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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 6, 2017.Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

  • Global volume in cryptocurrency markets passes $50 billion, close to the average turnover on New York Stock Exchange.
  • The comparison is inexact but highlights just how popular digital currencies have become.

LONDON — Global cryptocurrency markets are now averaging the same daily trading volumes as the New York Stock Exchange.

24-hour trade volume in the cryptocurrency market passed the $50 billion mark on Wednesday, according to data provider

That is close to the average daily volumes of trade on the New York Stock Exchange this year, which has ranged between $35 billion and $50 billion, according to historical data. Daily trading volumes on the London Stock Exchange hover around £5 billion.

The comparison is inexact, as the cryptocurrency market is arguably closer to the foreign exchange market, which has daily volumes of over $5 trillion.

But it highlights just how hot the cryptocurrency market has become in 2017. Unlike the foreign exchange market, cryptocurrency trading is largely done by small-time, retail investors, making it closer to the stock market (although there are huge institutions playing in the market.)

Investors have flocked to cryptocurrencies in 2017 due to the eye-catching returns of bitcoin, which has grown by around 1,500% against the dollar. A boom in “initial coin offerings”, where startups issue their own cryptocurrencies, has also created a raft of other digital assets for investors to speculate on. There are now over 1,300 cryptocurrencies in circulation, according to

But many people within the financial industry have expressed concern about the largely unregulated market. The UK’s top financial regulator warned earlier this month that people should be prepared to lose all the money they invest in bitcoin and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has called cryptocurrencies a “scam.”

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