To counter the rising mistrust among crypto investors following the FTX collapse, crypto exchanges unanimously decided to share proof of reserve with the public as a way to showcase legitimacy. However, certain anomalies found during on-chain investigations suggest foul play and market manipulation.
Just two days after Crypto.com made its cold storage information public, investigators found that 320,000 Ether (ETH) was sent to Gate.io on Oct. 21, 2022. However, Kris Marszalek, the CEO of Crypto.com, dismissed any wrongdoing by stating that the funds were transferred accidentally and were eventually returned back to the original storage.
Gate.io released asset snapshot on Oct. 28. Source: Colin Wu
On Oct. 28, Gate.io released its proof of reserves snapshot, which, Solidity developer Shegen alleged, was done using Crypto.com’s funds, and questioned:
“This was topping up for the proof. Gate and crypto.com are fucked?”
Moreover, the crypto community suspects Huobi of attempting a similar manipulation. A wallet address linked to the Huobi exchange was found transferring 10,000 ETH to Binance and OKX deposit wallets soon after releasing its asset snapshot.
After Huobi released the asset snapshot of the asset reserve, 10,000 ETH was transferred from 0xca…c3fc (Huobi 34) to Binance and OKX deposit wallets. The Huobi 34, which had 14,858 ETH at the time of the snapshot, currently has only 4,044 ETH left. https://t.co/wrphZxadBM pic.twitter.com/B2lRXMF8su
— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) November 13, 2022
Blockchain investigator Colin Wu pointed out the transactions on Etherscan, which proves that Huobi had shown 14,858 ETH in its latest snapshot, which has since fallen down to 2,463.5 ETH at the time of writing.
Huobi’s wallet information. Source: Etherscan
None of the exchanges in question have publicly retaliated against the claims put forth by the crypto community. The possibility of multiple crypto exchanges working together to manipulate investor funds has forced the community to keep their guard up until an official statement.
Both Huobi and Gate.io have not yet responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.
Related: Binance shares wallet addresses and activity after proof-of-reserve pledge
As more crypto exchanges make their cold storage information public, the immutable nature of blockchain technology will allow investors and investigators to dive into the history of the exchange’s operations.
“Our objective is to allow users of our platform to be aware and make informed decisions that are aligned with their financial goals, said Binance while revealing wallet addresses.