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NFT Wash Trading Detection

Derek Liu, Francesco Piccoli, Katie Chen, Adrina Tang and Victor Fang

Papers from arXiv.org

Abstract: Wash trading is a form of market manipulation where the same entity sells an asset to themselves to drive up market prices, launder money under the cover of a legitimate transaction, or claim a tax loss without losing ownership of an asset. Although the practice is illegal with traditional assets, lack of supervision in the non-fungible token market enables criminals to wash trade and scam unsuspecting buyers while operating under regulators radar. AnChain.AI designed an algorithm that flags transactions within an NFT collection history as wash trades when a wallet repurchases a token within 30 days of previously selling it. The algorithm also identifies intermediate transactions within a wash trade cycle. Testing on 7 popular NFT collections reveals that on average, 0.14% of transactions, 0.11% of wallets, and 0.16% of tokens in each collection are involved in wash trading. These wash trades generate an overall total price manipulation, sales, and repurchase profit of \$900K, \$1.1M, and negative \$1.6M respectively. The results draw attention to the prevalent market manipulation taking place and inform unsuspecting buyers which tokens and sellers may be involved in criminal activity.

Date: 2023-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mst and nep-pay
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