Huobi, OKEx and Upbit Join Top 10 in Messari’s ‘Real Volume’ Revamp

Crypto data and research platform Messari has added 10 new exchanges to its “real volume” metric as part of a revamp of the methodology.

The ranking is an attempt to rank exchanges without including any wash trading — which came about following the landmark Bitwise report that suggested 95% of volume was fake. The report identified ten exchanges with legitimate volume: Binance, Bitfinex, Bitflyer, Bitstamp, Bittrex, Coinbase Pro, Gemini, itBit, Kraken, and Poloniex.

This week’s methodology change has propelled Huobi, OKEx, Liquid, Bithumb and UPBit into the top 10 by volume. Binance continues to sit on top — which may lend additional credibility to CoinMarketCap’s recent controversial decision to rank exchanges by web traffic, which also placed Binance at No.1.

Messari CEO Ryan Selkis said the revamp was due to the fact that the real volume metric omitted some big players “with *some* overstated volume, but *enormous* legitimate trading volume at the same time. Giants like Bithumb, UpBit, and CoinOne in Korea, Liquid in Japan, and most importantly, Huobi, OKEx/OKCoin, and Gate.io in China.”

A new approach

The new approach scores exchanges’ trading volume legitimacy using 10 third-party statistics:

Exchange rankings, ratings, and liquidity estimates from CoinGecko, CoinMarketCap, CryptoCompare, CryptoWatch (Kraken), Nomics, and FTX’s volume monitor, plus onchain transaction data from Chainalysis and other on-chain data providers, and anecdotal data from top traders.”

The added Korean and Chinese exchanges received “a 50% haircut … to better approximate their true volumes.” This is believed to be better than web traffic analysis of these exchanges which resulted in ‘real volumes’ being reduced by 90% from reported trading volumes.

However it’s clearly still a bit of an approximation.

‘Accurate, if less precise’

Selkis admits the change may be “less precise than alternatives”, although “it is more accurate”, and the methodology will be regularly reviewed:

“Importantly, we will review our methodology quarterly in order to add or remove constituent exchanges, and tweak volume adjustment parameters.”

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