April 14, 2024

In an eye-opening study, Solidus, a leading crypto market integrity platform, has uncovered signs of insider trading associated with more than half of all cryptocurrency token listings since 2021. The firm’s analysis indicates a persistent issue within the industry, yet one that can be effectively tackled with the right measures.

Solidus’ HALO platform has detected signs of insider trading on Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs) linked to 56% of all ERC-20 token listing announcements on numerous key crypto exchanges since January 2021. The platform has identified over 100 suspected insiders involved in more than 400 instances of insider trading.

Serial insider trading represents the most prevalent form of this activity, with specific entities repeatedly engaging in these transactions. Solidus’ data shows that 51 individual or linked cryptocurrency wallets have been flagged for utilizing decentralized exchanges to purchase upcoming tokens listed, often swapping Ether, Tether, or USD Coin to acquire these tokens on multiple occasions. Ten of these entities have displayed trading patterns that coincide closely with over 10 token listing announcements. Even more concerning, the three most active insiders have traded prior to over 25 listing announcements each.

Here is a summary of Solidus’ findings:

  • ERC-20 token listing announcements: 234
  • ERC-20 token listings with insider activity: 131
  • Percentage of listings with insider activity: 56%
  • Number of insider trading events: 411
  • Number of distinct insiders: 105
  • Number of distinct one-time insiders: 54
  • Number of distinct serial insiders (≥2 listings): 51
  • Number of distinct serial insiders (>10 listings): 10
  • Number of distinct serial insiders (>25 listings): 3
  • Average number of insiders per listing with insider activity: 3.14

The findings paint a concerning picture of the current state of the cryptocurrency market, pointing to the need for increased scrutiny and regulation. The revelations call for an industry-wide commitment to transparency and ethical trading practices to ensure the continued growth and trust in cryptocurrency markets.

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