Widely considered to be a rare force for good within the cryptocurrency space, the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) publishes regular investigative reports that consistently shine a light on the out of control wash trading problem within the industry.

In its May 2019 report, and again in the recently released September 2019 report, the BTI has been working to bring the issue back into the spotlight. In its latest report, the group notes that their publicized investigative reports have reduced the overall volume of wash trading by as much as 35% between the top 40 major crypto exchanges.

Keeping Trading Clean

The BTI’s reports have consistently painted exchanges like Kraken, Coinbase, and Poloniex as some of the cleanest, with almost no signs of wash trade activity present. On the other hand, many exchanges have been consistently painted with a red brush, with platforms like OKEx, Bibox, and Bithumb being among the worst offenders—using wash trading to bulk to form the majority of their trade volume.

Earlier this year, a separate report to the SEC from Bitwise claimed that the daily volume of Bitcoin was only $272 million per day, which means nearly 95% of the reported daily trade volume was caused by volume-boosting activities, such as wash trading.

Wash trading has always been considered to be an activity that sort of lingers within a grey area when it comes to legality. After the Bitwise report, Huobi—one of the exchanges named among the worst wash trading offenders—responded to the Bitwise report by saying;

“We did identify a few of our market makers conducting what we suspect may have been wash trading for the sake of performance and marketing purposes. We have already communicated with these market makers and they have discontinued the strategies in question.”

More Than a Bet?

Following this, Huobi, along with many other leading crypto exchanges clambered down on wash trading practices, with many updating their terms of use to disallow the shady practice. However, if a recent report by BTI is to be believed, at least one suspect exchange has opted to go the self-defense route, refuting allegations of wash trading. The OKEx CEO even took to Twitter to lay down a 100 BTC to BTI, with OKEx offering to prove more than 10% of its volume is real to win the bet.

Following-up from their earlier report, BTI made a statement on Twitter, noting that since OKEx responded, the BTI website has since come under a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. As of writing, the BTI website and its wash trading reports cannot be reached, indicating the attack is still ongoing.

As BeInCrypto previously reported, OKEx Korea has recently decided to delist privacy coins.

Which exchange do you believe is the absolute worst wash trading offender? Is OKEx involved with the recent BTI DDoS attack? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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