Social trading brokerage eToro says that it has experienced a sharp rise in the trading of its bitcoin instrument amid a marked increase in volatility this month.
The firm, which offers trading in forex and CFDs, is one of the few to also provide a bitcoin instrument. Users on the platform can engage in copy trading, whereby they replicate the moves of other successful traders.
According to data shared with Finance Magnates, last week’s trade volume was 33x higher than the 4-week average prior to November 1- the date when prices began their sharp climb to $500. The volume increase was roughly uniform between copy traders and traders pursuing their own strategy. The count of unique users trading bitcoin grew six-fold.
The data is consistent with the fact that the recent trade volume across all exchanges has been the highest in bitcoin’s history.
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The data also shows that bitcoin still attracts the less risk-averse among retail traders, who generally come out of hiding when volatility hits. Bitcoin prices had been relatively calm for much of 2015, a phenomenon at least partially attributable to the advent of regulated trading venues and instruments.
The UK comprised 24.8% of the bitcoin trading volume on eToro, higher than any other region. Australia and Spain had the highest volume per trader.
Interestingly, the proportion of short trades increased from 12.5% to 17%, suggesting that contrarians entered the fold, skeptical that bitcoin’s rise would last.
Finance Magnates also requested information from Plus500, another CFD provider offering a bitcoin instrument, but did not receive a response as of the time of this writing.