Two Exchanges Overtake Binance on CMC Rankings, But Research Suggests Volume Is Fake

Today, on March 21, both LBank and Bit-Z overtook leading exchange Binance on the adjusted trade volume cryptocurrency exchange rankings on CoinMarketCap, but research published on March 18 by the Tie suggests most of their volume is fake.

At press time, LBank is in the third spot (formerly in first), Binance is in the second spot, and Bit-Z is currently holding the top spot. According to data contained in the Tie research, Bit-Z’s expected 30-day volume is only 0.79 percent of its reported 30-day volume.

The aforementioned CoinMarketCap page attempts to filter out artificial volume and wash trading, resulting in a value closer to the real trading volume. Still, data uncovered during research recently conducted by the Tie suggest that CoinMarketCap’s system didn’t filter out fake volume in the cases of LBank and Bit-Z.

According to the Tie’s data, LBank’s expected trading volume amounts only to 0.9 percent of its reported volume. During its research, the company pulled the reported trading volume for the last 30 days of the top 100 exchanges. They then divided this data by the exchange’s website visits over 30 days estimated by similarweb to determine the volume per visit.

Binance, the exchange that usually covers the top spot that had been overtaken by LBank, reported $750 traded per visit. Bittrex, reported $138 traded per visit, Coinbase Pro $341, Bitfinex $862, and Poloniex $63.

To calculate the expected volume, the researchers used a weighted average of the trading volumes per website visit across Binance, Coinbase Pro, Poloniex, Gemini and Kraken, resulting in $591 and multiplied this number by the web views. The Tie noted that they selected “these exchanges because of large usage among institutions, reputation within the market, and because their web viewership appeared consistent with their reported trading volumes.”

LBank’s estimated reported volume per website visit amounts to $65,850. The exchange’s reported trading volume in the 30 days prior to the research is $12.16 million, while the expected 30-day volume is just over $110.54 million.

Still, the Tie admits that website views don’t take into account Application Programming Interface (API), mobile application trades. Furthermore, this metric doesn’t consider the desktop client trades either.

Because of that, the data could in theory just mean that either a much more significant than average portion of LBank users uses the API, desktop or mobile clients or that on average, an LBank user trades over $65,000 per session. The Tie notes:

“There were limitations to this report including some of the aforementioned, but the point of the exercise was to show those exchanges that appear most suspicious and to start a greater conversation around wash trading, transaction mining, and liquidity.”

As Cointelegraph recently reported, according to the data reported by the research, 86.57 percent of the total volume on all cryptocurrency exchanges is fake and three-quarters of them has unusual volume.

In January, two leaders of the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Komid were reportedly sentenced to serve jail time for faking exchange volumes.


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