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Trading levels rally to pre-FTX levels in February

Swyftx data release: Monthly High Volume Trading index – February 2023

Trading activity among Australian high volume crypto traders returned to pre-FTX levels last month following a rally in global markets.

February saw a 38.9% month-on-month increase in trading volumes by Swyftx’s top traders. Bringing high volume trader (HVT) activity back to levels last seen in the lead-up to the collapse of FTX, then the world’s third largest cryptocurrency exchange. 

The market rally was led by a 42.9% rise in trades of $20,000 or more on the Swyftx platform, coupled with a significant increase in trading in alt coins like Polygon and XRP.

In a marked turnaround from the immediate post FTX period, February HVT trading volumes were 187% up on December. Trade volumes for all Swyftx users in February were 127% up on December. This compares to an 87% increase in international trade volumes for the corresponding period.

“Since the start of the year we’ve seen a big divergence between the Aussie and global cryptocurrency markets,” said Swyftx head of commercial operations, Tommy Honan.

“Australia has a large number of early crypto adopters compared to most other countries. A lot of Aussie digital asset users self-report high levels of crypto understanding and we think you’re seeing that experience represented in these figures.

“It is also possible that we’re seeing some home-bias, with Aussies moving to local exchanges in the wake of FTX because they’re seen as more transparent and secure.”   

The ratio of buy to sell orders among Swyftx HVTs remained steady across February, In total, 61.64% of all trades were buys – just 14bps higher than January.

But Bitcoin dominance was significantly down. The world’s largest digital asset accounted for 9.24% of trades in February, compared to 15.18% in January. The number of individual trades of $100,000 or more increased by 20.8% month-on-month.

Honan said: “It looks like some of the FTX impact has been washed out of the Australian crypto market but our base-case scenario is for significant fluctuations in trading volumes in both directions for much of the year.

“We expect March to be an important month given the US Federal Reserve appears to have set the stage for a return to half-point interest rate hikes and with current market sentiment very fragile following the failure of SVB.”

The Swyftx High Value Trading Index is a monthly measurement that tracks the rate of change in trading activity across a panel of 6,000 high volume traders on the Swyftx platform.

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