There have been growing concerns about “wash trading” in cryptocurrency markets, where cryptocurrencies engage in wash trading in order to inflate their trade volume figures, to attract new investors or simply to improve their reputation, or exaggerate their importance.
A new report suggests that the concerns are valid, although there are two exchanges in particular that are not engaging in the activity. For those who are unaware, “wash trading” occurs when an investor buys and sells the same financial instruments in order to create artificial volume.
Specifically, the Blockchain Transparency Institute has closed out the year by releasing its December 2018 Exchange Volumes report. The report found several cryptocurrency exchanges to be the worst offenders, where the “real” volume was only a fraction of the reported volume associated with the exchange.
Even well-known cryptocurrency exchanges were exposed. For example, only 11% of Okex’s volume was deemed “real”. Singapore-based Huobi fared better, with 26% of its volume deemed “real”.
One of the worst offenders was Coinbene, also based in Singapore, which reported a 24-hour volume of over $222 million, only for $2.7 million of the volume deemed “real” (a little over 1%).
Binance and Bitfinex
The report indicated that Binance and Bitfinex were the two exchanges that weren’t falsifying volume. The report specifically stated:
“We noted only 2 out of the top 25 pairs not to be grossly wash trading their volume, Binance, and Bitfinex.”
Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume and has an immaculate reputation with regards to the cryptocurrency markets and cybersecurity. The news was great for Bitfinex, as well, which has come under scrutiny repeatedly by the cryptocurrency community. Most recently, concerns were raised when a large investor could not withdraw their funds from the exchange in October of this year.