Over 50% of BTC on Exchanges Have Moved Outside the US Due to Regulatory Uncertainty: Data

Due to unclear regulations in the United States, more than half of the bitcoin (BTC) that crypto firms hold for their customers has moved to offshore and international exchanges.

According to a CryptoQuant research report shared with CryptoPotato, BTC reserves on U.S.-based crypto exchanges are down to 2017 levels, as they are being lost to non-U.S. platforms.

Offshore Exchanges Dethrone US Crypto Platforms

The significant decline in BTC reserves on American exchanges stems from the absence of a clear rule book for the crypto industry. Regulators have resorted to an enforcement-based approach, driving crypto firms to offshore locations.

Regions like the EU and Hong Kong, which have developed comprehensive regulations for the nascent economy, are experiencing an inflow of capital, talent, and digital asset firms. Hong Kong, in particular, has opened up to crypto companies and stated that they would adopt the “same activity, same risks, same regulation” principle for entities akin to traditional financial firms.

Several exchanges have decided to exit the U.S., with others ceasing certain products and services due to violation accusations. The country is gradually losing its market share of emerging and existing sectors as de-dollarization heightens.

Over 50% of BTC and ETH Outside the U.S.

Aside from decreasing BTC reserves in the U.S., ether (ETH) reserves have also been on a steady decline. About 56% of ETH on crypto exchanges are held outside the United States.

In addition, the trading volume of international crypto exchanges is four times greater than that of U.S.-based platforms. Bitcoin’s spot trading volume dominance in the U.S. has fallen below 2017 levels and is currently at 21%. American exchanges have little-to-no exposure to perpetual futures trading markets, which have a volume of 11x that of spot trading volume, as firms are not allowed to offer the service, the report added.

In contrast, Asia’s spot and futures trading volume growth is as high as 30% and 20%, respectively.

CryptoQuant’s research further found that the market cap of U.S.-based stablecoins has plummeted by 35%, losing $15 billion so far in 2023.

Meanwhile, the U.S. remains the world’s dominant player in the Bitcoin mining industry. However, the country could lose that position due to bad regulation, as the government is targeting miners with the possibility of higher taxes. The U.S. is losing its crypto market share as regulatory uncertainty drives firms and assets offshore.


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