As Bitcoin turned 10 years old yesterday, many enthusiasts in the community celebrated 10 years of cryptocurrency itself as well. Despite the ICO and crypto market being in a bit of turmoil, for now, there is no doubt that digital assets and associated technologies have changed many aspects of business and the economy.
But it’s not just holders of coins and blockchain start-ups that are reaping the benefits of this new industry, cryptocurrency exchanges are leading the way when it comes to profits. Coinbase, the largest fiat-to-crypto exchange in the world is poised to bring in over $1.3billion in annual revenue, till the end of 2018.
Binance announces a big profit
Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange that announced its relocation to Malta this year, has recorded a profit of $200 million in January, putting itself in the same league profit-wise as Germany’s biggest financial institution, Deutsche Bank.
Bithumb and Upbit, two of South Korea’s largest exchanges have been raking in around $100 million a month during 2018, mainly from transaction and withdrawal fees. Furthermore, in January of this year, Jung Yoon-ho, a researcher in Yoojjin Investment, told local media sources that they generate around $2.5 million in revenue every day.
Whilst this is all good news, it may not last. Due to the current bear market and two security breaches of Bithumb in South Korea, experts estimate that the monthly revenue of big crypto exchanges could have dropped by around 30-40% in recent months.
For example, according to Bloomberg, the projected annual income of Coinbase is said to be nearer to $1.3 billion.
“The company’s $1.3 billion in sales for 2018 comes from the commissions on trades on its platform, as well as from gains and losses in its own crypto holdings. Because the firm looks at several internal measures of revenue, the exact figures can vary,” Julie Verhage at Bloomberg reported.
Most of this money has been generated through fees on buy and sell orders, as well as withdrawal requests.
Funding charitable initiatives
Binance also accounted that it would donate all of its listing fees to fund transparent initiatives that have been developed by reputable organisations such as the UN.
“If you look at the first few UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as poverty, hunger, health and even education, these are easily addressed or improved by charity initiatives. Yet, what we’re trying to do is a level deeper. I believe that by improving transparency in the charity sector, we will be able to address all 17 goals as a whole, at a more fundamental layer,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said.
Over the last year, the volume of the cryptocurrency market has grown exponentially to a value of around $20 billion, around half less than this time last year. The value of Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency in the world, dropped from $8billion to around $3.5 billion at the time of writing. But with a $10 billion daily trading volume on the exchange market, there is still money to be made.