On January 24, the three major China-based Bitcoin exchanges – BTCC, Huobi, and OKCoin – began charging a 0.2 percent fixed rate on trades.
In a sign of Bitcoin trader sentiment, two non fee-charging exchanges – BTC100 and CHBTC – climbed to the top two spots in CoinMarketCap‘s January 28th ranking of exchanges, in terms of trading volume.
BTCC, Huobi, and OKCoin are considered the “Big Three” of Bitcoin exchanges, but they commanded less than half of the Bitcoin trading volume compared to BTC100 and CHBTC during that time. When asked by CoinDesk if Bitcoin traders are on the move, Zhou Shouji, the operator of bitcoin hedge fund and incubator FinTech Blockchain Group said, “They already are. It’s the ‘Big five’ without fees right now.”
But Bitcoin experts do not think these no-fee exchanges can survive for long without facing regulators from the People’s Bank of China. Exchanges that command the largest trading volumes – BTCC, Huobi, and OKCoin – must pay “the price for success,” said Tim Enneking, chairman of Crypto Asset Management. Most think that successful exchanges will follow this trend of instituting fees to decrease volatility and appease regulators.
Since the CoinDesk report, BTCC, Huobi, and OKCoin have rebounded and cracked the top ten in terms of 24 hour trading volume. Only time will tell if no-fee exchanges can remain relevant in the Bitcoin market, but most signs indicate the transaction fees are here to stay.
Read more from CoinDesk here.