A Third of All TRON (TRX) ‘Volume’ Comes from An Exchange You’ve Never Heard Of

Over 33% of all TRON (TRX) volume comes from a recently launched Chinese exchange where TRX has been set up as a base pair. The TRX pairings on Catex.io have seen over $125 million worth of trades go through the coin in the past 24 hours.

For some context, that’s more than the entirety of global trades that went through Ethereum in the same time period, according to OpenMarketCap. Something doesn’t quite fit here.

TRON Base Pair Volume Raises Eyebrows

Of all the trades conducted on Catex, TRX volume accounts for more than half. No, the most utilised base pair on the exchange is not Bitcoin, Tether or Ethereum, but the 14th ranked TRON.

Landing on the Catex website we see the favouritism front and center, with the 14th ranked TRX taking pride of place on the front page, alongside BTC, ETH and USDT. The most popular trade on the day was ETC/TRX, with the Ethereum Classic trade accounting for $21.3 million.


Hopping over to OpenMarketCap, which purports to list real volume data with the wash-trading removed, reveals Ethereum Classic’s global volume to be closer to $2.6 million.

Look at the eight highest trades on Catex and observe how the volume numbers ascend/descend. No other pair on the exchange follows this pattern. You’d expect such a thing from a small exchange, where perhaps Bitcoin was the only base pair, and everything was being funnelled through it.

TRX Fake Volume

But with Bitcoin, USDT and ETH present on the exchange, would we really expect to see TRX rack up trades like this?

Looking further down TRON’s most active exchange list, were confronted by the likes on Coinbene, LATOKEN, and OKEx. These platforms are all well known for wash-trading.

Wash Trading; TRX Cooldown

Hopping again over to OpenMarketCap, real TRON volume is listed as being closer to $11 million, not the $367 million recorded by CoinMarketCap. That means that real TRX volume is even less than what Catex reports from a single Ethereum Classic/TRON pair.

TRON isn’t the only coin to suffer from this problem – although, it might even be a ‘problem’ which is self-inflicted. There’s no question that exchanges benefit from wash trading – it’s what gets the customer in the door. But what about the teams behind cryptocurrencies? Does it not also help TRON to have its name front and center on a shiny new exchange, where it has a base pair, and accounts for over half the trade volume? Food for thought.

As for the TRX coin price, its momentum has seen a significant cooldown in recent times. Ever since the drop of August 14th, TRX has struggled to record a notable rebound.


In the past three days we’ve seen the likes of Monero rebound to the tune of over 11%. At time of writing, TRX is up just 3.8% since the sudden drop to $0.0165 a few days ago.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Chart via CoinMarketCap.

Greg Thomson is a freelance writer who contributes to leading cryptocurrency and blockchain publications like CCN, Hacked, and others.