An analyst observed an atypical daily increase in the trading volume of Bithumb. Many speculated that manipulation was involved in the matter, while others suspected it could have been due to an API error.
Alex Kruger, an Argentinian crypto trader pointed out on Sunday in a number of Twitter posts in which explained how the daily fake volume of $250 million happened for Bithumb.
The trader outlined the how the volume peaked every day at the exact same hour, 11:00 AM (KST) to be more exact.
Kruger also used statistics to further prove his theory. He noted how Bithumb gives a payback of 120% on trading fees as an airdrop. But in order for one to receive this, he needs to have a daily limit of 1 billion Korea Won (KRW). This airdrop system also rewards in the order its users applied for the reward.
“KRW 1 billion = USD 90,000. Daily. Trading fees are 0.15% taker. Wash trading conducted by entering two opposite limit orders => Total fees 0.3%. Rebate is for 120% => 0.36%. To collect the full KRW 1 billion rebates a wash trader must thus trade KRW 278 billion. That is USD 250 million in daily fake volume.”
The analyst then remarked that considering the system’s first come, first served structure, all trades usually occur at 11 AM.
In the image featured above, he highlights how at exactly 11 AM, exactly 31,000 Bitcoins were traded. This sum amount to KRW 278 billion and the rest of KRW 26 billion were exchanged for other cryptos.
He ends his analysis by stating that traders which took advantage of this could be raking in nearly $90,000 from Bithumb on a daily basis.
This type of trading manipulation does not put the Bithumb exchange in a favorable position, and it doesn’t help the rest of the industry either. This type of situation was one of the reasons SEC cited for not approving a Bitcoin ETF.