Cryptocurrency exchanges forge data on trading volume. A group of researchers studied the practices used by unscrupulous trading platforms.

Trading company Alameda Research, founded by graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), published a report that lists most popular methods of falsifying data on trading volume and history. Thus, the researchers of Alameda found out that BKEX, a cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2018 and registered in the British Virgin Islands, simply copies the data on trading history from Binance with a lag of few seconds, disguising it as its own. According to CoinMarketCap, the daily volume of BKEX is $1.1 billion, making it the 20th largest crypto trading platform in the world.

Cryptocurrency exchanges often use another method of falsifying statistics. They "mix" false data on large transactions with reliable information about a pile of small transactions. Thus, Hong Kong-based CoinEgg with a daily trading volume of $1.1 billion recently used this tactic for trades with Litecoin (LTC). The same method was applied by Singapore-based Digifinex, where Alameda observed bids and asks for bitcoin between $8,296 and $8,298, but several trades printed at $8,290 and $8,293, prices lower than what anyone was willing to sell at.

In total, the Alameda report provides examples of suspicious trading patterns on 60 different cryptocurrency venues.

According to Alameda, 87% of trading volume, involving cryptocurrencies and its derivatives, occurs on Asian exchanges and only 9% comes from sites in the United States, that is due to a more stringent regulatory environment. Alameda estimates that the real trading volume stands at $38 billion per day.