Most countries saw bitcoin volumes surge in 2016, but some markets grew faster than others. Bitcoin.com looked at trade volumes across dozens of bitcoin exchanges to find the countries and currencies with the largest growth during the year.
Japan has the second highest bitcoin trading volume globally after China. Bitcoin trading for the yen surpassed the US dollar in May largely due to Bitflyer’s zero-fee campaigns. According to data from Bravenewcoin, the exchange currently has over 50 percent market share of all bitcoin volumes in Japan. Its daily trading volume grew from 1,845 to 97,815 bitcoins over the year, a 53-fold gain.
Other Japanese exchanges are also experiencing significant volume growth. Tech Bureau’s Zaif exchange, for example, recorded over 514 percent increase at press time.
As Venezuela faces greater money supply problems, the demand for bitcoin in the country rises. Surbitcoin is the most popular exchange by volume for the Bolivar, but the exchange does not publish its historic volume data.
However, solid growth can be seen by examining trading volumes on Localbitcoins in Venezuela. In the first week of the year, only 22 bitcoins were traded. The volume peaked at 373 bitcoins in October before settling down at 223 bitcoins recently. Overall, trading volume grew by over 913 percent this year.
Indonesia’s Rupiah is the fifth-most traded currency for bitcoins by volume and has seen a huge spike in trade during the block reward ‘halving’ event in June. Ever since, it has remained fairly strong across a few exchanges.
The exchange with the most volume in the country is the Singaporean Quoine, with about 90 percent of the current trade in rupiah. The exchange started trading in March and its volumes spiked to 51,500 in June. At press time, its trading volume was 3,344 bitcoins.
The South Korean Won is the sixth-most traded currency for bitcoins globally, and Koreans can buy bitcoins from a large number of convenience stores nationwide. These networks use the exchange Korbit, which hosts over 70 percent of the Korean won bitcoin trading volume. At the beginning of the year, Korbit’s daily volume was 583 bitcoins. At press time, it was 3,168, representing a 443 percent increase.
Venezuela’s next-door neighbor Colombia has started to show signs of life on Localbitcoins. Starting the year off with around 26 bitcoins traded for the week up to 122 most recently, the roughly 370 percent increase is worth noticing.
Malaysia has blossomed most recently, jumping from levels of around 150 bitcoins weekly to 542 last week on Localbitcoins. The 261 percent increase follows years of a very gradual, low-level increase going back to 2013. This indicates a major shift has taken place there, possibly due to new exchange Xbit Asia entering the market this year.
Russian rubles are currently the seventh-most traded currency for bitcoin globally, and almost half of that volume is traded on the Localbitcoins exchange. This year, that one exchange has seen 121 percent growth by itself, rising from 2,705 weekly volume to 5,983. The country has had a tumultuous year with constant questions popping up over whether or not bitcoin is illegal in the country. Amid regulatory uncertainties and banning of Localbitcoins, trading on the exchange has soared. However, new exchanges have recently started up in the market competing with Localbitcoins.
Several exchanges allow bitcoin trading for the Australian dollar. However, after the igot exchange left the Australian market in January, the market dropped from daily trading volumes of 3,850 to around 500 bitcoins. In April, a new exchange, ACX, launched and quickly became the exchange with the most volume. Its weekly volumes are currently well over 12,000 bitcoins.
Which markets do you think will take off in 2017? Let us know in the comments section below.