LONDON: Cryptocurrency trading volumes soared by 17per cent last month in the wake of Tesla's US$1.5 billion bitcoin bet, with larger exchanges taking a growing share of the overall volumes, data showed on Friday.
Trading volumes jumped to US$2.7 trillion in February, with volumes at major exchanges jumping over 35per cent to US$2.4 trillion, researcher CryptoCompare said. Smaller exchanges saw volumes slump by 36per cent to US$381 billion, suggesting growing consolidation of trading at larger venues.
Volumes hit an all-time high of US$159.9 billion on Feb. 23, it said, when bitcoin sank 10per cent.
The embrace of cryptocurrencies by the likes of Tesla Inc and Mastercard Inc drove bitcoin to a record high of US$58,354 and a US$1 trillion market capitalisation last month. Growing interest from bigger investors has also added fuel to the cryptocurrency's rally.
Bitcoin, whose history of wild price swings has long-hampered its use for commerce, has since slumped around 20per cent from its peak and was last trading at around US$47,000.
Major exchange Binance saw the biggest trading volume in February of US$761 billion, up 66per cent from the previous month, the data showed. That was followed by Huobi and OKEx, both popular with investors in Asia, which saw respective increases of 12per cent to US$214 billion and 26per cent to US$188 billion.
(Reporting by Tom Wilson; editing by Thyagaraju Adinarayan)