This is our monthly digest of the most curious things that happened in the digital asset space.

Anomalies in OKEx trading time distributions

While many exchanges have recently started to delist privacy coins, OKEx’s Monero (XMR) and ZCash (ZEC) markets remain active with abnormal trading patterns. XMR’s time of trade distribution on OKEx noticeably falls out of the common flow of activity observed on Binance and Huobi.

Percent of executed XMR spot trades by seconds on OKEx, Binance, Huobi, 2020. Source: NTerminal

Both XMR and ZEC second-of-trade graphs show abnormal distributions which indicate that the most active trading happens every 5 seconds. …

  • Predictable trading patterns on Kraken
  • Signs of fraudulent market activity reporting on Poloniex
  • BCH trading volumes on Binance US do not conform to expected distribution patterns
  • Abnormal trade patterns on HitBTC
  • Suspicious rounded trades on Huobi

Predictable trading patterns on Kraken

Kraken’s BTC-USD perpetual swap trading has noticeable automated activity. Both minute- and second- time of trade distributions show trade count spikes in predictable intervals.

Number of executed trades by seconds and minutes. Futures market on Kraken, BTC/USD, Dec’19-Dec’20. Source: N​Terminal​

Signs of fraudulent market activity reporting on Poloniex

Trades on the DASH/USDT spot market have signs of falsified numbers. Overuse of 3s as the first digit has been observed on Poloniex. …

Table of Content

  • Anomalous trades on FTX
  • LINK Trading Volumes Deviations on Huobi
  • Crypto in the FinCEN Leak
  • October Spike in Crypto Scam Activity — Finland

Anomalous trades on FTX

FTX demonstrates a noticeable leading digit spike, possibly indicating non-standard trading activity on the exchange. Recent order distribution sizes for COMP (Compound) deviate from other markets and contradict Benford’s law.

Frequency distribution of leading digits. Spot market COMP token order size Nov 8–10, 2020 (~500,000 events used)

Application of Benford’s Law to Fraud Detection

The ACFE published an article on how to discern naturally occurring statistical deviations from fraud using Nigrini’s tests. Evidence based on Benford’s law has been used in federal and state criminal and regulatory cases.

LINK Trading Volumes Deviations on Huobi

Typically, frequency distributions for logged trade volumes have an near linear relationship with…

Sofia S

Market anomaly and manipulation analysis. Digital asset space investigator.

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