Circle’s OTC Desk Handled $24 Billion Worth Trades in 2018

This massive number shows the interest of institutional investors in the volatile market.

Circle, a US-based fintech firm, has handled $24 billion worth of cryptocurrency trades in 2018 on its over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk, according to a major revelation made by the firm in an official Medium post on Thursday.

As per the company’s claims, it handled more than 10,000 trades over the year with 600 counterparties spanning over 36 assets. The firm is providing liquidity to clients from all over the world and primarily to miners, exchanges, project developers, VCs, crypto funds, hedge funds, and even family offices.

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“Overall in 2018, institutional involvement in crypto grew steadily and incrementally rather than in the major sweeping manner some in the industry had exuberantly predicted,” Circle stated in the official blog.

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Until now OTC trading figures for cryptocurrencies were kept in the dark as none of the liquidity providers came out with official figures. However, with Circle’s announcement, it became clear that the institutional investors are taking a major interest in the cryptocurrency market despite the dominance of a year-long bear.

The company is claiming that it has become a “core liquidity provider to the entire crypto ecosystem” partnering with over 1000 institutional clients. To match with the increasing expansion of its business, Circle has also widened its team with around 150 new hires.

Circle is also very optimistic about the activities in the 2019 market as it stated: “This year, we anticipate further incremental growth in institutional adoption catalyzed by stable coin usage, advancements in institutional custody solutions, increasing regulatory clarity particularly in the U.S., and improvements and innovation in core crypto infrastructure.”

Circle’s Expansion

To make a tighter grip on the highly profitable crypto market, Circle acquired Poloniex, one of the oldest operating crypto exchanges, last year. To raise the standard of the exchange, the Goldman Sachs-backed firm made many changes to the exchange – both in terms of regulatory compliance and engineering.

Moreover, in October last year, Circle jumped into the lucrative stable coin’s business introducing USDC, a dollar-pegged coin. To topple its primary competition – USDT – Circle has hired one of the major accounting firms in the United States to release monthly audit reports of its currency chest. This transparent approach appeared to be very effective as major exchanges like Binance and Bitfinex are slowly making USDC their base currency.

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