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Crypto Liquidity Optimization at Coinbase: Trading Pairs Update

Martin Walker
Oct 18, 2023 at 08:46 am

The United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has recently undertaken a strategic move to optimize and enhance liquidity within its trading platform. This initiative involves the suspension of a substantial number of trading pairs not linked to the USD, encompassing a wide array of digital assets, including the prominent cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC), which is currently trading at around $28,499. Furthermore, this suspension also affects stablecoins such as Tether (USDT), valued at $1.00, and traditional fiat currencies like the euro.

In a notable development announced on October 16, Coinbase has detailed its motivation behind these trading pair suspensions, highlighting the objective of bolstering the "overall market health" while concurrently streamlining liquidity. The removal of these trading pairs took effect at 19:30 UTC on October 16, impacting both the Coinbase exchange itself and affiliated platforms like Advanced Trade and Coinbase Prime.

80 non-USD trading pairs that were removed from Coinbase on Oct. 16. Source: Coinbase Status80 non-USD trading pairs that were removed from Coinbase on Oct. 16. Source: Coinbase Status 

This course of action is aligned with Coinbase's earlier disclosure of its intention to temporarily suspend certain markets, as communicated in early October. Users who are affected by these changes can take solace in the fact that they still have the opportunity to engage in trading activities within Coinbase's more liquid USD order books by leveraging the exchange's native USD Coin (USDC), which is pegged at $1.00.

It is essential to emphasize that the markets being eliminated constitute a negligible fraction of Coinbase Exchange's overall trading volume, as highlighted in the exchange's official statement.

Notably, Coinbase has been consistently and proactively suspending trading pairs on its platforms over a period to proactively address liquidity concerns. In mid-September, the exchange took similar action by removing 41 non-USD markets, with the underlying rationale remaining unchanged. While a variety of trading pairs featuring USDT were affected, it's noteworthy that none of the suspended markets involved USDC, a stablecoin that is a product of the collaborative efforts of Coinbase and Circle.

These ongoing measures to optimize liquidity come at a time when Coinbase has experienced a marked decline in trading volumes throughout the year. According to data from CCData, a reputable cryptocurrency market data provider, Coinbase's spot trading volumes for the third quarter of this year have plummeted by a substantial 52% when compared to the same period in 2022.

Moreover, this trend of diminishing market share is not unique to Coinbase, as other major cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance, have also experienced a notable reduction in their dominance within the spot market throughout the current year. Data from CCData reveals that Binance's spot market share has dwindled consistently for seven consecutive months, dropping from 55% at the start of 2023 to a mere 34% in September 2023.

Read more about: Bitcoin Insights: Value and Impact

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