Finance

Abnormal Trading Volumes on FTX

Suspicious trading volume spikes with low volatility hint at potential wash trading activity on FTX exchange.

Our investigation team constantly monitors abnormal activity happening on multiple market venues. The bar chart below highlights the anomalous bitcoin volumes traded on FTX in periods of low volatility. Of note are the readily identifiable peaks of 1 min trading volume that don’t significantly affect the price itself (the difference between open and close price).

Volume distribution by 1 min price change, FTX, BTC-USD, Mar'20. Source: NTerminal

Volume distribution by 1 min price change, FTX, BTC-USD, Mar'20. Source: NTerminal

Abnormal bitcoin volumes on FTX greatly exceeded the distribution during even minute price shifts in March 2020. Such volume spikes which are not correlated with price movement often indicate an unknown entity recursively buying and selling the asset.

For comparison, here is the distribution of BTC-USDT volumes on Binance in the same time period (March 2020).

Volume distribution by 1 min price change, Binance, BTC-USD, Mar'20. Source: NTerminal

Volume distribution by 1 min price change, Binance, BTC-USD, Mar'20. Source: NTerminal

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