Enumerating the number of cryptocurrencies in existance in the world may seem like a trivial exercise however, it is more difficult than it seems. Coinmarketcap lists 208, however there are dozens more listed on other cryptocurrency tracking sites. In addition to these , there are hundreds of regional exchanges that are only accessible within the countries and continents where they function.A few examples are, Canada which has Einstein Exchange. Africa has Golix. Australia has ACX and will soon have Nauticus, a multi-asset exchange that is launching this year. Blockbid has also just gained its Australian license.
None of these platforms features on exchange listing sites such as Coinmarketcap. Neither do major sites such as Coinbase, because it is technically a broker (although its volume is listed on sites like Bitcoinity.org), or P2P sites like Localbitcoins and Localethereum. And what about other forms of P2P exchange such as Radar Relay, Kyber Network, and platforms that operate on the deep web? It is extremely difficult to classify and quantify the number of global crypto exchanges. All that can be said for certain is it’s north of 500 and rising.
Back when the bitcoin ecosystem was beholden to just one exchange – Mt Gox – there was a single point of failure that duly crashed the markets when Gox eventually broke. With hundreds of exchanges to choose from today, that shouldn’t be an issue, and yet a glance at where the bulk of the trading volume lies tells a different story. In the last 24 hours, more than half of all cryptocurrency trading volume came from just three exchanges, with Binance accounting for 18% alone. If the exchange were to be hacked or go offline, it wouldn’t cause a Mt Gox-level crash, but it would still inflict a sizeable dent.