Posted on September 28, 2019 at 3:48 AM
Cybercriminals took it too far in their latest venture, performing a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack to the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI.) The offense came right after the entity posted a publication detailing the crypto exchanges most frequently linked with wash trading.
Since May and now in its September 2019 report, the Institute has been researching and exposing cryptocurrency exchanges that serve as facilitators of wash trading. In this month’s review, the BTI pointed out that since making their findings public, the frequency and sheer volume of wash trading have decreased by 35 percent among the 40 most prominent exchanges.
Some of the Most Influential Exchanges
Among the most influential crypto exchanges; Kraken, Coinbase, and Poloniex are “green” according to the report, which means that they have hosted virtually no wash trade activity. However, other household names such as OKEx, Bibox, and Bithumb are said to have used wash trading to achieve an artificially high trade volume.
A different report performed by Bitwise and sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showed that Bitcoin’s trading volume per day was around $272 million, which means that an astonishing 95 percent of the reported activity comes “inflated” with artificial means, such as wash trading.
The problem is that wash trading is, by definition of law, not illegal per se. However, it is frowned upon and is considered a manipulation of the market conditions. It consists of an investor buying and selling the same amounts on purpose to create an artificial activity that the exchange later reports as trading volume.
Huobi was identified as one of the worst offenders of wash trading in the BTI latest report. As a reply, the exchange said that it did acknowledge some suspicions that some actors in the market have been engaging in wash trading for marketing reasons. Huobi said it has gotten in touch with those market makers and they have stopped the approach.
One specific exchange, however, and per the BTI, decided to deny any accusation of hosting wash trading. Such a platform is OKEx, and its chief executive officer made a bet to BTI over microblogging platform Twitter.
An Interesting Bet
The executive challenged the Institute to a 100 BTC bet, in which he said that he could prove that over 10 percent of OKEx’s trading volume was real. The issue came up because the Blockchain Transparency Institute claimed that 90 percent of OKEx’s volume was artificially inflated.
Jay Hao, the CEO of the exchange, said that if the BTI didn’t accept the challenge, the least he could expect was an apology for the accusation.
The BTI then clarified in a different Twitter post that since OKEx responded to the allegations, its website was suffering a DDoS attack. As of the moment of writing this piece of news, the page in question was still unavailable, a clear sign that the attack was still taking place.
Specialized crypto news site Cointelegraph recently reported that OKEx said the wash trading allegations recently reported were based on questionable methods for collecting data. The exchange referred to the accusations as misleading and inaccurate.
Delisting All Privacy Coins
It is important to point out that in recent days, OKEx Korea delisted all the privacy coins that were being offered, with the intention of complying with FATF (Financial Action Task Force) regulations.
On September 24, Hao continued to bring the subject to Twitter’s attention, which is not surprising given that his company was a hot conversation topic since being included in the BTI report as one of the worst offenders when it comes to wash trading.
Hao tweeted at the time that the Blockchain Transparency Institute updated its website to show that OKEx’s wash trading volume was reduced from 90 percent to 73.22 percent, explaining that he was still waiting for the apology he referred to in earlier tweets.