2017 saw a meteoric rise in the price of Bitcoin, closing the year off its all-time high but registering a gain of close to 1400%. Over $1.6 Billion traded on BTC/CAD trading pairs monitored as part of the Canadian Bitcoin Index.
Following on from 2015, and 2016 Bitcoin notched another series of records during 2017 with a new all-time high of $25,497.14 on dramatically increased exchange volume. At the close of the year, Bitcoin was trading some 30% lower than the peak at $18,331.23.
Bitcoin opened the year at $1317.33 and reached its low for the year at $1046.15 on January 11th. The Index first broke through the $5,000 barrier on August 12th, $10,000 on November 8th and $20,000 on December 7th. Remarkably as of late July Bitcoin was still trading ~$2500 and saw an approximate 10x increase in the last five months of 2017. While it has given up around ~30% of those gains, it finished 2017 with a gain of close to 1400% on the year.
The best day for the Index was on July 20th where there was a gain of 21.07%. The worst day saw a 15.04% decline on September 14th. In total there were 12 days with moves more than 10% during 2017 and 6 moves of -10% as indicated by the following chart of daily price moves.
Exchanges listed on the Canadian Bitcoin Index combined for a record volume of $1.67 Billion by contrast 2016 saw just $149.6 Million traded (an increase of around ~1100%). While value traded has increased every year since the first trade logged in 2011 this year’s rise in volume was exceptional.
A chart of the monthly volume shows that December saw a large % of the yearly traded volume with $662 Million traded in December alone. The heaviest trading day was 22nd December where $57 Million was traded. On January 29th just $278,000 was traded on exchanges tracked by the Canadian Bitcoin Index. The average daily volume was $4.6 Million or 794.3 Bitcoin.
2017 saw the loss of Taurus Exchange who transitioned to a brokerage model but saw the addition of EzBTC with that exchange now accounting for approximately 1% of total traded volume. A new exchange based in Vancouver, Einstein Exchange was launched, but this exchange does not have a CAD/BTC order book and hence is not included in the Index.
QuadrigaCX once again was the volume leader and cemented its dominant position in the Canadian marketplace with a market share of ~72% during 2017.
Coinsquare completed a redevelopment of their platform and currently commands a ~19% share of the CAD/BTC market.
Kraken has been suffering from performance issues and while fixes are on the way it still lacks a variety of deposit options for Canadians and saw its BTC/CAD market-share slide from 17% in 2016 to ~9% in 2017.
QuadrigaCX dominated trading in all four quarters with Kraken losing ground in the fourth quarter with Coinsquare picking up that market share, finishing with above 20% market share for the fourth quarter.
The Canadian Bitcoin Volatility Index (CBVIX) tracks the annualised realised volatility of Bitcoin over the prior 30 days. Volatility returned to Bitcoin in 2017 closing the year at the high of 142.24%. The low on the year was on May 7th where the CBVIX registered a value of 30.98%.
Volatility had been trending lower for several years, but 2017 bucked that trend returning to averaged realised volatility levels not seen since 2013 with an average CBVIX of 80.4%.
Bitcoin’s market-cap peaked at $420 Billion on December 16th. Notably, on November 2nd, the market-cap of Bitcoin exceeded the most valuable company in Canada (Royal Bank of Canada) for the first time at $147 Billion. Its current market cap is currently twice that level at ~$300 Billion.
Relative to Other Assets
Due to its meteoric rise Bitcoin vastly outperformed all other traditional asset classes. The price of Bitcoin first exceeded the price of an ounce of Gold in Canadian dollars in early March and the current Gold/BTC ratio stands at 0.09 or 1 Bitcoin now buys ~11 ounces of Gold. The TSX gained ~5.5% in 2017, and the Canadian Dollar appreciated 6.4% against the US Dollar.
The Canadian Bitcoin Index (www.cbix.ca) is a real-time blended bitcoin (BTC) price index which reflects the true price of the digital currency in Canadian dollars. In addition, the site features live trade monitoring, enhanced charting, a notification system for Index movements, live bid/asks from all supported exchanges, a combined order book and a suite of developer APIs.