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Bitwise’s report to SEC suggests unregulated crypto exchanges fake 95% of Bitcoin [BTC] trading volume

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Bitwise's report to SEC suggests unregulated crypto exchanges fake 95% of Bitcoin [BTC] trading volume
Source: Pixabay

Bitwise Asset management is in the news after it informed the United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] that 95 percent of Bitcoin [BTC] trading volume reported by unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges were fake or non-economic in nature.

The report dated 20 March was submitted to the SEC in line with a rule change as part of their application to launch a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund [ETF]. Bitwise’s proposal is yet to receive any response from the SEC.

Data for 81 exchanges recording a trading volume of more than $1 million per day were included in the study. Using exchange data from CoinMarketCap, Bitwise argued,

“Despite its widespread use, the CoinMarketCap.com data is wrong. It includes a large amount of fake and/or non-economic trading volume, thereby giving a fundamentally mistaken impression of the true size and nature of the bitcoin market.”

According to the analysis, the per day Bitcoin trading volume accounted for about $6 billion, in terms of spot markets. However, this figure is misleading, the report said. It adds,

“The vast majority of this reported volume is fake and/or non-economic wash trading.”

This “vast majority” accounts for approximately 95% of the total volume. Bitcoin’s actual market, if the wash trading is not accounted for, is lot smaller, orderly and more regulated than is actually reported.

Bitwise juxtaposed the workings of Coinbase Pro, which they deemed a “real exchange,” and CoinBene, the exchange with the highest BTC volume and deemed a “suspicious exchange.” The former reported $27 million in BTC volume on a per day basis, when compared to the $480 million daily BTC volume recorded on CoinBene.

The report compared the two exchanges’ trade printing on their respective website, web traffic and real-world footprint, suggesting that there was a lack of clarity with exchanges like CoinBene, compared to regulated ones like Coinbase Pro.

“It is surprising that an exchange claiming 18x more volume than Coinbase Pro would have a spread that is 3400x larger.”

On analyzing the hourly candlesticks of “suspicious exchanges,” Bitwise noted that the arrangement and sizes were fairly consistent and hence, did not depict real-time activity. The report cited the example of CHAOEX, which poses an average daily volume of $70 million and indicates a monotonic chart i.e. showing identical volume valuations every hour of the day.

“This volume pattern is insensitive to price movements, news, waking hours, weekends, or other real world factors.”

Despite the false trading volumes, the Bitcoin market “was uniquely resistant to market manipulation,” the report said.  It argued that the market was structured in such a way that outlier coins and unregulated exchanges cannot exert unnecessary control on the collective coin market.

“We have demonstrated that the bitcoin market is an extremely well-arbitraged market, with a proven ability to ignore outlier prices, and that both the fundamental market structure and our specific NAV calculation methodology provide unique protections against potential efforts to manipulate that market.”

Coincidentally, the Bitwise report comes in the same week as a report from The Tie, which stated that some exchanges faked trading volume to attract users to their platform. The main culprits here were BitMAX, LBank, BW, and ZBG. According to the findings, the expected volume of these exchanges was less than 1 percent of their reported volumes.

Several cryptocurrency proponents praised Bitwise’s report and its findings. Anthony Pompliano, the Co-founder and Managing Partner at Morgan Creek Digital stated,



“This report is really important. Please read it.
I couldn’t be more proud to be an investor in @HHorsley @Matt_Hougan @teddyfuse @martha_shear and @BitwiseInvest today”

Jeremy Allaire, the Co-founder and CEO of Circle stated that a report like this was an important precursor for the crypto-market to go mainstream,

“Great work from @BitwiseInvest helping the market understand what’s real and what’s fake. If we want crypto capital markets to go mainstream we need data investors can believe in.”

Tushar Jain, the Managing Partner at MultiCoinCap suggested action against CoinMarketCap,

“This excellent research from Bitwise shows how @CoinMarketCap is completely (and perhaps deliberately) misleading users on exchange volumes. This atrocious behavior from CoinMarketCap deserves some attention from law enforcement.”





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Bitcoin’s [BTC] biggest threat is its users, not governments, says Bitcoin.org’s Cobra

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Bitcoin’s [BTC] biggest threat is its users, not governments, says Bitcoin.org’s Cobra
Source: Pixabay

Bitcoin [BTC], the world’s largest cryptocurrency, saw a significant surge earlier this month, helping the coin break strong resistance at $5,000 and $5,200. Following the great fall of the king coin in early 2018, the Bitcoin ecosystem was struggling with scalability and technological issues, eventually leading to the hard fork.

Bitcoin.org’s Cobra, who is also the co-owner of Bitcointalk.org, has always maintained that Bitcoin was the cryptocurrency to look out for through his various Twitter bouts with prominent personalities in the cryptoverse. Due to his strong, unbridled support for Bitcoin, he has often trashed altcoins for their low market dominance.

In a new Twitter thread, Cobra spoke about the “biggest threat” to the Bitcoin ecosystem. Even though many crypto-enthusiasts believe that governments and technological issues were the biggest threats to the king coin, Cobra had a completely different opinion.

According to the Bitcoin maximalist, users have the potential to signal Bitcoin’s doom. His tweet read,

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

Though most Bitcoin supporters usually support his opinions, this tweet was met with a lot of resistance. Twitterati swarmed the thread in an attempt to prove him wrong. A user named @MrHodl alleged that this could not be true as Bitcoin had “no community.” He added that this, in turn, prevented toxicity in the ecosystem.

Cobra replied to the tweet stating,



“I think there is a community, it’s just not fully representative of everyone with a stake in Bitcoin. Most holders are quiet and not too familiar with what’s going on. There’s people with 1000+ BTC and they don’t engage at all with discussion platforms, just lurk.”

Some Twitter users took it as an attack on Bitcoin investors and opposed Cobra’s stance. A user @CarstenBKK commented,

“Maybe I am lost in translation. What do you wanna tell us? That you are part of Bitcoin network of people owning/using it, but you are just disgusted by the idea, that the network is called community in the sense of direct human collaboration and affection to the groups ideals?”

Previously, Cobra had accused Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Square Crypto of pandering to Bitcoin users, while also suggesting that the crypto project was merely a way to bring in more users for Dorsey’s CashApp. His tweet read,

“Gotta respect how hard @sqcrypto is pandering to Bitcoiners. Very clever how @Jack has embedded himself in the community; in return the community promotes @CashApp, which gives that service a small but dedicated and activist group of early users.”





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