A lot of people buy Bitcoin from exchanges and other liquidity providers. The so-called Bitcoin brokers are extremely popular, especially in Western Europe. Over in The Netherlands, all major Bitcoin brokers had issues keeping up with demand yesterday. This goes to show a lot of people are looking to buy Bitcoin right now. That is not entirely surprising, considering this “fake internet money” surpassed the US$2,100 value.
Bitcoin Brokers Can’t Keep Up With Demand
It is rather telling when Bitcoin brokers run out of cryptocurrency to sell. Not being able to provide a convenient way to buy cryptocurrency is very troublesome for these companies. This issue affected all major BTC brokers in The Netherlands yesterday afternoon. Companies such as Bitonic, Anycoin Direct, and BitMyMoney all ran into liquidity issues. That is rather unusual, even though demand for Bitcoin has been surging all over the world.
To be more specific, users could buy very small quantities of BTC at certain times. However, they had to act fast to get in on the action. A Bitcoin broker is not like an exchange where liquidity is provided by matching buyers and sellers through an order book. Brokers need to keep a supply of Bitcoin on hand to fulfill customer orders. They also charge a premium for doing so, which covers their cost when it comes to purchasing more Bitcoin to sell.
Seeing Bitcoin brokers struggle for liquidity is both good and bad. These services are far more convenient for consumers compared to exchanges. Verification procedures usually take minutes, instead of days. Global Bitcoin demand does not hinge on services provided by Bitcoin brokers, though. However, they are an integral part of onboarding new people looking to venture into cryptocurrency. Not having an available supply means business is picking up, which is a good thing.
It will be interesting to see if similar issues arise all over the world. Demand for Bitcoin is increasing, and brokers need to compete with other platforms. Companies such as LocalBitcoins are seeing more trading volume than ever before in some regions. It is possible brokers may need to start obtaining liquidity from this platform moving forward. Exchanges will always be the go-to solution to buy and sell Bitcoin, though.