Wash Trading: Blockchain Transparency Institute Reveals Kraken, Coinbase Remain Cleanest Crypto Trading Platforms [u]

The Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) has published its updated market surveillance report which revealed that US-based digital asset exchange Kraken and Coinbase are among the cleanest trading platforms in the crypto industry.

On September 19, the BTI released its 5th market report that examines and verifies reporting of crypto exchange trading volumes. The institute has been publishing reports since August of last year, and through its internal algorithms, BTI determines actual (real) trading volumes by removing all wash trading.

The agency’s report noted:

“Since the start of 2019, global wash trading has reduced by 35.7% among the real Top-40 exchanges. The process of sharing our data reports with many of these exchanges has resulted in enhanced mechanisms for detecting wash trading accounts and shutting them down.”

BTI’s report mentioned that the cleanest digital currency exchanges since its previous reports continue to be San Francisco-based Coinbase and Kraken. Delaware-registered Poloniex and Korean exchange Upbit are also among the cleanest crypto trading platforms, the report noted. 

OKEx and Bibox are the exchanges with the highest amount of wash trading, BTI’s report revealed.

The agency’s report also noted that the US and Japan are ranked the highest when it comes to digital asset exchanges with the most accurate reporting. 

BTI’s reports stated:

“This can be due to several factors, the main of which is the legal and regulatory standards in these countries. However, stricter regulatory frameworks do not always produce the cleanest exchanges.”

In March 2019, Bitwise Asset Management also published a report on Bitcoin (BTC) trading volumes. The San Francisco-headquartered index fund provider found that around 95% of BTC trading volume, as reported on CoinMarketCap, was attributed to wash trading.

Wash trading is an illegal market manipulation tactic in which multiple traders place several buy and sell orders simultaneously on the same asset, in order to artificially inflate trading volumes. This gives the impression that the asset being traded has a lot more demand than it actually does.


OKEx’s management claims that BTI’s report is “fake and misleading.”

In statements shared with Crowdfund Insider, the exchange noted:

“OKEx is not involved in and does not tolerate any wash trading activities on our [trading] platform.”

OKEx alleged that BTI’s analysis lacks the comprehensiveness required to deliver accurate results. As explained by the exchange:

“Due to the complexity of derivatives instruments trading, thousands of trades could be placed per day by a single user via collocated machines. Attempting to use retail-oriented parameters such as website/mobile traffic in any research is de-facto an apples-to-oranges comparison.”

OKEx also noted that it is committed to surveillance.

“We have adopted different measures to prevent and stop any attempts of wash trading. We have a trading surveillance team working 24/7 to monitor the trades on OKEx. We also partner with AML companies and consistently upgrade our KYC system to ensure that our market is healthy.”

OKEx has also joined the Data Accountability & Transparency Alliance (DATA), which is led by crypto data site CoinMarketCap, in an effort to maintain transparency.

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