In the past month, European business hours became extremely active for bitcoin futures trading on BitMEX futures.
European Traders Pick Up the Slack on BitMEX
New data shows European bitcoin traders became active in the past month, making up the bulk of volumes on the BitMEX XBT/USD perpetual contract.
European hours have been the most active in the last month.
Here hourly volumes in UTC time for BitMEX's XBTUSD contract
Morning you get Asia + Europe and afternoon Europe + US. Will be hard to disrupt time zones! pic.twitter.com/gbhAJ7XrSE
— skew (@skewdotcom) December 15, 2019
Activity is still relatively lower in comparison to peak trading periods. But Europe has stood out as one of the hotter crypto spaces in the past year. More favorable banking services, as well as growing wealth and a tech sector, have grown European interest in crypto trading.
In 2019, trading BTC positions also picked up ahead of “hodling” behavior, inviting a new type of speculative buyers. BitMEX remains one of the most active bitcoin markets, adding to the prevalence of futures for BTC price discovery.
The Euro itself has a 1.45% share of bitcoin trading on the spot markets, as US dollar positions are still seen as the leading pair.
EU Still Restricts Bitcoin and Crypto Companies
But Europe is not entirely a free-for-all when it comes to bitcoin and crypto usage. Tight KYC regulations are already in place, and even stricter monitoring may be enforced in the coming months. This has led to BottlePay, a crypto payment service, deciding to close due to highly restrictive AML legislation.
To maintain our integrity as service providers, and to protect the interests of our users, we have taken the painful decision to shut Bottle Pay down rather than become subject to the new #5AMLD regulations.
Please withdraw funds within the next 2 weeks.https://t.co/dZltbf7vjn
— Bottle Pay (@bottlepay) December 13, 2019
Companies based in Europe would be forced to apply the new standard of anti-money-laundering regulations as of January 10, 2020, which would put a burden on smaller companies. Even LocalBitcoins has upped its requirements to comply with its Finnish registration and EU laws.
At the same time, trading on BitMEX is still accessible to international traders. Crypto-to-crypto exchanges also excluded US traders due to strict rules, but so far manage to service European accounts. Still, the crypto space fluctuates, and it is possible some companies don’t survive.
It is difficult to estimate what sparked European interest in BTC futures trading. Polls reveal that crypto traders are still a small class of investors from the EU, and cash usage far surpasses interest in fintech or crypto assets.
At the same time, the new President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde has spoken in favor of adopting a digital currency approach. Lagarde, former head of the IMF, has stated ECB must “stay ahead of the curve” by creating a stablecoin.
What do you think about European traders affecting bitcoin price? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @skewdotcom, @bottlepay