Every crypto enthusiast knows about Binance and Coinbase, yet for some reason, a glipse into the CoinMarketCap top volume exchanges shows a surprising picture.
Coinbase Pro is outside the top 25, and Binance frequently loses its top 3 spot to brand new and unknown exchanges – Coinbene being a recent one to claim hundreds of millions of dollars of daily trading volume.
While this looks suspicious even to the naked eye, now our suspicions can be reaffirmed by a carefully conducted study by Blockchain Transparency Institute.
This is not the first iteration of the study – BTI have been persistently improving their methodologies. In its most mature form, it now also includes mobile and API data.
The end results are hardly shocking – the study claims that up to 99% of volume on certain exchanges is achieved via wash trading. Top trading pairs on Coinbene, OEX, Digifinex, CoinBit, Coinsbank, OOOBTC, RightBTC, Dobi trade, Simex, and CoinZest are claimed to have as little as 1% organic trading volume – with the rest being completely faked.
BTI also point out that many of these exchanges make the vast majority of their profits from coin listings instead of fees. Lured by instant liquidity for their newly-created token, many ICO-funded startups are happy to pay exorbitant prices for what ends up being completely fabricated volume statistics.
On a brighter note, the hundreds of millions of dollars in daily volume on Binance and Bitfinex appear to be 100% organic. Huobi and HitBTC, while claimed to fake 75% of the volume are still in the stable 8-figures.