A report by the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) claims that many exchanges are using bots to fake trading volume. Their research shows that wash trading affects over 80% of the top 25 bitcoin pairings. Furthermore, allegations of this being a deliberate business practice present significant concerns for the industry. Which is already struggling to gain mainstream acceptance.
Wash trading is where a trader sells and then immediately buys a financial instrument. This practice manipulates legitimate makers and takers into believing a trading pair is more active than it is. The federal government outlawed wash trading with the Commodities Exchange Act in 1936. But this ruling does not apply to cryptocurrencies, that mostly trade on unregulated exchanges. Therefore, as much as the practice is shady, it is not illegal. On that note, investment house CoVenture says: