Stripping Away Potential Wash Trading Reduces LooksRare Trading Volume By Over 95%

CryptoMode LooksRare $LOOKS NFT Marketplace

Many people were very excited when the LooksRare NFT marketplace launched. It brought some much-needed competition to OpenSea, even if there have been persistent rumors of wash trading. When comparing the overall volume to the filtered version – which removes wash trading – the differences are quite staggering. 

LooksRare Overall Statistics

It is no secret the NFT industry needs more marketplaces capable of competing with OpenSea. While LooksRare could have been that platform, the rumors of wash trading have somewhat crippled the platform. Even so, LooksRare has over 103,000 registered users, which is a fairly decent number for a competitor to OpenSea. 

Growing that number further will be a challenge, and retaining the existing ones isn’t going too well either. The overall users across the new NFT marketplace have dwindled since early May 2022 and fewer people keep coming back. At the same time, OpenSea users note increasing activity in the past two months. Being the leading trading platform for non-fungible tokens has its perks, it seems. 

Transactions-wise, LooksRare has done quite well for itself. Over 262,000 transactions have generated more than $26.17 billion in trading volume. That is significant, as the number is higher than openSea’s volume since the competing platform was released. OpenSea generated over 22 million transactions in that time, but the volume is $21.54 billion. 

One would think there were more high-value trades on LooksRare over OpenSea. That is certainly true, but one must also acknowledge those are the transactions sparking the wash trading rumors. An untrusted and unproven platform can’t come to market and generate such volumes, especially with strongly dwindling users. 

Turning On The Washing Trading Filter

Per the Dune dashboard, there is a wash trading filter one can apply to these numbers. Web3 data scientist Hildobby explains his method of applying this filter and why the numbers are shockingly different in this Twitter thread. Of course, one can always argue whether this method is foolproof and 100% accurate, but it paints a surprising picture.

After applying the filter, things look a lot bleaker for LooksRare. Even its total user count drops by over 10%, indicating many users have multiple accounts. That applies to OpenSea too, no doubt, but LooksRare had an incentive to make suers trade between their wallets. The initial trading rewards would offset the 2% platform fee, resulting in a profit for every successful trade.

LooksRare is left with under $1.247 billion in “real” trading volume and 195,170 legitimate transactions when stripping away the potential wash trading. That means virtually all high-value traders were likely wash trading efforts to inflate the numbers and make the platform appear like a potential competitor to OpenSea. It seems rather steep, although it is not necessarily incorrect either. 

These days, LooksRare struggles to generate any decent transaction volume. There are still ongoing trades, but with the filter on, it seems only a few hundred transactions take place. Those numbers are more within the expected range for the marketplace, and it seems unlikely LooksRare will make a stellar comeback in the future. 

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