43 times Faked Volume?

Aug 2, 2018 · 5 min read

Author: Sanyueban@A&S Lab, Teresa@chainsights.io, Shawn@chainsights.io

Data Analysis: Chainsights.io

In this paper, we define the metric Volume Per PV (VPPV), and Volume Per UV (VPUV) to estimate the exchanges transaction volume. We find each website pageview contributes $86 transaction volume to Binance, while $3,769 to FCoin, which is 43 times as much as that of Binance.

The frequent shutdown (or runaway) of exchanges frightens investors and hinders development of the industry. The bull market could come anytime; it is therefore important to trade at a reliable exchange to maximize dividends from the developing industry.

However, “Truth” is a luxury in the crypto currency market where information asymmetry is ordinary. “Truth” always seems to come after chosen positions. The guarantees and the guaranteed, as well as perplexing quarrels between the big names, they just confuse those onlookers before computer screens. Speech is full of lies, just as in Texas Hold’em you can hardly judge whether your opponent’s claim is a bluff or not. However, the wager is tangible. In the crypto currency market, data often convey more truth than speech.

Now, we will explain the real situation of each exchange based on publicly available data.

List of mainstream exchanges

According to the daily trading volume of the day (2018.07.16), we selected the exchanges with high trading volume and popularity as the sample. The tiers are separated according to the trading volume:

First Tier: FCoin*、BitMEX、Binance、OKEx、Bithumb、CoinEx*、CoinBene*、Huobi、ZB.com

Second Tier: HitBTC、Bitfinex、Bitforex*、Upbit、Bibox*、Bit-Z、Kraken、Coinegg

Note: The * are transaction mining (trans-mining) exchanges, and Bit-Z has stopped trans-mining when the data was extracted and used in this paper.

Trans-mining has been extremely hot in recent weeks. The trading volume of FCoin, whose traffic volume is incontrovertibly the highest in the world, is far more than three times as much as that of the traditional exchange Binance and Huobi. Among the 17 exchanges mentioned above, there were 5 trans-mining exchanges with an average daily trading volume of 1.186 billion US dollars; a total of 12 non-trading mining exchanges with an average daily trading volume of 438 million US dollars. The daily trading volume of trans-mining exchanges is 171% higher than that of non trans-mining exchanges.

Exchange traffic

It is well-known that operating an exchange can be profitable. But it is not so easy as expected. There are moribund exchanges abound. I have consulted a senior about what is the key factor that determines the success of the exchange? The senior answered:

Traffic Volume.

Although the answer is short, it does hit the nail on the head. The main function of the exchange is to provide the liquidity of the crypto currency, and with the traffic volume there is liquidity. Therefore, the logic in accordance with common sense should be: in the absence of significant difference in the user base, the volume of transactions is proportional to the traffic volume.

So is the difference in user groups significant? I made an analysis based on four sources: user source (acquisition channel), product design, currency, and mechanism. There is no significant difference in user groups in the first three dimensions while the impact of the trans-mining mechanism on the user community is not clear. Under the premise that there are multiple samples for comparison in different mechanisms, the above logic can be used to check the degree of the dubiety of transaction volume.

As we all know, the two indicators for statistical traditional Internet traffic are the Unique Visitors (UV) and the Page View (PV). Then let’s take a look at the traffic of these exchanges:

From the perspective of PV, the FCoin, the #1 ranked transaction volume exchange, does not have a heavy traffic volume. The figure shows that the PV corresponding to FCoin is 1.15 million visits per day. Binance’s PV, ranked third in terms of volume, was the highest in the exchange, reaching 11.05 million visits a day, about 9 times as many as that of Fcoin. Therefore, the acquired PV shows a violation of the logic of the test of reasonability.

Let’s also have a look at the UV data:

Quantitative estimate of suspiciousness

Looking back at the logic we use to verify the authenticity of the volume: the volume of transactions is proportional to the traffic volume if there is no significant difference in the user base. From the traffic data we can see that this logic does not work in some exchanges. To further compare the suspicious degree of trading volume between exchanges, quantitative estimation is required.

So Shawn proposed two indicators to measure the traffic volume of the currency circle:

Volume Per PV (VPPV) = 24 hours trading volume / 24 hours PV”

Volume Per UV (VPUV) = 24 hours trading volume / 24 hours UV”

The chart below shows the VPPV of the pre-test exchange. It has gone far beyond my knowledge. Originally, I only wanted to study the trans-mining exchanges and the mainstream exchanges. I didn’t even think that the traffic volume of the currency circle was so expensive:

On average, every time the page is opened, it brings Binance a $86 transaction volume. And when we open the FCoin website, we create an average transaction volume of $3,769, which is 43 times as much as that of Binance. ZB.com’s numbers are even more surprising, with an average transaction volume of $11,400 per visit. It really goes against common sense.

Looking over the volume contributed by users, we can find that the top three websites are FCoin ($22,615), ZB.com ($22,324), and Coinegg ($16,337). On non trans-mining exchanges, ZB.com’s VPUV is 48 times as much as that of Binance ($466). In the trans-mining exchange, FCoin’s VPUV is 22 times as much as that of BitForex ($1,036). Why is the difference so big under the same mechanism?

From the perspective of the internet traffic volume, Binance is the least suspicious of all the non trans-mining exchanges since its VPUV is the lowest among non trans-mining exchanges. In the same way, the most credible trans-mining exchange is BitForex. On the other hand, if we have a look at the one with relatively high VPUV of the two mechanisms, it can be found that ZB.com, Coinegg, FCoin are worthy of doubt.

Of course, it is not rigorous to draw conclusions the exchange traffic fraud from only one perspective. This article is just a brick in front of the jade. Next, we will analyze the real situation of mainstream exchanges from more perspectives, so stay tuned.


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