Articles related to bitcoin algorithmic trading as well as other cryptocurrencies

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Independent initiatives that analyze crypto exchanges liquidity and quality

Volume is flawed metric of crypto exchanges liquidity. Because of wash trading practices of many crypto exchanges as well as token issuers, using trading volume as a basis of comparison is misleading.

There are more and more independent initiatives that are taking a closer look at what constitutes a high quality crypto exchange. Three major ones are Blockchain Transparency Institute, CryptoCompare Benchmark and Cointelligence Report. I also take a quick look at the Bitwise report for SEC from March 2019.

 

Read more about our tool for measuring crypto exchange quality – Liquidity Analytics Dashboard

 

Blockchain Transparency Institute

BTI concentrates on analyzing crypto exchanges data feeds to spot wash trading mechanisms and provide the real volume metric which is cleaned out of suspicious activities.

BTI identified 17 of the CoinMarketCap Top 25 crypto exchanges to be over 99% wash traded. This one number alone shows the magnitude of the problem, as well as how volume is a false measure.

According to BTI Report crypto exchanges which are faking their volumes use a variety of different tactics to try and swindle investors. These tactics include buying twitter followers and likes, filling up fake order books, mirror wash trading the largest exchanges with real volume, and trying to disguise their wash trading using various bot settings to not affect price. On many of these exchanges trading high volumes closing the spread would make the volume plummet as the bots had no room to wash trade with themselves. Welcome to the wild wild west of no regulation and surveillance.

BTI finds that “all crypto exchanges combined are currently reporting around $50 Billion in daily volume on CMC. After removing all the wash traded volume via our algorithms the accurate number is around $4-5 Billion. About 88-92% of daily trading volume is fabricated depending on the day. Bitcoin’s daily trading volume is about 92% fabricated, which is in line with the space as a whole when comparing our findings to top data sites reporting wash traded volumes.” 

And further “On our list of the top 40 largest exchanges with actual volume, Bitcoin’s volume is about 65% fabricated. Almost all of this fabricated volume comes from OKEx, Bibox, HitBTC, and Huobi. Of the top 25 tokens by market cap, Tron and Ethereum Classic are the highest wash traded tokens on our list at 85% fake volume each and coming in at #24 and #25 of the most wash traded tokens.”

Top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges according to real (not wash traded) volume by BTI

  1. Binance 
  2. Kucoin
  3. Liquid
  4. Huobi
  5. Coinbase
  6. OKEx
  7. Bitfinex
  8. Upbit
  9. Kraken
  10. Bitstamp

CryptoCompare

CryptoCompare’s Exchange Ranking methodology utilises a combination of 34 qualitative and quantitative metrics to assign a grade to over 100 active crypto exchanges. Metrics were categorised into several buckets ensuring that no one metric overly influences the overall exchange ranking. Each crypto exchange grade is derived from a broad due diligence check using qualitative data, followed by a market quality analysis that uses a combination of order book and transactional data.

Due diligence check comprises of 6 main categories that attempt to qualitatively rate each exchange on the basis of:

  • Geography
  • Legal and regulatory metrics
  • Calibre of investment
  • Team and company quality
  • Quality of data provision
  • Trade surveillance

Although at Empirica we believe in numbers, I like the qualitative approach, as it’s also possible to prove a correlation of metric like number of employees and business size of the exchange, therefore proving this way it’s quality. 

Another important factor is Market Quality. Crypto compare measures the market quality of each exchange using a combination of 5 metrics (derived from trade and order book data) that aim to measure the:

  • Cost to trade, 
  • Liquidity, 
  • Market stability, 
  • Behaviour towards sentiment
  • “Natural” trading behaviour

Exchanges were rated based on a combination of 9 of the most liquid BTC and ETH markets.

It’s worth taking a closer look how CryptoCompare report approaches Spread and Liquidity metrics:

“Generally, those exchanges which offer incentives to provide liquidity through either low or negative maker fees will achieve the tightest spreads. Due to the spread being calculated using the best bid and offer, it is misleading to use it as a sole gauge of liquidity and therefore as the market cost to trade; it must be used in conjunction with a depth

measurement to find the likely transaction price for any given size of transaction.”

 

Good point. And liquidity:

“Market depth is the total volume of orders in the order book. It provides an idea of how much it is possible to trade on crypto exchange, and how much the price is likely to move if large amounts are traded. An exchange with greater average depth is likely to be more stable (i.e flash crashes are much less likely) and allows trading of greater amounts at better prices.

We consider the depth up to 1% either side of the mid price. 

Depth = E(depthUp+depthDown)/2

Where depthUp is the total volume that would be required to move the price by 1% upwards from the mid price, and

depthDown is the total volume that would be required to move the price by 1% downwards from the mid price.”

 

Top 10 crypto exchanges according CryptoCompare quality benchmark:

  1. Coinbase 
  2. Poloniex 
  3. Bitstamp 
  4. bitFlyer 
  5. Liquid
  6.  itBit 
  7. Kraken 
  8. Binance 
  9. Gemini 
  10. Bithumb 

 

Cointelligence Rating System

Cointelligence is the most qualitative rating of crypto exchanges from the above. The methodology of the team was to manaully open accounts on all analyzed crypto exchanges and check from the user perspective the core aspects of beeing an exchange customer. The aspects cover:

Usability – covers KYC process, the quality of exchange website, extent of features and how easy it is to get a human answer from support staff. 

Performance – functionalities and historical robustness of exchange matching engine, fees height, trading instruments like futures contracts and margin trading.

Team – analysis of the available information about management team behind the crypto exchange, especially business and technical experience of C-level staff, including person responsible for exchange’s security

Risk – information on past hacks, insurance status, account security layers but also regulatory status of cryptocurrency exchange. Based on the geographical location of the exchange headquarters and registration any potential run-ins with the local law or any sign of authorities involvement.

 

This way Contelligence analyzed 85 crypto exchanges, but only 15 is rated with good quality mark, lead by Liquid and Gemini. 

Top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges by Cointelligence by qualitative criteria 

  1. Liquid (Quoine)
  2. Gemini
  3. Binance
  4. Bitstamp
  5. Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange
  6. OKEx
  7. Bittrex
  8. itBit
  9. Kraken
  10. ABCC

Bitwise report for SEC

Bitwise analysis is based on detecting wash trading patterns in public marked data published by crypto exchanges. Out of 81 exchanges they have analyzed in March 2019 only 10 were identified as be free of wash trading practices. These exchanges are:

  1. Binance
  2. Bitfinex
  3. Kraken
  4. Bitstamp
  5. Coinbase
  6. bitFlyer
  7. Gemini
  8. itBit
  9. Bitrex
  10. Poloniex

Bitwise identified that only 4,5% (about $275M daily) of officially reported volume (eg by the public sources like coinmarketcap) is the actual volume. The rest is wash traded.

The Bitcoin market is more orderly and efficient than is commonly understood. The 10 exchanges trade as a uniform, highly connected market. They form a singular price. Average deviations from the aggregate price for the ten exchanges is well within the expected arbitrage band when you account for exchange-level fees (~30 basis points), volatility and hedging costs. Arbitrage is operating well. Sustained deviations (defined as deviations >1% that last more than 100 seconds) appear as single white lines on the graph below. The graph demonstrates that the ten exchanges trade at a single unified price.

So although the message about the amount of wash traded volume is alarming, the report shows that the real crypto market is quite concentrated, ordered, efficient and well performing. The rest is just noise.

 

 

Read more about our tool for measuring crypto exchange quality – Liquidity Analytics Dashboard

 

 

Bitcoin

What’s BITCOIN?

Bitcoin is known as virtual money, but a much better term is cryptocurrency. Unlike actual cash, there are not any coins or paper money formally produced. No government entity determines how much and when to discharge it in the world. Bitcoins are made digitally by individuals as they solve complicated math problems with their own computers. In most senses, it’s truly decentralized.

Among the intriguing things about the virtual money is that all trades are saved and printed publicly. The money is traded by means of a huge peer-to-peer network which encompasses the whole globe. When there are not a great deal of rules concerning Bitcoin, you will find a few, and this also assists with creating bitcoins a real currency that functions just like “normal money”

 

BITCOIN EXCLUSIVES

Next, we are going to have a look at a few of the ways which Bitcoin is different than conventional currencies. It is these differences which make Bitcoin this kind of potent potential. Nobody individual, government or corporation controls the Bitcoin network. This is not the sole difference, but so let us peek at some things which are exclusive to Bitcoin.

Bitcoin vs. Traditional currencies

  1. Bitcoin is decentralized

As it functions as a peer-to-peer system, all trades and confirmation of trades are done by several folks in the network.

  1. Bitcoin is virtual currency

Another thing which sets Bitcoin aside from conventional money is the fact that it is virtual. Rather, all bitcoins exist within virtual space. As a consequence, that you can not visit an ATM and withdraw bodily cash. Conventional currency which may be published when governments choose to publish more. To distribute the production of bitcoins being introduced into the planet, the amount that are made by “mining” will half each four decades. It follows individuals will continue to have the ability to make them before the year 2140. At that moment, no fresh bitcoins will be generated and the present design will enjoy the advantages of lack – i.e. getting more precious.

So as to save the block string of trades in consecutive Purchase, Bitcoin trades aren’t reversible. Furthermore, a Bitcoin trade can take ten minutes or longer to confirm. That is different compared to other currencies that normally procedure trades in seconds and allow for turning a fee to a credit or debit card.

  1. Bitcoin isn’t ubiquitous

In many areas, you’re going to have the ability to exchange your countries money for invoices of the country you are visiting. And regardless of where you go on the planet, you are likely to have the ability to exchange your money for services and goods. Bitcoin has not yet been adopted by the entire world at large. This will change in years to come as more companies start to take Bitcoin for repayment, but for now it is a gap that matters to lots of individuals.

 

Good and Poor of Bitcoin

As it is decentralized and normally has reduced prices for trades, a lot of men and women have started to take note and become enthused about this and other cryptocurrencies.

Another thing to notice is that a few People today worry about that controls the Bitcoin network. The fact is that because it utilizes peer reviewed technology, no 1 individual or business can have the Bitcoin network. This might seem frightening to some while it is exciting and revolutionary to others.

The demand for all variants of Bitcoin applications to be harmonious and be able success, most people that are involved realize that this and also have worked together to enhance the Bitcoin applications and community substantially in just a couple of short decades.

And that just might be what is equipped to assist Bitcoin grow much faster across the world. This may prove to be the fiscal system which brings the world together.

How Can BITCOIN WORK?

The basics you should know

Let us start by taking a look at the different items you want to get a cryptocurrency working. We are going to begin with the fundamentals and then move to more details about what you will have to begin.

The transaction – the very first thing that you want to think about using a digital currency is the trade – that the true exchange of value from 1 individual to another. Though this might seem easy, in several ways it can be simple to devise a trade to attempt and cheat the machine. With physical money, transactions are regulated by banking associations that affirm they are not forged and therefore are unique.

A serial number – to prevent people seeking to forge trades or reuse them with virtual money, you require a means to connect a special serial number to every individual and each trade too. Bitcoin does so by utilizing a personal and public encrypted secret. These hashes are utilized to create certain transactions are not replicated in the system and there is no way to cheat the system. When Bitcoin was set up, it had been understood that banks might be taken from the image entirely if a peer reviewed network was produced to confirm the transactions between two things. This decentralization of fiscal transactions is among the largest reasons so many clever men and women are becoming excited about Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Mining – The following bit is necessary to create Bitcoin work. When it’s too simple for trades to be confirmed, folks may program robots to flood the system with verifications, which makes it tricky to really check the transaction. To fight this, the notion is to make it computationally tough to check the transaction. This assists battle against the bad guys while at precisely the exact same time offering a means to reward individuals who provide up computing ability to check the transaction. The computational mystery needs to be tough enough to make it impossible to hack on simple enough to still enable individuals to resolve in a reasonable period of time.

Create a private and public key that’s unique for you. This can be used to move bitcoins for you also as enable you to move bitcoins to other folks in the network.

Speech if you would like to get BTC from somebody else on the community. At precisely the exact same time, you may use a different Bitcoin address created so as to cover services or goods.

The following step is a trade being created when the real swapping of BTC happens between a seller and buyer. This can be added to the block series where others are going to check the trade (by solving the mathematics problem) and publish particulars of this trade publicly.

 

The Way to OBTAIN BITCOIN

Recognizing how Bitcoin functions may be intriguing to some, but there are actually a couple of ways that you can lawfully get bitcoins – regardless of where you reside on the planet. Provided that you have an online connection as well as the Bitcoin software installed, then you are likely to have the ability to start using this digital money. The best news is that it is really rather simple to start to develop your Bitcoin wallet should you’ve got a little spare time.

First, It Ought to Be noted that it is really tough to buy bitcoins It is quite simple to issue a chargeback on charge card. If a person purchases BTC using a charge card then reverses the fee, it is really hard to prove to the credit card companies the trade actually occurred.

It is important to keep in mind that the worth of a single BTC is quite volatile at this time, which means you probably don’t need to spend everything you’ve got in this digital money. At precisely the exact same time, the prevalence of Bitcoin is increasing across the world and a number of people happen to be getting wealthy by building up big heaps of bitcoins virtually through method and means we will explain below.

Regardless of which kind of computer you are running, there is likely to become an installer app to get you up and running in almost no time in any way. Many men and women find it takes about 5 to 10 minutes to acquire a Bitcoin customer installed and attached to the community.

Make certain that you take your time to discover a client you are familiar with using. Most are extremely similar, but a few have a few additional bells and whistles which may make it much easier for you to begin.

Even though you might have the ability to discover a service which delivers a high degree of safety, it is not exactly the exact same level you would have if you set up the applications in your computer in which you have full control. Coinbase is among the very popular online Bitcoin wallets today.

Whichever you decide on, once it is set up the next step is simple. You will Create a private and public key. This is the Bitcoin speech which will enable folks to send BTC to your accounts. As soon as you’ve got your own Bitcoin wallet installation, you have a couple of distinct choices about the best way best to accrue BTC on your wallet.

Bitcoin Exchanges

Bitcoin exchanges were not about when Bitcoin first came out, but they are now an essential component of the way the entire Bitcoin ecosystem functions. There are exchanges which have Bitcoin among other digital currencies on the internet in addition to marketplaces that deal exclusively by BTC trades.

It is intriguing to note that some of those marketplaces will maintain a balance For you – out of your Bitcoin wallet – to be able to make it simpler to conduct transactions. Deciding on the ideal Bitcoin exchange is important when you would like to remain safe rather than risk losing your BTC equilibrium because of a scam or technical issues.

Security — the most essential aspect that you wish to consider is safety. In case a Bitcoin exchange is fresh to the world wide web and is lacking contact info, this is a great indication that they probably don’t care a lot about the safety of your private info. Fortunately, if you spend any quantity of time around the numerous Bitcoin forums and communities on the internet, you will see which exchanges suffer from issues and then exchanges are advised. As an instance, some Bitcoin exchanges may not let you withdraw money into a US bank accounts. It is a fantastic idea to ensure whatever market you are considering using has a means that you convert your BTC to the regional money safely and easily. In 2013, a few people started complaining about the amount of time that it required MtGox to move funds into the US, therefore it is a fantastic idea to once more hit on the forums and attempt to gauge public opinion about any trade you are considering using. Then let us have a glance at a few of the main Bitcoin Exchanges currently working. New ones are emerging all of the time, but it is usually a safer bet operating together with a single which has been in existence for some time and has managed to accumulate a history of being reliable and fair.

CoinBase — This is among the hottest Bitcoin exchanges right now. They give the capability to move money to US bank account. That being said, if you reside elsewhere in the world, you might not be pleased about being unable to move funds to the regional bank accounts.

MtGox — At once, MtGox was accountable for the vast majority of all Bitcoin trades on the Planet. This has changed lately as they have run into some legal issues in various nations around the world, but they are still an extremely popular Bitcoin exchange which a lot of men and women utilize on a daily basis.

BTC-E — This site is located in an unknown town in Bulgaria, and that means you may be careful about maintaining any BTC here. The costs per BTC are usually a whole lot lower, but that is only because it requires a ridiculous quantity of time to validate that a trade. Nonetheless, it’s a choice you may look at based on where you live now.

Bitstamp — This market is comparable to CoinBase at a great deal of ways. The most important distinction is they do regularly work with individuals in countries aside from the USA, which makes it effortless to move BTC to overseas currencies. If you’re searching for a really international Bitcoin exchange, this is a great place to get started. We mean you could exchange different cryptocurrencies too. If your digital money investments go beyond Bitcoin, then you will want to check out Cryptsy.

BTer — With slow trade speeds and limitations on how big trades, this is not really recommended, however we believed they deserved a place on the list only because they do serve the demands of some men and women who utilize Bitcoin.

BTC-China — Some of the quickest growing Bitcoin exchanges — based on Wired magazine — is BTC-China, that has ramped up their attempts lately. By some reports, they have overtaken MtGox since the location where many Bitcoin trades occur on daily basis.

Bitcoin and Arbitrage: hand in hand