Last week, a new market player emerged — Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI). The website which claims that decentralization is freedom of choice published a research article claiming that more than 70% of top-100 crypto exchanges are guilty of wash trading. Wash trading is a painful issue for all crypto players, and BTI joined CER to prove that the industry suffers from lack of transparency, especially when it comes to rankings of exchanges by trading volumes.
Interestingly, the new platform used the same software that we applied when researching BitForex — SimilarWeb. Besides, BTI applied the research by Sylvain Ribes on exchanges faking volume by evidence of analyzing order book liquidity. They compared data from 2 sources to create their rating.
Firstly, BTI identified the number of unique daily visitors to the exchanges’ websites and multiplied it by the percentage of unique access sessions to the website. After that, they divided the volume reported by the exchange by the number that resulted from the multiplication to determine volume per visitor. The figure was then compared to the metrics retrieved from the analysis of order book liquidity. The exchanges with the largest number of unique visitors per month and higher order book liquidity prove to have more customers and higher volumes.
Remarkably, BTI does not claim that the leaders of their rating don’t do wash trading — they simply state there is not enough evidence using this methodology.
While we analyzed the volume of one crypto exchange at a time, BTI calculated the data for 130 exchanges. They concluded that more than $6 billion of the reported daily volume is fake. This is more than two-thirds of the total volume of all trading platforms.
Binance occupies the first place in the BTI list with its massive number of unique visitors. Bitfinex has the second place. Notably, the latter platform introduced a minimum deposit requirement of $10,000 for new users at the beginning of 2018.
A significant portion of the Top 25 exchanges on CoinMarketCap did not appear in the Top 100 of the BTI’s rating. According to the BTI, most of the exchanges are copying the pioneers using the same user interface and trading engine.
Kucoin and Cryptopia score unexpectedly well — even though they occupy 58th and 90th positions on CoinMarketCap, they have 19th and 24th positions in the BTI rating. A significant portion of the users of these exchanges trades coins with low capitalization on low volumes.
We want CER investigation to bring transparency to the crypto community and promote the well-being of its members. Therefore, we will definitely consider the results of this research when planning and creating our new investigations!
Aspiring to become the voice of the crypto industry, CER platform provides multifaceted scorings for every crypto enthusiast to analyze what’s going on in the market. Being conscious and responsible players, we will help the crypto industry mature and become stronger.
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