A recent research compiled by the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) gives a clear insight into how massively overstated the daily volume numbers actually are. Tallying up the volume numbers of the top 130 exchanges, the report found that over $6 billion in daily trade volume is being faked, comprising over two-thirds of the total 24-hour trade volume.
According to the findings of BTI, OKEX fakes almost 20 times of their actual trading volume. Huobi 12.5 times, and HitBTC about 5times. These are the 3 exchanges those show maximum fake trading volumes in the top 15 exchanges.
The largest offenders in the top 10 include Bibox, which appears to be wash trading their volume over 85x, Bit-Z to over 469x, ZB over 391x, LBank 4400x. The worst of the bunch is BCEX at over 22,000x. All of these exchanges trail Binance in the daily unique visitor’s statistic between 50 and 600x.
The top exchange in the USA is Coinbase, which climbs the ranks up to #3. Another big mover into the top 10 is Bithumb at #4 which overtakes Upbit as the largest exchange in South Korea. Upbit is currently under investigation for fraud, money laundering, and wash trading which correlates with data showing an over-reporting of their volume by 11x.
Binance sits at the top of the chart at #1 with a massive amount of unique daily visitors to back them up. Bitfinex slides into the number 2 spot behind their high dollar clientele and $10,000 minimum deposit for entry.
A large chunk of the top 25 exchanges have dropped all the way out of the top 100. According to the data, these exchanges typically have less than 1,000 site visitors per day. The majority of these exchanges also seem to be mass produced, as they all appear to be using the same UI and trading engine.
The research team states they used data obtained from SimilarWeb on website traffic coupled with order book research conducted by Sylvain Ribes. His report detailed excessive slippage rates of top 15 exchanges including Okex, Huobi, Lbank, and Bit-Z. The combination of these data sets was plugged into a new formula which produced a vastly different top 25 than what is being reported.
When compared, the slippage data of the known respected exchanges and monthly traffic data appears to be in correlation. Binance, Coinbase, Bittrex, Bitfinex, Kraken, Poloniex, and Kucoin all have monthly visitor counts well above the rest of the top 100 exchanges as well as very low slippage when their order books were checked.
The report notes that although their data is reported with an accuracy of 1:1 this does not mean there is no wash trading going on, just that none could be proven using their current model.
Here’s the full report
Sources: https://www.blockchaintransparency.org/reports/ and,
Reserach by Marco Paez on https://bitcoinist.com/6-billion-volume-faked-coinmarketcap/