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Bitcoin Ethereum DeFi OKEx

OKEx maintains industry-leading spreads despite recording-breaking volume in April

2021.05.19 Robbie Liu

OKEx improved bid-ask spreads and latency during a record-breaking month – OKEx Market Spread

Bitcoin ended April with a loss of 3.62% after posting a new all-time high of 64,847 USDT on April 14, per the OKEx BTC spot price. However, the strong performance of altcoins, especially the meme coin DOGE, led to an all-time high monthly trading volume of $936 billion on OKEx. This figure is up nearly $400 billion, or 70%, from March, and also $220 billion higher than the record-setting volume in January.

Despite the surge in volume, the quality of bid–ask spreads on OKEx continued to witness significant improvements in terms of mean and variance, and the average execution speed remained optimal. 

Monthly trading volume reached an all-time high

Looking at the OKEx trading volume breakdown, spot trading volume jumped by 152% — the largest increase among the three products (spot, futures and swaps) — and its total share surged from 18% in March to 27% in April. 

In derivatives, the volume of perpetual swaps also spiked 92%, and its share of total volume rose slightly, by 3%, to reach 32%. Meanwhile, the total share of futures volumes dropped from March’s 53% to 41% in April.

These changes reflect that traders prefer to buy volatile altcoins in the spot market and trade using the more flexible perpetual swaps. 

OKEx trading volumes breakdown for April. Source: OKEx

In spot trading, the monthly volume of the DOGE/USDT pair alone reached an incredible $37 billion. This figure translates to an average daily volume of $1.24 billion, making DOGE the only cryptocurrency exceeding $1 billion in ADV. Putting the DOGE mania into perspective is the fact that the meme coin’s spot trading volume in April was 67% higher than that of BTC.

Apart from DOGE, another surprise performer was BTT, the native token of popular file-sharing protocol BitTorrent. Its spot volume in April reached an ADV of $399 million, surpassing ETH’s $358 million. 

April was also the month when old names returned to center stage, with BCH, XRP, DOT and LTC all exceeding $200 million in ADV. In contrast, not a single DeFi asset appeared in the top 10 ranking.

Top 10 coin-margined futures ADV on OKEx in April. Source: OKEx

Looking at the most traded instruments, the coin-margined BTC quarterly future (210625) returned to the top position with an ADV of $1.64 billion, overtaking March’s winner, the USDT-margined BTC swap, by 14%. Since coin-margined futures are largely dominated by BTC instruments, this trend suggests that market participants were looking to accumulate more Bitcoin in April, even though the market was in an absolute altcoin season. 

Looking at the USDT-margined altcoin swaps, ETH ranked second with a $1 billion daily volume, slightly higher than DOGE’s $956 million. The other two altcoins with an ADV of over $300 million, or a monthly volume of over $10 billion, are LTC and XRP. The only DeFi token in this top 10 list is Chainlink’s LINK, which ranked 10th with an ADV of $121 million, behind old names like EOS, TRX and BCH.

Top 10 USDT-margined swaps by ADV on OKEx in March. Source: OKEx

Not a month for DeFi

It is clear that DeFi tokens were not under the spotlight in April. Despite a 66% rise in spot volume for the DeFi niche, its share of total volume fell to 15% from March’s 22%. While DeFi swap volume jumped 75% to a total of $23 billion, it only occupied 8% of the swap market. 

DeFi trading volumes breakdown for April. Source: OKEx

In the top 10 DeFi spot list, UNI, the governance token of Uniswap, maintained its dominant position with an ADV of $85.2 million, while LINK took second place with $51.7 in ADV. CHZ, the native token of Chiliz, showed good fundamentals by ranking third for the second month in a row. 

Top 10 DeFi assets by ADV on OKEx in April. Source: OKEx

OKEx bid–ask spreads continue to set the bar

The quality of bid–ask spreads on OKEx saw significant improvement for two consecutive months and is leading the market with this performance. Both the average bid and ask spreads of BTC spot narrowed by about 12% to 0.02% levels when trading $100,000 worth of BTC.

The BTC spot market saw improved average spreads in April when volumes rose sharply. Source: OKEx

When measuring the average execution speed for the top 10 spot instruments, nine out of 10 dots moved from the right to the left (from high latency to low latency), reflecting improved execution speeds. Similar improvement in execution speeds was also seen in swap and futures products. 

On top of the very low bid–ask spreads and latency, users now can utilize the most advanced margin trading interface on OKEx with the Unified Account mode.

The average execution speed of spot instruments saw further improvement in April. Source: OKEx

Monthly correlations and volatility

The monthly correlation chart for April reflects trends seen in an altcoin market. Looking at the first and second columns, the correlation between DOGE and BTC dropped to 0.38 levels, while FIL hit as low as 0.33. OKB, OKEx’s native platform token, maintained a low correlation with BTC for the third month in a row. Only the correlation between ETH and BTC remained above 0.8 by the end of April. 

FIL and DOGE had the lowest correlation with BTC in April. Source: OKEx


OKEx Insights presents market analyses, in-depth features, original research & curated news from crypto professionals. 

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Disclaimer: This material should not be taken as the basis for making investment decisions, nor be construed as a recommendation to engage in investment transactions. Trading digital assets involve significant risk and can result in the loss of your invested capital. You should ensure that you fully understand the risk involved and take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary.

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