Trusted Exchange Framework 2.1

Centralized exchanges are pivotal in the crypto realm, but their quality varies across diverse use-cases. The Coin Metrics’ Trusted Exchange Framework aims to quantitatively evaluate these platforms based on criteria like transparency, resilience, data quality, and more, leveraging public information and unique insights from Coin Metrics’ extensive experience from collecting data from crypto exchanges.

Overall Ranking



Data Quality

The Data Quality score assesses the confidence that an exchange’s reported data represents the exchange’s actual trade activity.

This category utilizes several techniques that have been used to identify fake volume on an exchange: the distribution of leading digits and fitting against Benford’s Law, quantifying cross-correlation of volume across markets, examining the distribution of buy/sell flag permutations on trade sequences, examining the distribution of trade sizes, an analysis of lead/lag of asset prices to determine where price discovery occurs, and an analysis of pricing anomalies.


The Transparency score is an assessment of the quality of publicly disclosed information from an exchange. This is valued using the following heuristic:

  • High quality (proof of assets, liabilities, and oversight), timely (quarterly or better) Proof-of-Reserves
  • Publicly disclosed financial information (quarterly or better “proofs” of assets and liabilities conducted by a third party auditor)
  • Wallet disclosures, “proof” of assets but no credible proof of liabilities, ownership or oversight.

Resilience & Security

Resilience & Security refers to how well an exchange protects its users. This criteria assesses exchanges for enacting proactive compliance measures such as complying to security standards (SOC2 Type II or ISO/IEC 27001) and penalizes exchanges for historical major market incidents (extensive pausing of withdrawals due to market conditions) and security incidents (hacks, data breaches). Incidents are weighted by recency and value lost.

Regulatory Compliance

The Regulatory Compliance score is an assessment on an exchange’s ability to meet regulatory requirements via its existing licenses. This score focuses on whether an exchange is regulated where they do business and the relative quality of its jurisdiction’s regulators, which accounts for the country of domicile/headquarters, registration with a regulatory body or bodies, and any additional voluntary compliance procedures.

API Quality

The API Quality score is an assessment of an exchange’s quality to be used as a programmable entity. The quality of technical infrastructure informs the ease-of-use of being able to execute actions programmatically, such as for reading data or executing trades, using an exchange’s API. Quality is assessed based on quantitative and quantitative factors that the Coin Metrics team has identified from building data feeds.

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