Today marks a special day: The first day that newcomer international Bitcoin exchange OKCoin.com has had a higher daily Bitcoin volume than all other exchanges. In the last 24 hours, OKCoin.com has transacted nearly 16,000 BTC, compared with Bitstamp’s ~14,700 BTC and Bitfinex’s ~15,100 BTC.
OKCoin.com is the international arm of OKCoin; OKCoin also runs OKCoin.cn, a Chinese Bitcoin exchange that also has high volume CNY/BTC trading but does not charge fees (the Chinese norm). Whether or not OKCoin’s lead in 24-hour Bitcoin volume will persist until tomorrow is anybody’s guess. However, it is likely that OKCoin.com’s new Maker/Taker fee schedule can explain the shift in market share.
High Volume Caused by OKCoin.com’s New Maker/Taker Fee Schedule?
Starting on the 19th of September, OKCoin.com has been using a Maker/Taker model for fees in both their spot and futures markets. In this model, OKCoin customers that place orders into the order book (below the ticker price for buys and above the ticker price for sells) will receive money as opposed to paying money. Fees are paid by the order taker as usual. Spot market order makers receive 0.05% of the fee paid by the order taker. Other exchanges charge fees to both parties on every transaction. OKCoin’s trading system is designed so that no two orders can have the same timestamp, thus providing an incentive for users to have their orders on the order book as quickly as possible. The new fee schedule provides a clear incentive for providing depth to OKCoin.com’s USD order book. Even better than the zero fees offered by some other exchanges such as Huobi and BTC China, OKCoin.com traders can actually make a guaranteed sum of money with each trade.
ChangPeng “CZ” Zhao, OKCoin’s Chief Technology Officer gave his thoughts with CCN on OKCoin.com’s big day:
Honestly, we never know exactly what attracts the volume to our site. We have a few guesses. We just launched the Maker-Taker fee model. Now the volume contributor gets paid to trade on our exchange. This obviously will attract volume to OKCoin. But our volumes have been on a steady increase even before that. OKCoin.com just came out of Beta a week ago. We have increased our marketing push since then. That helps too. Overall, we simply focus on making the products better. And the users (and volume) will follow.
OKCoin On the Rise
OKCoin’s recent moves have definitely had positive effects on the exchange’s liquidity. OKCoin has been rising in popularity and use, starting in China, and now all over the world ever since their $10 million USD funding round earlier this year. They have even engaged with the Bitcoin community in an “Ask Us Anything (AUA)” posted to the Bitcoin subreddit. OKCoin has worked closely with fellow Chinese Bitcoin exchanges, BTC China and Huobi, to represent the still-young Chinese Bitcoin community. The trio sent a well-worded letter to Superintendent Lawsky in late August that reminded the New York Department of Financial Services of the far-reaching consequences of their attempted regulation. In August, OKCoin passed a Bitcoin Proof of Reserves audit conducted by Stefan Thomas in the same manner as previous Bitcoin exchange Proof of Reserves/Proof of Solvency tests. OKCoin set a new record by demonstrating control of 104.86% of the bitcoins necessary to meet all known bitcoin obligations.
OKCoin announced USD trading on OKCoin.com and put CNY trading on OKCoin.cn, earlier this year. For over a month, OKCoin.com was in beta, and only recently started operating at full speed. OKCoin.com is registered in Singapore, instead of from within China, in order to avoid potential regulation from China. The .cn and .com websites serve different portions of the community, with the .com website offering futures trading and the .cn website offering p2p lending. Bitcoin exchanges are continually increasing the amount and structure of their services to best provide for the Bitcoin community, which is worldwide.
OKCoin image from OKCoin.com; other images from Shutterstock.