- KuCoin is facing scrutiny after it has come to light that they offered several coins the option to boost their transaction volumes
- Jibrel, Encrpgen, Publica, and Unikrn were allegedly among the coins that were given this offer
There are few things more controversial in the crypto world like false figures. Just last year Bithumb and Upbit were accused of faking a significant number of their transaction volume, a claim they have both denied. Now KuCoin, a major exchange, has been accused of falsifying and inflating figures but unlike others, this isn’t merely a rumor but based on some leaked documents. The whole saga started in late 2018 when the Hong Kong-based exchange announced that they would be delisting about 16 tokens from their platform. This, on its own, wasn’t controversial as exchanges delist coins all the time, usually for low demand.
Behind the numbers
Now it has come to light that KuCoin has offered at least four of those coins an opportunity to stay on the exchange by paying $180,000 in ‘Volume-boosting’ fees or get delisted. Sources say that the four coins that were approached were Jibrel, Encrpgen, Publica and Unikrn.
“We received an email saying ‘you have the ability to improve your volume or you’ll be delisted,’” said Jibrel’s COO Talal Tabbaa. “Then they recommended market-making firms that would help us reach the minimum daily volumes they set for projects. I was honestly shocked at the requests they were making.”
As part of the deal, the management of the coins in question were referred to two market-making options who were supposedly affiliated with KuCoin. KuCoin management then said that the makers could help the struggling projects meet a minimum demand to stay listed. Tabbaa declined the offer:
“It was basically to do wash trading. I’m 100% sure. Whenever there’s a [volume] guarantee, you know there’s something wrong.”
Uncooperative projects delisted
Encrypgen CEO, David Koepsell has come out to say that he too received an offer from KuCoin for a ‘marketing campaign’ that would boost their trading volume. The campaign in question would cost $90,000 and could be paid in bitcoin.
“They sent messages to us saying we were having issues with our volume and would we be interested in paying for market making,” Koepsell said.
Koepsell, like Tabbaa, declined the offer and Encrypgen was delisted.
Two other people, Rahul Sood, CEO of gaming betting company Unikrn and Yuri Pimenov, the CTO of Publica, a blockchain book-lending service, also confirmed that they have gotten similar messages from KuCoin management.