04 Nov 2020

Asian P2P volume climbing in 2020

The P2P volume of Asia-Pacific peaked during the 2017/18 bull market and is currently 66% lower than at its peak. At that time, China absolutely dominated the regional volume, accounting for more than two thirds of the total volume.
Weekly p2p volume, asia.png
Source: Paxful, Localbitcoins
This is a snippet from our report on the state of the P2P markets.To read the full report, click here As seen in the chart above, the LocalBitcoins dominance lasted up until September 2019, when it fell sharply as LocalBitcoins transitioned to KYC compliancy. Paxful took significant shares immediately following the KYC implementation, but the overall trading volume in Asia fell. However, in the last couple of months, the volume in the region has returned to the 2019 levels, but now with Paxful as the largest P2P platform in the region.
Regional Distribution
India and China each hold 33% of the total P2P volume in Asia Pacific. The remaining third is distributed among the rest of the Asian countries, with the Philippines and Thailand both pushing weekly volumes above $800.000.India and China each hold 33% of the total P2P volume in Asia Pacific. The remaining third is distributed among the rest of the Asian countries, with the Philippines and Thailand both pushing weekly volumes above $800.000.The Philippines has seen a sharp growth in its P2P volume lately, as the country started the year with weekly volumes around $50.000. The Filipino adoption of bitcoin has been evident in other figures as well, as the largest national centralized exchange,, has above 10 million users on the platform.
Distribution of weekly p2p volume, Asia
India P2P volume about to surpass China
China has long been the largest contributor to the Asian P2P volume, but is about to be surpassed by India, who has seen a strong and stable growth throughout 2020. China was the dominating country in Asia in terms of P2P volume in the early days of the P2P trading market. The volume was highly volatile the middle of 2017, but saw a sharp spike as Xi Jinping forbid buying bitcoin for Chinese Yuan. Under these circumstances the P2P exchanges were the simplest feasible option for investors seeking to get hold of bitcoin via their national currency. This likely caused the enormous spike in the beginning of 2017, alongside the strong bull market later that year.
Weekly P2P Volume, China and India
However, as the bitcoin price crashed, the volume fell sharply and stabilized around $5 million of weekly volumes throughout the last half of 2017 and up until September 2019, as LocalBitcoins turned KYC compliant. P2P participants in the Chinese market have later shifted towards Paxful, and Paxful now holds the position as the Chinese market leader.As the volume has halted in China, the story has been vastly different across the Himalayas in India. The volume has seen a steady rise over the last few years and has currently surpassed China as India has become the largest contributor to the Asian P2P volume during the summer of 2020. Several catalysts might have driven this increased adoption:1)     Distrust in the financial system In 2016, prime minister Narendra Modi announced that high value banknotes would be withdrawn from the financial system over night in order to prevent illicit activity. This led to large queues outside of ATMs as Indians sought to exchange their high value banknotes.The decision was met with protests and strikes against the government. The Indian Rupee has underperformed compared to the US Dollar since and is currently 10% weaker compared to the dollar than prior to the demonetization of the high value currency notes.2)     Remittances India is the top recipient of remittances, according to the World Bank, with its diaspora sending $83 billion worth of remittances in 2019, equaling 2.9% of the total Indian GDP. The World Bank estimated that the COVID-19 outbreak will reduce the remittances by 23% in 2020, a significant and devastating loss for the economy. 3)     Supreme court of India overturned banking restrictions for crypto exchanges March 4th, 2020 Since the lift of the banking restrictions, the weekly P2P volume in India has seen an 87% boost.
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