Research Summary

The article provides an in-depth analysis of the Centralized Exchange (CEX) landscape in the first half of 2023. The collapse of FTX, which resulted in a loss of $4 billion in customer deposits, has led to a significant shift in the industry. Users now demand more transparency and protection measures from exchanges. Many exchanges have started offering Proof of Reserves (PoR), and others, such as Binance and Bitget, have increased their protection funds. However, these measures do not guarantee solvency without a breakdown of liabilities. Binance has maintained its dominance in the market, but it’s not the only beneficiary of FTX exiting the market. Bitget notably grew its derivatives volume following FTX. The article also highlights that successful exchanges in a crowded landscape will prioritize security, transparency, user trust, and ecosystem involvement.

Actionable Insights:

  1. Monitor the Evolution of Proof of Reserves and Protection Funds: The FTX collapse has led to a greater emphasis on transparency and depositor protection for CEXs. Many exchanges now offer Proof of Reserves and have increased their protection funds. Monitoring these developments can provide insights into the evolving standards and expectations in the crypto exchange industry.
  2. Track the Performance of Different Exchanges: Binance has maintained its position as the leading CEX, but other exchanges like Bitget have also seen growth. Keeping an eye on the performance of different exchanges can help identify emerging trends and opportunities in the market.
  3. Stay Informed About Regulatory Developments: The article mentions potential regulatory challenges for exchanges, especially if the US SEC decides that nearly all tokens are securities. Staying informed about these regulatory developments is crucial for understanding their potential impact on the operation of crypto exchanges.

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