Principal sum

7 figures that summarize the record trading activity on the over-the-counter markets in 2020

It has been a historic year for investors, good and bad, depending on the market and the industry.

Trading activity increased significantly on the first two levels of OTC Markets, OTCQX and OTCQB, as traders negotiated their way through a global pandemic, presidential election and record volatility.

Below are seven numbers to help put 2020 investing and trading in perspective.


The number of securities traded on the over-the-counter markets as of December 31, 2020, compared to 10,760 at the end of 2019 and 10,465 at the end of 2018.

This figure, which is higher than that of the NYSE and Nasdaq combined, includes 511 stocks on the cheapest OTCQX, the top tier of the OTC markets typically for more established companies, and 948 securities on the OTCQB Venture market, the middle tier typically. for emerging companies.


The number of new titles added to the OTCQX and OTCQB markets last year: 113 on OTCQX and 236 on OTCQB. This is in line with previous years (332 new titles were added in 2019).

$ 2.4 billion

The average volume in 2020 dollars of the 30 most actively traded OTCQX securities. In 2019, that figure was only $ 606 million.


The number of securities in the three main levels of over-the-counter markets (OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink) that exceeded $ 1 billion in volume. These include cryptocurrency derivatives like the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (OTCQX: GBTC), pharmaceutical giants like Roche Holding SA (OTCQX: RHHBY), credit monitoring service Experian plc (OTCQX: EXPGY), and Heineken SA (OTCQX: HEINY).


This was the return in 2020 of the OTCQX Cannabis Index, which tracks cannabis stocks traded on the OTCQX market. In comparison, the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE: MJ), the largest cannabis ETF by assets, only rose 6%. (Note: Investors cannot trade an index).


The number of countries represented among the 30 most actively traded securities (in dollar volume) on OTCQX. These countries are the United States, Switzerland, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands and China.


Six of the 30 most actively traded securities on the OTCQX market offer direct exposure to the cryptocurrency market: Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (OTCQX: GBTC), Ethereum Trust in grayscale (OTCQX: ETHE), Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund (OTCQX: BITW), Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund (OTCQX: GDLC), HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd. (OTCQX: HVBTF), Trust Bitcoin Cash in grayscale (OTCQX: BCHG).

In 2019, only GBTC deciphered the list of the most traded securities.