Just in time for MtGox’s suspension of USD withdrawals which has caused their market share to tumble from just below 70% of bitcoin exchange volume to below 55% over the last few days, Bitfinex has announced that they have begun offering leveraged litecoin trading of both LTC/USD and LTC/BTC. Bitfinex had launched Litecoin exchange services last month. The leveraged offerings expands that initiative with liquidity based solely on bids and offers within their internal order book. This contrasts to their BTC/USD leveraged offering where pricing from Bitstamp is aggregated within the central order book. However, due to increased activity on the platform, Bitfinex internal orders are often the ‘top of the book’ quotes on the system.
The evolvement from an exchange aggregator, to a platform where internal orders are dominating the central order book represents a shift among bitcoin traders away from MtGox. This shift is apparent in the litecoin launch which isn’t using external liquidity but is able to run smoothly (albeit with some wide spreads at times). Overall, the success of Bitfinex internalizing volumes bodes well for the upcoming crop of leveraged trading platforms that are slated to be launched this summer. They include among others Coinsetter, BTC.UY, and Crypto St. Bitfinex itself is working to upgrade its user interface and features to become more similar to traditional asset trading platforms.