Report: U.S. Cryptocurrency Exchanges Account for Over a Quarter of Global Bitcoin Trade


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Citing a report from blockchain data firm Bitwise, Bloomberg reported on March 23, 2019, that contrary to the previously held assumptions, cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S. handle as much as 29 percent of global bitcoin trade.

U.S. Exchanges Better Regulated than Previously Thought

Emerging industries typically find themselves shrouded in the clouds of ambiguity due to a lack of firm regulations in place, and the cryptocurrency industry is no exception.

The novel industry has often been criticized for not being transparent enough with regard to its trading metrics. In the same vein, some of the U.S. regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have also been, at times, lambasted for moving at a snail’s pace with the process of creating and implementing crystal clear crypto regulations.

However, a new report by Bitwise Asset Management posits that crypto exchanges in the U.S. are actually better regulated than the ones in overseas countries that are often accused of faking their trading volume. The U.S. is the world’s second largest hotbed for exchanges by trading volume after Malta and handles about 29 percent of global bitcoin trade.

Bitwise submitted the quoted report to the U.S. SEC on March 20 as a part of the process of establishing a cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Kraken and Coinbase Show Consistent Trading Patterns

In its report, Bitwise concluded that the practice of inflating trading volume is not uncommon among crypto exchanges. This is usually done by exchanges to appear higher in rankings, which, in turn, attracts more users and thus more revenue.

The company came to the aforementioned conclusion after thoroughly analyzing the statistics reported by exchanges including the trade sizes, volumes, and pricing. The authors wrote that some exchanges show “idiosyncratic and highly suspicious” trading patterns with inconsistent movements in prices and spreads.

The report lauds U.S.-based exchanges such as Kraken and Coinbase for showing “consistent and intuitive patterns.”

Inflated Trading Volume a Menace for the Industry

BTCManager reported on January 21, 2019, how two former executives from South Korean crypto exchange Komid were jailed for three and two years, respectively, for using fake accounts to artificially inflate transactions volume on the exchange.

Further, reports emerged on March 21, 2019, stating that many of the top 100 crypto exchanges have faked their transaction volumes by up to ten times the correct amount.

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