In search of Bitcoin’s true trading volume; altcoin volumes are inflated more and China still dominates.

Koji Higashi
The Startup
Published in
6 min readJan 2, 2020


  • Many often-quoted data sources such as CoinMarketCap and Coinhills are inaccurate and/or outdated
  • Filtering fake volume, the Bitcoin’s market dominance becomes even more obvious. Bitcoin’s true spot volume market share is estimated 70% vs nominal(reported) market share of 50%
  • China still dominates Bitcoin spot trading via USDT with almost 50% of market share. USD is second place around 20–25% while JPY and KRW hover around 10–15%

Historical charts and tables made available on (in beta)

What’s the real trading volume of Bitcoin?

This is a rather simple question but it’s very difficult to give a definitive answer at the same time. It’s no secret in the crypto space that CoinMarketCap’s reported trading volume rankings are highly manipulated and are not trustworthy data anymore.

Other than CoinMarketCap, there are other services such as Coinhills, which is still occasionally quoted by crypto media when referring to BTC by major fiat currencies rankings. Although many of them were great resources back in 2016–17, their data has not been kept updated and thus can easily misguide you to an incorrect understanding of the market.

So, I did a bit of research myself to give better estimates for

  1. Bitcoin’s true trading volume and its market share against other major altcoins.
  2. Bitcoin’s true market share by fiat currencies

I’d argue this is an important piece of information for;

  1. Investors/traders who are looking for better trading opportunities, who wish to come up with better strategies and make better decisions as to which coin to invest in.
  2. Businesses who need to make effective decisions based on accurate data(which market to enter, which coin to develop on and so on).
  3. Media and analysts who are responsible for propagating as accurate information as possible to inform and educate the community.

Methodology-how to eliminate fake volume

Fortunately, there are some countermeasures to combat the fake volume issue today. Particularly, I have utilized CoinGecko’s trust score…

Koji Higashi
The Startup

Mainly about Bitcoin, Lightning and Japan.