Google Trend results of 11 keywords including Bitcoin Futures and Cryptocurrency Futures this quarter, and averaged them.
20Q2 Cryptocurrency Derivatives Keywords Google Trend Results，Source：Google；TokenInsight
The figure above shows that the popularity of the cryptocurrency derivatives market fluctuated in the second quarter of 2020, and reached its highest value in the cycle from May 10 to May 11, 2020. Looking back at the market, the price of BTC fell by about $1,500 during this cycle, and the trading volume reached the highest quarterly. In other words, Google Trend can effectively reflect the market sentiment of the cryptocurrency secondary market, and traders can make predictions on the market with reference to its changes.