Cryptocurrency exchange Okcoin has reported the number and trading volume of institutions surged significantly in the last year, driven largely by stablecoins and tokens in decentralized finance.
In a report released on Tuesday, Okcoin said it had seen a 450% increase in the number of institutional customers on its platform between September 2020 and September 2021, as well as a 124% increase in institutional trading volume over the same period. According to the report, 53% of the purchases institutional investors made in September were for altcoins. In addition, the customers showed “a greater appetite for non-Bitcoin crypto assets” compared to previous years.
Specifically, the exchange reported institutions had turned to “younger assets” in 2021, including MiamiCoin (MIA) — the city of Miami’s own token released by CityCoins on Aug. 3 — as well as Avalanche (AVAX), which launched more than a year ago. This contrasts with purchasing behavior in 2020 and earlier, when “institutions exclusively favored altcoins that were at least four years old, such as Ether and Litecoin.”
“Institutional activity on the platform is indicative of macro sentiment among large-scale investors, with clientele including asset managers, venture capital and hedge funds, retail brokers, payment processors and other entities around the globe,” said Okcoin.
Other firms in the crypto and blockchain space have reached similar conclusions based on data from trading platforms. In September, analytics firm Chainalysis reported that transactions of more than $10 million accounted for over 60% of DeFi transactions in Q2 2021. CoinShares also reported that over a week in September, institutional interest in Solana (SOL) far exceeded that of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).
Founded in 2013, Okcoin is one of the world’s oldest crypto exchanges and has steadily expanded to serve customers in more than 185 countries. Though its headquarters are based in the United States, the exchange recently secured regulatory approval to operate in Malta and the Netherlands.