According to the study, most of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges wind up trading volumes with the help of inflated trading. Only two exchanges - Binance and Bitfinex - reflect the real trading volume.

Shill bidding

Analysts at Blockchain Transparency Institute published a report, according to which 80% of the CoinMarketCap top 25 BTC pairs volume is wash traded.  At some cruptocurrency exchanges, the true trading volume is less than 1% of their reported volume on CoinMarketCap.

Shill bidding was also found on such popular cryptocurrency exchanges as OKEx, Huobi, HitBTC and Bithumb. So, at OKEx, analysts revealed about 30 trade pairs involved in wash trading.

Most often, the inflated volume is achieved by simultaneously placing and executing orders. Analysts discovered 4 different bot strategies which are used to inflate exchange volume numbers. Some of these bots appear to be set to different trading pairs depending on the time of day.  Settings are changed based on current volume trends or hype around a given token for that time period.

Listing is getting cheaper

According to the report, the average project spent over $50,000 this year in listing fees. Exchange commissions ranged from 2 BTC to 75 BTC.

Researchers believe that trading platforms may deliberately wind up indicators, since the listing fees for the year range from $500,000 to $1 million.

"This is a 500K a year scheme, with some exchanges making over one million dollars this year just from collecting these fees."