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Analysis & Opinion

Trading patterns on Binance show signs of wash trading

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Binance has had a clean bill of health regarding malicious trading activities. However, yesterday could have been a bad day after trading activities on two tokens HyperCash (HC), and Celer network token (CELR) exhibited signs of wash trading.

“When you wash a trading book – what is commonly known as ‘wash trading’ – you are fabricating trades. It looks like a legitimate trade, but in reality, you are both the buyer and the seller… It doesn’t affect anything but the volume,” notes Gavin Brown, Senior Lecturer, Financial Economics, Manchester Metropolitan University.

HyperCash recorded a huge volume but the price of buying and selling was relatively the same.

From the chart above, the HC/BTC pair recorded some interesting patterns; the buyers alternated with the sellers and the interval is also suspicious. Notably, the price wasn’t affected but the volume increased. Compared to previous volumes, yesterday’s volume jumped to 0.0704 BTC which is sandwiched between a volume of 0.0010 BTC and 0.0010. With such a vast difference in past and after volumes, this has a characteristic of wash trading.

Apart from the HC token, the CELR token also recorded a similar trading pattern. CELR’s case becomes even more fascinating. The token was issued on Binance LaunchedPad last month. LaunchPad was developed by Binance for issuing Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs). Therefore, CELR may be artificially inflating the trading volume to point investors its way.

A closer look at the candle sticks shows that they do not have tails or wicks whether upper or lower to confirm the price change. This indicates that the opening and closing prices are the same and it’s for some time.

The CELR/BTC pair is seen to trade at a constant price. For Brown, “The more liquidity and exchange appears to have, the more appealing it becomes to investors, this is a simple buying psychology.

Jason Lee is a writer for various crypto publications and manages a small team on Medium. His love of technology and inquisitive nature set him up with crypto back in early 2016 and he hasn’t looked back since. In his spare time, Jason enjoys rock climbing and wakeboarding.

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