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Most Cryptocurrency Trades May Be People Buying from Themselves

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People can buy and sell cryptocurrencies on unregulated exchanges.

Newcastle University's Xi Li says some crypto exchanges have changed their approach to wash trades since the study was done, but she believes the issue largely persists.

Credit: Oatawa/Getty Images

Researchers at the U.K.'s Newcastle University have found that as many as seven in 10 cryptocurrency trades on popular exchanges worldwide may involve people purchasing from themselves to inflate prices artificially.

The researchers studied trades of the four most popular cryptocurrencies—bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple—on 29 cryptocurrency exchanges from July to November 2019.

They discovered large volumes of "wash trading," in which investors sell and buy the same asset to create artificial interest in an investment, which generally distorts prices.

The researchers said such wash trading appeared to account for more than 70% of total trading volume on unregulated exchanges.

From New Scientist
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