Coinbase says Ethereum volume tops Bitcoin as DeFi, NFTs gain popularity

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Ethereum was the most traded cryptocurrency on the Coinbase exchange during the three months through June, as investors explored the world of decentralized finance.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
COIN COINBASE GLOBAL, INC. 278.40 +8.73 +3.24%

Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was responsible for 26% of the trading volume on Coinbase, compared to 24% for Bitcoin. A year ago, Bitcoin commanded 57% of total volume on the platform versus 15% for Ethereum. 

Total trading volume during the second quarter was $462 billion, up 1,550% from $28 billion a year ago. 

Source: Coinbase

"Bitcoin may be a great store of wealth but most of the innovation that's happening in the crypto space right now is happening on the Ethereum blockchain," said Mati Greenspan, CEO of Quantum Economics, a Tel Aviv-based project aimed at helping people understand financial markets.

The Ethereum blockchain is used for both decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens, two applications that have recently taken the crypto world by storm.

Decentralized finance, or DeFi, does not rely on banks or other financial intermediaries to offer financial instruments, and instead uses the blockchain, most commonly Ethereum. 

A non-fungible token, or NFT, is a unit of data stored on the blockchain that says a digital asset is unique and cannot be replicated. This includes art, music and other types of digital files.

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The interest in DeFi and NFTs has helped boost Ethereum’s price by 344% this year to $3,240 a token, giving the cryptocurrency a market capitalization of $380 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com.

Bitcoin’s price, meanwhile, has climbed 58% this year to $46,490 a coin. Its market cap was more than $871 billion. 

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