Bitcoin spot trading volume declined sharply last month mainly as crypto exchange behemoth Binance ended its zero-fee program.
The volume plunged by over 10 million bitcoin in BTC terms or by $265 billion in USD terms in April, dropping more than 65% from March in BTC terms, on exchanges tracked on The Block's Data Dashboard. The volume dropped as Binance added back fees on bitcoin pairs, according to The Block's data research analyst Rebecca Stevens.
"Binance's move strongly impacts market makers and traders, whose strategies strongly depend on how many basis points they pay for every trade," said Simon Cousaert, director of data at The Block.
Binance ended its zero-fee spot trading campaign in March after introducing it last July to celebrate its fifth anniversary. The zero-fee trading was offered for 13 bitcoin pairs, including BTC/USDT, BTC/BUSD and BTC/EUR.
Binance users can still trade bitcoin against stablecoin TrueUSD (TUSD) for free, according to its website.
Binance's trading volume declined, too
The end of the zero-fee campaign also affected Binance's total spot trading volume last month.
It plummeted by $217 billion in USD terms to $102 billion in April from the previous month. As a result, Binance's spot market share slipped below 50% — a level not seen before July 2022 — according to The Block's Data Dashboard.
Overall, crypto spot trading volume fell in April
Binance's underperformance also affected overall crypto spot trading volume in April, declining around 44% compared to March.
In USD terms, the overall volume hit $400.5 billion in April, compared to $712.6 billion in March, according to The Block's Data Dashboard.
Still, Binance remained a volume leader in spot trading in April. The exchange also held steady on its dominance in the share of bitcoin futures open interest despite the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued Binance and its CEO, Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, for allegedly operating an "illegal" exchange and a "sham" compliance program.
Zhao, at the time, called the suit "unexpected and disappointing" and said, "We do not agree with the characterization of many of the issues alleged in the complaint."
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