Trust Score Explained

Trust Score by CoinGecko explained

Trust Score Explained (Updated November 2020)

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In traditional markets, exchanges with high volume equate to high liquidity. However, in crypto markets, exchanges with high volume does not necessarily equate to high liquidity. This is because many of the unregulated exchanges engage in wash trading and other manipulative behaviors to inflate their trading volume.

As one of the leading cryptoasset data aggregators, CoinGecko is committed to doing what’s necessary to empower our users with information to help make better-informed decisions. We are fully aware that the market demands transparency and CoinGecko is committed to improving this.

To combat fake exchange volume data, we’ve developed our rating algorithm called “Trust Score.”  Ever since its inception in May 2019, we’ve successfully revamped all rankings of our own and subsequently led the upgrade industry-wide to start measuring by liquidity rather than reported numbers.

On CoinGecko, trading pairs and exchanges are no longer ranked as they are reported, but rather ranked more holistically based on various related metrics and we packaged it all as Trust Score to make it actionable at one glance.

Trust Score measures many facets of what an actively trading cryptocurrency or cryptocurrency exchange should have – namely liquidity, trading activity, scale, technical expertise, cybersecurity and more. In 2019, we rolled out Trust Score in two separate releases, and subsequently another update in July 2020 to further enhance our Trust Score algorithm:

Trust Score 1 (May 2019) – ranks trading pairs based on web traffic, liquidity & trading activity related metrics.
Trust Score 2 (Sep 2019) – ranks exchanges based on web traffic, liquidity, scale & API coverage.
Trust Score Cybersecurity update (July 2020) – improves on Trust Score 2 through inclusion of Cybersecurity evaluation.
Trust Score Team Presence & Incidents update (November 2020) – further improvement on Trust Score 2 by evaluation operational factors such as Team Presence & Past Incidents.

Breaking it down

“What is Trust Score?” is something we get a lot, so we’ve decided to write this article that focuses on explaining it without any technical details. This article will help to easily understand what Trust Score is. If you’re looking for the technical details, feel free to take a look at our previous posts covering the release of Trust Score 1, Trust Score 2 & Trust Score Cybersecurity.

As mentioned previously, Trust Score measures trading pairs and crypto exchanges, and here’s a breakdown of what they take into account for each:


Trading Pairs

Crypto Exchange

Reported trading volume

Reported orderbook data (depth & spread)

Web traffic statistics by SimilarWeb

Overall trading activity

Exchange’s scale of operations

Exchange’s API technical coverage

Exchange Cybersecurity by Hacken

Team Presence

Past Incidents

We’ll split the next sections between trading pairs & crypto exchanges to help you visualize what’s changed for Trust Score. Let’s get started!

Trading Pair Ranking

Trading pairs refer to the sets of trading combinations that can be done through a crypto exchange for a given cryptocurrency.

Prior to having Trust Score, trading pairs were ranked purely based on reported 24h volume, and that made it prone to manipulation as it was easy to over-report, and difficult to verify. Here’s an example of what the highest ranked trading pairs looked like back in the days:

ETH Trading Pairs before Trust Score ImplementationEthereum (ETH) Trading Pairs (May 2019)

Using Trust Score, we now rank trading pairs using a combination of reported volume, order book depth, order book spread, an exchange’s overall web traffic quality, as well as trading activity. This makes for a more comprehensive ranking that better reflects the overall liquidity a trading pair has, and arguably much more difficult to manipulate.

Here’s how trading pairs for Ethereum (ETH) looks like after Trust Score was implemented – overall liquidity became the yardstick, rather than trading volume alone:

ETH Trading Pairs after Trust Score ImplementationEthereum (ETH) Trading pairs (Feb 2020)

Crypto Exchange Ranking (Updated November 2020)

Crypto exchanges, similar to trading pairs, were also ranked based on their reported volumes. It worked in the earlier days but eventually became a meaningless number as they exchange race heated up and many sought ways to make themselves appear as the “top” exchange.

Through Trust Score, we once again refreshed the standards of crypto exchange ranking to rank them by various metrics, which can be generally classified into four different categories:

  1. Liquidity/Web Traffic Quality – Reported volume, order book depth, order book spread, trading activity, as well as overall web traffic quality.

  2. Scale of Operations – Measures an exchange’s overall trading volume, order book depth, order book spread and activity relative to the rest of the industry?

  3. API technical coverage – Measures an exchange’s capability in terms of API availability & coverage

  4. Cybersecurity – Evaluates how well prepared an exchange is against external facing threats towards its platform (servers, web services, front-end), users (account safety features) & more.

  5. Team Presence – Evaluates if an exchange team publicly displays its team on a site they own (minimally top management such as C-suite figures).

  6. Past Incidents – Used to record if an exchange has had negative past incidents (eg. regulatory troubles, hack incidents, withdrawal issues, user account disputes & more).

Through this, we’ve managed to completely change how exchanges are ranked on our site. Here’s an example of how it has changed on CoinGecko’s Exchange page:

Top-5 exchanges by Reported Volumes vs. by Trust ScoreTop-5 exchange sorted by Reported Volumes (May 2019) vs.
Top-5 exchange sorted by Trust Score (Feb 2020)

Will there be more changes to Trust Score?

In short, yes. We will be constantly revising, improving and upgrading Trust Score as we learn lessons through implementation and from the feedback of our beloved community along the way. In the near future, we are also looking to incorporate more dimensions of measurement to make it more robust. Some of them are:

  1. Trade history analysis

  2. API quality analysis

  3. Cybersecurity analysis (done!)

  4. Hot & Cold wallet analysis

  5. Social Media analysis

  6. Exchange support turnover time

  7. User Reviews

  8. Licensing & Regulations

Closing Remarks

And that’s it! We hope this article sufficiently explains the concept of CoinGecko’s Trust Score. Once again, if you’d like to understand it in more depth, feel free to visit our other blog posts: Trust Score 1, Trust Score 2, Trust Score Cybersecurity & Trust Score Team & Incidents.

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351 thoughts on “Trust Score Explained”



      1. Hi Jin, thanks for the informative article regarding the methodology behind CoinGecko’s Trust Score.

        I have a question with respect to volume: please can you explain the difference between 24h volume and 24h volume normalised? What does it show, but also how is it calculated?

    1. Every company should try to improve their trust score through providing the quality services for their consumers! Being a digital marketer, this term trust score is so important to understand about how to increase the sales and profits.

  2. How come an exchange be ranked with 7 Trust score then after 2 hours it is ranked with 1? There is absolute mismatch and mistakes either in your algorithm or your algorithm is somehow being lead to fake results!


    Worst exchange ever .no customer support no proper security ,be safe don’t trade in this exchange

  4. I can’t understand why p2pb2b (doesn’t let withdrawal) and latoken are even listed on Coingecko…
    ZERO trust on these scammy exchanges!

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  6. Hi! Sze Jin. Really a well-written article where you have briefly explained the trust score. Thanks! for sharing this article with us. Keep up the good work.

  7. Binance 10/10 is wrong. They have terrible customer support and many people who have deposited, including myself, have no access to funds within binance. go on r/binance and see for yourself. useless.

  8. They have terrible customer support and many people who have deposited, including myself, have no access to funds within binance. go on r/binance and see for yourself. useless.

  9. terrible customer support and many people who have deposited, including myself, have no access to funds within binance. go on r/binance and see for yourself. useless.

  10. Very cool graphics dude, I even felt goosebumps looking at it, I think that you should upload such works to more visited social platforms, such as Instagram. A couple of days ago I saw a graphic very similar to yours and there were about 32 thousand likes on the post! I’m sure the author took advantage of the to buy likes.

  11. “Trading pairs refer to the sets of trading combinations that can be done through a crypto exchange for a given cryptocurrency”

    Very good explained!

  12. Gee Starfinder

    Hi! I recently got into trading and I’m using HotBit. I checked the available exchanges for a particular coin and HotBit is the first on the list with a good trust score according to your site. However when I looked for other reviews, I stumbled upon Trustpilot reviews and many were saying that it’s a scam exchange! Now I am unsure if I’ll withdraw all my funds and transfer to another exchange. Hope you can help! Great blog by the way!

  13. Very informative article, thanks to author for it. I think In order for more interested people to read your thoughts, you should post it on Instagram, and use the services of to quickly increase their ammount.

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  20. I believe that it s a good concept, but what I keep wondering is how they want to make this happen because the last time I checked, this exchanges are centralized and no one have access to their back end except from them, so this would be a very difficult task since it would be hard to know which volume is real and which is fake, though I would wait and see how they achieve it when they start.

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  23. If i could i would even not give them 0 out of 10
    Worst CEX ever, since 5+ days now, i am waiting for my deposit Hathor token (HTR) to be credited. They only ask me to fill in a ticket which i have done. Also provided a confirmed TX ID + screenshot + ticket number + USerID. It never has resolved. Only empty promises that it will be credited within 24h then within hours and then within an hour etc.. everyday the same. No update no nothing, ”they just look into it” Very bad experience with them. Lately fees are higher as well or they change them randomly. If you can avoid the site. UserID: 3014964
    Ticket: 785947
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    TX ID here to be witnessed too: 00000699829febf75d7c1b9b5fffc51155f640b88cb6660c7bab661106f44bd9

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