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Does the estimate of transaction volume provided on Blockchain.info exclude the major Bitcoin exchanges? According to this paper: https://siepr.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/publications/17-033_1.pdf (see pg. 17) it does but I do not see this information written anywhere on blockchain.info's website (or anywhere else).

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The paper uses Blockchain.info's estimated transaction volume as input data. This data would not include off-chain transactions, it is only the transactions made public on the blockchain.

Centralized bitcoin exchanges make use of off-chain transactions, to execute trade orders between their users, etc. This off-chain data may be made public by the exchange, but from my skim through this paper it appears that data is outside the scope of the paper.

Quote from page 17 of the paper:

We rely on Blockchain.info because this site provides an estimate of transaction volume excluding the major Bitcoin exchanges, and we believe their list of addresses associated with Bitcoin exchanges is more complete and accurate than ours. Blockchain.info also makes use of heuristics to remove change.

I'm actually a little confused by this, as it seems to imply that any data relating to a bitcoin exchange's addresses has been excluded, but I see no such mention of that on blockchain.info's website. Whether this is a typo on the authors' part, or the authors misinterpreted the dataset as actually excluding exchange addresses, I am unsure (ie. not just the off-chain tx data is exlcuded, but the on-chain txs to/from the exchanges themselves, as well as internal on-chain txs completed by the exchange).

As the authors mention, the blockchain.info site also removes change addresses from their reporting. I think it is worth mentioning that blockchain.info can only guess at which output is a change address, there is no way to be certain about this measure.

  • Thanks @chytrik for your thoughts. I interpreted this statement on p. 17 in the paper to mean that all on-chain tx data involving the addresses of major exchanges is excluded from the blockchain.info estimated transaction value data. I agree, however, that there is no reason to think that this is true. And yes, maybe the authors were referring to off-chain transactions. – Apod Jul 3 '18 at 9:18

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