Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex only started supporting Ether trading on Monday (March 14th at noon UTC) and it has already made a big splash. Bitfinex very quickly snapped up the number two spot in terms of USD to ETH trading volume with about 25% of the total market share.
Over on the exchange of bitcoin to Ethereum side of the business, Bitfinex also took about 5.5% market share of the overall BTC/ETH trading volume. This makes Bitfinex the fourth largest BTC/ETH trading venue behind Gatecoin.
We asked Charles Hayter, the CEO of CryptoCompare.com, if the new player is just going to take over market share or make the cake bigger: “It’s going to be a mixture of both – Bitfinex is reputable platform and by making Ether available it is going to attract new traders and encourage its present stable user base to take a bit at the market.”
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Asked how much more new money entered the market yesterday, Hayter calculated it was around $5.9 million dollars from CNY, EUR and USD fiat currencies and $50 million in BTC. He added: “What’s interesting too is the growing rate of fiat as a percentage of total Ether trading, which is now 14% of total ETH trading.”
Bitfinex also plans to allow shorting and margin trading on Ether as soon as it is comfortable with the book depth and availability of Ether for lending, but it says that will depend on the community’s support because Bitfinex itself is not a participant in its own markets. Considering the strong adoption of Ether trading on the platform, we could expect to see Bitfinex enable shorting and margin trading in less than a week.
What might have helped this impressive first day showing by Bitfinex is that Poloniex, the number one exchange by ETH/BTC volume and number three by ETH/USD volume, was facing some issues. Poloniex was hit with massive DDoS attacks that hurt its performance and although these subsided eventually, the exchange had to assure its users that their funds are safe.
Asked if the DDoS attacks on Polonix were meant to help Bitfinex, Hayter said: “No idea – there’ll be the usual rumor mill with accusations flying. Completely reprehensible as it is – it would make sense for an exchange to use this tactic as a means to gain market share – and this comes at a great cost to the exchange under attack in terms of the intangible loss of trust from its users. It cannot be condemned strongly enough.”