In a surprising turn of events, South Korean exchange Upbit took the lead among Korean exchanges in July, surpassing Coinbase in trading volume. Upbit recorded a massive $29.8 billion in volume, narrowly beating Coinbase’s $28.6 billion. However, Coinbase’s triumph was marred by an ongoing lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Upbit’s trading volume saw an impressive month-on-month spike of 42.3%, making it the second-largest exchange by trading volume, just behind Binance, which has also faced legal scrutiny in multiple regions.
Korean exchanges, including Bithumb and CoinOne, experienced substantial increases in spot volume as well. Bithumb saw a 27.9% increase, reaching $6.1 billion, while CoinOne had a 4.7% increase, reaching $1.4 billion in volume. Upbit’s share of global trading volumes has also risen nearly 3% year-to-date.
The success of Korean exchanges is partially attributed to the recent passage of a Virtual Asset User Protection bill in the region. This legislation has provided a clear regulatory framework, which has attracted crypto traders seeking a more stable and compliant environment.
In contrast, U.S. exchanges have faced challenges due to the lack of clear regulations. Coinbase, the largest exchange in the United States, witnessed a decline in its trading volumes amid an ongoing legal battle with the SEC. The exchange is accused of running an unregistered brokerage, and its CEO, Brian Armstrong, confirmed their intention to fight the charges. Additionally, the SEC ordered Coinbase to delist all assets except Bitcoin, further complicating their situation.
Binance, the global spot trading leader, experienced its fifth consecutive month of declining trading volume. Its share of global spot volume dropped to 40.4%, the lowest since August 2022. This downward trend began in March after the exchange withdrew a promotion offering free BTC trading for spot pairs. Binance has faced multiple regulatory challenges, including lawsuits from the SEC and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as well as an investigation by French authorities for alleged involvement in aggravated money laundering. Furthermore, Binance recently exited several European jurisdictions due to non-compliance with anti-money laundering standards.
Despite its challenges, Binance remains the largest global spot trading venue, with a substantial $208 billion in trading volume in July. Additionally, the exchange processed $1.06 trillion in derivatives volumes, surpassing competitors such as Deribit, OKX, and Bybit in this market segment. However, it remains to be seen how ongoing legal battles and regulatory scrutiny will impact Binance’s market share in the long term.