The Blockchain Transparency Institute has probed deeper like no other time into wash trading in its Exchange Volumes Report for the month of December. The conclusions reached are quite incriminating as only two out of the top 25 BTC pairs of CoinMarketCap (CMC) are free of massive actual volume inflation.
The Stunning Reality
As included in the report, the actual volume of the top 25 CMC Bitcoin trading pairs was calculated with the use of the Institute’s algorithm, and it found out that a lot of them have below 1% actual value than what was reported on CoinMarketCap.
Only two exchanges were found to be free of massive wash-trading, and they include Bitfinex and Binance, who came out tops in the exchange rankings for November.
The report showed that majority of OKEx’s 30 top traded tokens performed wash trading together with almost all Huobi’s 25 top trading pairs as well as HitBTC, though slightly lesser than others.
Bithumb was investigated, and it was discovered that Bitcoin Gold, Monero, Zcash and Dash were involved in a great amount of wash trading. The preference of the wash traded token appears to change, based on the month, on Bithumb.
Listing Fees Should Be Disallowed
The Institute Exchange Advisory List hosts these exchanges at the moment. Attached to the list is a warning to reach out to the Institute first before making any form of large listing payment to the exchanges. The report pointed out that wash-trading is a business strategy adopted by the exchanges to rob aspiring token projects of money.
According to available data, $50,000 was spent by an average project in listing fees this year to exchanges found on the advisory list. This amounts to more than $100 million stolen via listing fees in 2018, meaning that some exchanges made over $1 million from this alone.
The Institute also has in its possession data on more affordable listing fees for bots-free wash-trading exchanges and advises projects to get in touch with it for this information.
Staying Up To Date in the Industry
This report has been significantly improved upon since it was first published in August, concentrating primarily on web-traffic. The second report that was delivered in November introduced API traffic and mobile usage figures, and the data point analysis of this one goes a step further.
Four bot strategies of different types were identified by the Institute, which was subsequently reverse-engineered into its algorithms. These algorithms will continue to be maintained in 2019 to stay ahead of any form of malpractice.
In addition, it will publish an Investor Security Report which will focus on implemented security measures by individual exchanges and improving on them by working with the exchanges.