Trading volume on Coinbase came in below that of decentralized exchange Uniswap for the second month in a row.
Spot market volume on Uniswap hit $71.6 billion in March — 45% higher than Coinbase's, according to data from The Block Research. March was the decentralized exchange's best month, in terms of volume, since January 2022. Uniswap beat Coinbase despite a month-on-month improvement in Coinbase's volume. (Coinbase stock has held steady at around $67.57 for the last few days.)
Coinbase noted in its weekly market commentary that the exchange's volume fell in the last week of March. Spot market volume on Coinbase was $49.4 billion last month — up 23% from about $40 billion in February.
Coinbase noted that trends on the exchange mirror the broader market, with investors focused more on tokens with large market caps and stablecoins. "Bitcoin dominance rose even further this week as the recent regulatory headlines with the SEC and CFTC highlighted the uncertainty that still surrounds ether and other altcoins," the exchange explained. The SEC has strongly suggested in recent weeks that many crypto tokens might be illegally trading as unregistered securities.
Coinbase added that its trading desk continued to see crypto-native hedge funds as net bitcoin and ether buyers. "High net worth individuals and family offices took profit in the large caps," it added.
Crypto threatened by potential SEC regulation
The increased volume on Uniswap comes amid threats from the government of regulatory actions against centralized crypto businesses in the U.S. — particularly in February and March.
In February, the centralized exchange Kraken agreed to pay $30 million to settle charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The charges related to the exchange's failure to register the offer and sale of its crypto asset staking-as-a-service program.
The SEC showed no signs of slowing down when it hit Coinbase with a Wells notice last month. A Wells notice informs a company that it is under investigation by the SEC, usually for the potential sale of unregistered securities. The SEC's notice related to the firm's staking service, Coinbase Earn, and Coinbase Wallet.
And last week, the CFTC brought a case against Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao. The regulator alleges the exchange violated federal laws and failed to register the exchange in the U.S.
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