- BitFlyer has trading volumes of $150 billion in November and December of last year, European COO said.
- Japanese exchange now averaging $50 billion in monthly trade.
- Disclosures came as BitFlyer announced its European launch.
LONDON – Japan’s largest bitcoin exchange saw trading volumes of $150 billion in the last two months last year, according to the company’s European head, more than doubling the company’s expected annual volume.
BitFlyer’s European COO Andy Bryant told Business Insider: “When we launched in the US we were telling people our trading volume data. At that time, just between January and November, we were quoting year to date volumes of $100 billion. Full-year was $250 billion. December was certainly an interesting month.”
The exchange charges fees between 0.01% and 0.15% per transaction in Japan, where it offers leverage of up to 15x, allowing traders to boost their profits or losses.
BitFlyer is launching in the UK and Europe, offering free trading until the end of February but no leverage.
Bitcoin’s price rocketed from around $5,000 to a peak of over $19,000 in December amid an explosion of interest in cryptocurrencies. It has since fallen back to around $10,000.
“Of course [volumes] are up and down, you have to even them out,” Bryant said. “It seemed like December was a big month in terms of awareness. Now we’re clocking $50 billion a month so it’s certainly a higher pace than it was this time a year ago.”
Recode reported on Monday that US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase had revenue of $1 billion last year as it rode a wave of interest in cryptocurrency.
Asked about BitFlyer’s revenues, Bryant said: “I can’t really comment on our financials because we’re a private company. Suffice to say, on trading volume, $250 billion just last year is a huge number and we will continue to build on that strength.”
Bryant was talking to Business Insider at London Blockchain Week on Tuesday, where BitFlyer was announcing the launch of its European operation. BitFlyer has obtained a license to operate a bitcoin-to-euro exchange in Luxembourg and is targeting institutional and high-volume clients looking to trade bitcoin.
“It could be funds, it could be day traders, anyone who’s trading multiple times a day or multiple times an hour even,” Bryant said.
BitFlyer was founded in Japan by former Goldman Sachs banker Yuzo Kano in 2014. The company claims to process around 25% of all global bitcoin trading volumes, according to Coinhills, thanks to strong interest in the cryptocurrency from Japanese investors. Coinhills ranks BitFlyer the biggest bitcoin exchange in the world by volume. Rival data provider CoinMarketCap.com ranks the exchange as the 6th biggest.
“It’s always been our goal to be a global company and right now we’re the world’s biggest bitcoin exchange by volume,” Bryant said. “Based on our strengths in Japan and our track record, it was an obvious next step to expand internationally.”
BitFlyer now operates in Japan, the US, and Europe. It is licensed in all three markets.