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
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.
After the reports came to prominence,
numerous exchanges and trading platforms decided to implement practices and
methods to combat wash trading, and some of them even updated their terms of
use to include the issue and its management.
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
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
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
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)
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.
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Cybercriminals took it too far in their