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Cryptocurrency trading volumes spike 17% in February: CryptoCompare

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LONDON (Reuters) - Cryptocurrency trading volumes soared by 17% last month in the wake of Tesla's $1.5 billion bitcoin bet, with larger exchanges taking a growing share of the overall volumes, data showed on Friday.

Trading volumes jumped to $2.7 trillion in February, with volumes at major exchanges jumping over 35% to $2.4 trillion, researcher CryptoCompare said. Smaller exchanges saw volumes slump by 36% to $381 billion, suggesting growing consolidation of trading at larger venues.

Volumes hit an all-time high of $159.9 billion on Feb. 23, it said, when bitcoin sank 10%.

The embrace of cryptocurrencies by the likes of Tesla Inc and Mastercard Inc drove bitcoin to a record high of $58,354 and a $1 trillion market capitalisation last month. Growing interest from bigger investors has also added fuel to the cryptocurrency's rally.

Bitcoin, whose history of wild price swings has long-hampered its use for commerce, has since slumped around 20% from its peak and was last trading at around $47,000.

Major exchange Binance saw the biggest trading volume in February of $761 billion, up 66% from the previous month, the data showed. That was followed by Huobi and OKEx, both popular with investors in Asia, which saw respective increases of 12% to $214 billion and 26% to $188 billion.

(Reporting by Tom Wilson; editing by Thyagaraju Adinarayan)