Cryptocurrency data and indices provider CryptoCompare is working to make it easier to spot good, and bad, crypto exchanges.
Announced Wednesday, the company has launched a benchmark ranking of over 100 active spot exchanges from across the globe, offering users a “comprehensive, granular and reliable source of information on the best trading venues.”
CryptoCompare’s Exchange Benchmark was launched to address the need for reliable metrics to evaluate the large number of cryptocurrency exchanges now offering services around the world.
The firm explains:
“Employing both a qualitative (due diligence) and quantitative (market quality based on order book and trade data) approach, the product does not hinge on aggregate volume data but, rather, uses correlation-of-volume-to-volatility and standard-deviation-of-volume as inputs to CryptoCompare’s 30+ metrics. This is due to existing issues with volume manipulation, wash trading and trading incentives.”
The first analysis, based on exchange data for the period May 1–31, suggests the most trusted three exchanges are Coinbase, Poloniex and Bitstamp in descending order of ranking. BitFlyer, Liquid, itBit, Kraken, Binance, Gemini and Bithumb complete the top 10, again in descending order.
Under the benchmark system, exchanges are graded from high to low – through AA, A, B, C, D, E, F – based on their total cumulative score relative to the pool of exchanges included in the rankings.
The ranking components include: geography, legal and regulatory, investment, team and company, data provision, trade surveillance and market quality. The firm’s analysis is based on public information, and its methodology has been explained in a report.
The benchmark data will be available to the public on the firms website from Thursday, a representative told CoinDesk.
CryptoCompare cites research indicating that many exchanges are wash trading and using incentivised trading schemes to inflate volumes.
The Exchange Benchmark, CryptoCompare says, indicates the problem has been getting worse, with lower quality exchanges (ranked C-F1) increasing market share by 30 percent in the last 12 months.
Charles Hayter, co-founder and CEO of CryptoCompare, said:
“In response to industry concerns over inflated volumes and the lack of reliable metrics for assessing cryptocurrency exchanges, we are excited to launch the CryptoCompare Exchange Benchmark. We look forward to bringing greater transparency to the digital asset class and improving decision-making for market participants by providing a dataset they can trust.”
Bitwise Asset Management also recently published a list of the 10 exchanges that it found are seeing real volume.
It said in a March report that around 95 percent of volume is being faked, and that the real spot market for bitcoin essentially exists on 10 exchanges conducting nearly $300 million in daily trading volume. Its list also includes Coinbase, Bitfinex, Gemini and Binance, as well as Bitfinex and Bittrex, which aren’t included in CryptoCompare’s top 10.
CryptoCompare said its Exchange Benchmark will be fed into its aggregate indices to create reference rates for the top exchanges.
Binance to Add Fiat-to-Crypto OTC Trading in a Month, Co-Founder Says
Crypto exchange Binance is planning to add over-the-counter (OTC) trading to its platform in a month to provide users with fiat currency gateways.
Binance’s co-founder and chief marketing officer He Yi said at a media session on Tuesday during the Shanghai Blockchain Week that the exchange will specifically support fiat on-ramp via OTC for Chinese yuan.
He added that the new service will be part of Binance’s plan in the coming months to dedicate more time and resources to compete in the Chinese market. Further, the exchange is also rolling out a payment service to allow users from 170 countries to buy crypto assets using fiat currencies at Binance.com.
Fiat-to-crypto OTC trading has been a critical part in terms of fiat on-ramp for crypto traders based in China as local authorities prevent the direct connection of exchanges to banks and fiat deposits as part of the ban on initial coin offerings in September 2017.
Other long-running Chinese exchanges like Huobi and OKCoin have since then moved overseas and offered crypto-to-crypto trading while recruiting OTC market makers onto their platforms to help users buy and sell cryptos using Chinese yuan.
The news about Binance’s OTC capabilities comes as the exchange, which, according to CoinMarketCap data, is the world’s largest by trading volume, quickly racks up deals that increase its links with the real economy and improve its connections to mainstream finance.
At the beginning of the month, it began to offer sandboxes for the testing of two crypto-futures trading platforms, dubbed Futures A and Futures B. Users will vote on which is the best. The following day, it said it acquired Seychelles-registered JEX, a crypto derivatives exchange.
Last week, Binance introduced a dollar-based stable coin, Binance USD, and said the coin received approval from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
The exchange is pitching its stable coins as alternatives to Libre. Also in the U.S., Binance said it would start accepting U.S. customers via its partner from Sept. 18, after banning them earlier in the year.
And just yesterday, the exchange invested into Mars Finance, a Chinese crypto data and media company, although the amount of the investment was not disclosed.
Abra to Add Cash-to-Crypto Outlets at All Philippines 7-Elevens
Investment app provider Abra is to sell cryptocurrency for cash at 6,000 outlets across the Philippines.
The expansion comes after the firm inked a deal with local payments company ECPAY to access its network that includes all 7-Eleven stores in the country.
The service lets any user of an Abra wallet purchase crypto via 7-Eleven’s CLIQQ app or kiosks. Terms include a minimum deposit requirement of 500 Philippines pesos (roughly $10) and a maximum purchase amount of 100,000 pesos (over $1,900) per day. Users will be charged a two percent transaction fee and can purchase all of Abra’s offered cryptocurrencies through their wallet.
Abra founder and CEO Bill Barhydt said:
“Now Abra users in the Philippines can quickly and easily add pesos into Abra and use that to invest in cryptocurrencies or popular stocks like Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc., which opens up a world of new possibilities to build wealth.”
The app firm said back in February that it was launching a new service that allowed customers to invest in fractions of stocks of NASDAQ-listed firms. It also supports 30 cryptocurrencies and over 50 fiat currencies.
The new partnership “widens the product and service offerings of ECPay to its Collection Partners like 7-Eleven, NCCC Department Stores and Supermarkets, LCC Malls and other Remittance, Pawnshop partners,” said Trisha D. Pascual, general manager at ECPay.
‘Panda’ Crypto Malware Group Has Nabbed $100K in Monero Since 2018
A cybersecurity firm has identified a group behind a spate of cryptocurrency-mining malware attacks that have been targeting enterprises across the globe.
Said to have already scooped up almost $100,000 (at current prices) in the monero cryptocurrency via its malicious software packages, the group has been dubbed “Panda,” by the team that identified it last summer – the Cisco Talos Intelligence Group.
Talos said in a report on Tuesday that Panda’s employs remote access tools (RATs) and crypto-mining malwareto exploit vulnerable web applications, and manages to access networks of companies internationally. Its use of RATs puts organizations at risk of the hacking group using their networks for crypto mining purposes or theft of information, according to Talos.
“This is far from the most sophisticated actor we’ve ever seen, but it still has been one of the most active attackers we’ve seen in Cisco Talos threat trap data,” the team said.
The group has proven adept at updating its tools as they are discovered, in something of an arms race with security researchers.
Talos indicates that Panda harnesses exploits previously employed by Shadow Brokers – a group notorious for publishing hacking tools stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency – and Mimikatz, open-source software that is able to steal passwords from computer memory.
Talos said it has identified “successful” and “widespread” malware campaigns associated with Panda after identifying the group in 2018. Since then Panda has upgraded its infrastructure, exploits and payloads.
The researchers said:
“We believe Panda is a legitimate threat capable of spreading cryptocurrency miners that can use up valuable computing resources and slow down networks and systems. Talos confirmed that organizations in the banking, healthcare, transportation, telecommunications, IT services industries were affected in these campaigns.”
While the group may not be the most sophisticated, alos warned that “system administrators and researchers should never underestimate the damage an actor can do with widely available tools such as Mimikatz.”
It calculated that Panda has mined around 1,215 monero (XMR) – worth $91,000 at press time – since it started operations.