Blockchain Transparency Institute
Blockchain Transparency Institute

Top 25 BTC Pairs

CMC Top BTC Pairs


For our December report we’ve taken a deeper dive into specific trading pairs which are showing clear evidence of wash trading.  This has always been our goal, however we wanted to make sure this data was as accurate as possible, so we’ve been updating and perfecting these formulas over the past 3 months. 

During this time, we have spent countless hours watching order books, analyzing volume data points, and speaking with market makers, high frequency traders, and trade surveillance consultants. We have collected an enormous amount of data and we now feel confident to begin releasing these figures.

Also coming out of this data, we have discovered 4 different bot strategies which are used to inflate exchange volume numbers. Some of these bots appear to be moved around to different trading pairs depending on the time of day.  Settings are changed based on current volume trends or hype around a given token for that time period. Unfortunately, we cannot make the data points we used to determine these settings public, so that we can stay ahead of these bad actors.  

Included in this report we have calculated the true volume of the CMC top 25 BTC trading pairs. Most of these pairs actual volume is under 1% of their reported volume on CMC. We noted only 2 out of the top 25 pairs not to be grossly wash trading their volume, Binance and Bitfinex.  

OKEx has been moved to our Exchange Advisory List as we found just about all of their top 30 traded tokens to be engaging in wash trading when processed through our formulas.  It appears they have benefited the most from the CMC referral traffic.

Huobi also appears to be inflating their top 30 volume numbers, but to a lesser degree than OKEx.  HitBTC’s top 25 has shown clear evidence of wash trading as well. Both of their adjusted numbers for this report have also landed them on our Advisory List.

We advise any token project to contact us regarding any exchange requesting large listing fees, especially those on our Advisory List.  Many of these exchanges exist solely to collect these fees while their bots run their exchanges.  We also have data on fair listing fee costs for exchanges which are not using wash trading bots.  These exchanges can still claim massive “marketing costs” and “integration costs” associated with their fees for listing.  

Next week, we will release our Initial Investor Security Report which will highlight current exchange security measures and the ways in which the space can make both current and future investors feel safer with their funds.  The past year has seen the largest losses of investor funds due to phishing and hacking than any other year, and with these numbers growing the whole ecosystem will continue to suffer.  This report will also contain security ratings for all exchanges not currently on our Advisory List.

Heading into 2019 we will continue collecting true volume data on individual pairs in an effort to curb further manipulation. We will also be contacting all exchanges to implement the best security controls with the hopes of seeing media reports on the decline of stolen crypto funds in 2019.

We are always looking for more transparency partners and ways in which we can all collaborate to clean up the space and further progress.  Also, please contact us with any feedback or suggestions for future reports or if you would like to join our research team.