Alexa Ranking Shows GDAX Far Higher than Bitfinex, is Bitfinex Faking Trading Volumes? – Trustnodes

Alexa Ranking Shows GDAX Far Higher than Bitfinex, is Bitfinex Faking Trading Volumes?


Bitfinex is currently handling $550 million in trading volumes per day, down from the highs of $2 billion per 24 hours, but still quite a substantial amount.

Gdax, in contrast, soon to be known as Coinbase Pro, is currently handling $170 million despite being the main fiat gateway for the biggest cryptos.

How can Bitfinex have so much volume is a question that has perplexed this space for some time. That is because they are currently under a banking blockade, they experienced a pretty huge hack two years ago, they allegedly had some millions seized, CFTC has fined them, and generally it is fair to say they do not have the best of reputations.

But is this trading volume actually real? The question is being raised because there is significant discrepancy between their trading volumes and on-site activity as estimated by pageviews:

Bitfinex is estimated to have some 10x less pageviews than Gdax, which considering their background would make sense.

Huobi and Okex, which are currently showing trading volumes above $1 billion, have long been subject of intense speculation that they fake their trading volumes, but Bitfinex has escaped such scrutiny as they offered a lot more matters to speculate.

That’s until Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, shared the above image. He was rightly corrected in regards to Bitstamp as it should be .net rather than .com, but ranking is currently more than 7,000, therefore they are sort of out of the picture as far as the matter at hand is concerned. Gdax’s global ranking is shown to be around 2,000:

When you get below 100,000 in Alexa, movements in ranking can be a lot more difficult as there simply are not that many websites that handle millions of views.

Bitfinex’s ranking of 4,000, therefore, does not mean they have half of Gdax’s traffic as shown by the previous image which has them at 10x lower in pageviews.

The two former China based exchanges also have less ranking than Gdax, and both have less ranking than even Bitfinex, yet are handling some 10x more than Gdax’s volume, and more than twice Bitfinex’s trading volumes.

In contrast, Binance ranks among the top 500 websites in the world, but somehow their trading volumes are neck and neck with OKEx, and “merely” twice those of Bitfinex.

Reconciling these facts is difficult without concluding that Bitfinex, OKEx and Huobi fake their trading volumes, something which may well be illegal.

We do not, however, have concrete evidence. The above is circumstantial, but a fairly strong indicator that trading volumes on some exchanges may not at all be what they seem.



Comments (4)

  1. Api calls wouldn’t show up in Alexa rankings.

  2. You are free to deposit and withdraw fiat at Bitfinex – no issues there. Their relative decline is due to tremendous amount of FUD being spread by the likes of bitfinexed instigated by their competition, and lack of adequate response. Besides, Bitfinex remains strong via facilitating OTC trades.

    “That is because they are currently under a banking blockade” not true, you may deposit fiat to a US or Liechtenstein partner accounts.
    “they experienced a pretty huge hack two years ago” – true but they repaid their users by now a lot more than was hacked. I was one of them so I confirm this firsthand.
    “they allegedly had some millions seized” – not true, sized money was from a bank which accepted a transfer of stolen funds from Netherlands.
    “CFTC has fined them” source?
    “and generally it is fair to say they do not have the best of reputations” – yes, because of the likes such as you who repeat unbacked nonsense, allegations and generally FUD.

  3. I really appreciate this article and the detailed approach you took.

    I’ve been working on, testing and tweaking my own set of market indicators based on various web and SEO metrics. I feel there is a lot of potential with this, but like all indicators, I believe there are some noteworthy imperfections, I’m curious your thoughts on these as they’ve presented a bit of a roadblock to me and continuing the development of my processes in this area.

    I have at several sources to find the website traffic of a website, and unless you actually have admin or webmaster access to a website, all provide only estimates. These estimates are based on the ranking keywords for a site, and do not account for traffic from sources other than organic, search engine traffic. In short, they only consider the estimated traffic share when a person types in, for example, “bitcoin exchange”, and clicks on the site ranking for that term, typically this is the first few spaces.

    Interestingly, I just searched this term, and while CoinBase and GDax have good presence in both paid and organic search on Googles first results page, Bitfinex does not appear until midway through the second page.

    So the question becomes “what is fundamentally different about Bitfinex and it’s site users/web traffic that explains why even though they get significantly less traffic from web search than Gdax, they supposedly deal with much more volume on the daily basis”?

    It could be several things, including:
    1. More api calls to Bitfinex, as someone mentioned. This would not show up I’m Alexa.
    2. More direct traffic, ie, people just typing in to access the site.
    3. Social media, forums, paid traffic and so on.
    4. Bitfinex site visitors are simply more active and trade more volume than o n Gdax. For example, people searching terms that bring them to a Gdax that don’t result in actual account creations or active trading.
    5. Others ive missed? Let me know.

    It makes sense that someone actively using an exchange would not search google each time to access it, but instead do so through a direct link, bookmark etc. Conversely, it is logical that someone searching Go Gel for non-branded, generic terms, ie bitcoin exchange, would simply be browsing and not actively trading on the site. The gap in site traffic does seem extreme even if this is true, but this is one possible explanation.

    In conclusion, we’d have to somehow determine if Bitfinex is:
    A. Getting more of it’s traffic and site users from channels other than organic search.
    B. In general has more active users and or traders dealing with significantly more volume tha n a GDax.

    Curious to hear thoughts on this, how to do it etc.

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