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Crypto’s biggest OTC trading desks clock in record volumes

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Some of the biggest over the counter (OTC) trading desks of cryptocurrency are clocking in record volumes since the 2017 crypto peak. The boost in volume is said to be due to the upward trajectory of Bitcoin prices. It is reported that Galaxy Digital and Genesis Global Trading have gone along for the ride.

In the crypto craze of 2017, trading firms such as Genesis and B2C2 saw trade sizes in the tens of millions. This is because Bitcoin prices at that time soared to nearly US$20,000 per BTC.

Meanwhile, the most recent rally bears a few resemblances to the past peak as OTC trading desks report even higher volumes than the amount they saw in the last cycle.

At Genesis, OTC volumes have reached more than 6 times higher than what they saw in the 2017 peak. Genesis CEO Michael Moro even shared that the group is getting much more institutional buying than in that year.

Since this period, crypto traders have moved from Skype and Telegram to electronic trading interfaces. At the same time, more firms are joining the OTC market. According to Genesis, this is what drives the current rally.

Moro explained, ‘Genesis spot desk saw continued institutional BTC spot and call buying as the sell-off on Thanksgiving morning allowed for a good opportunity to average into a long position’.

In the past week, Genesis saw spot trading volumes go up to US$600 million, making it a new record. It is reported that new groups, ranging from family offices to passive funds, have taken part in driving those numbers up.

On the other hand, a similar story can be observed at Galaxy Digital. This OTC trading desk is run by Mike Novogratz. Despite not being active in the 2017 cycle, Galaxy Digital is currently logging in record volumes of its own because of new institutions.

‘Flows through our desk are showing that new, larger institutional players are driving the market at this point, in terms of BTC specifically’, Trading Lead Tim Plakas shared. ‘More crypto-native participants are still active, but definitely more focused on the ETH/DeFi space with core positions in BTC already put in place’.

The firm published a note from its trading desk to counterparties that read, ‘In typical crypto fashion, we’ve made a weekend round trip over the long US holiday stretch. BTC is back above $19k and ETH above $600, a +16% and +25% gain from recent lows, respectively’.

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