The global cryptocurrency exchange OKX released its fifth proof-of-reserves (PoR) report, a practice it began in November 2022 to boost transparency in the industry.
According to the latest edition, OKX holds $8.9 billion across Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and Tether (USDT). This puts the reserve ratios of BTC, ETH and USDT at 103%, 103% and 102%, respectively.
This latest release also comes as the exchange upgraded its PoR system with more transparency by making full liabilities (the total balance of user deposits) publicly accessible.
Cointelegraph spoke with Lennix Lai, the managing director of Global Institutional at OKX, regarding these extra steps toward transparency.
Lai said that recent events in the industry highlight that “crypto-native challenges require crypto-native solutions.”
“The blockchain and crypto/Web3 industry is built on technology that enables trustless transactions on public blockchains, and this inherent transparency is incredibly valuable.”
Many exchanges in the industry — like Binance, Crypto.com and Bybit — have released Merkle-Tree-based verification proofs to preserve the industry’s integrity after the FTX scandal.
“The FTX crisis had a silver lining in that it made successful firms double down on security and transparency and motivated the industry to innovate in this area.”
Lai said the new mantra of the industry is “don’t trust — verify.” He said over 300,000 users have already viewed the reserves or verified their liabilities in the OKX ecosystem.
The new transparency mechanism that made the total balance of user deposits visible to the public maintains user privacy, nonetheless, through splitting and shuffling account liabilities in the tree through a solution known as “splitting leaf nodes.“
According to Lai, OKX will also add zero-knowledge proof to our PoR in the coming weeks.
Related: Tether’s assets exceed liabilities in new reserves report by BDO
After the crash of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), transparency in the greater financial industry has become even more of a talking point. Lai said during times of uncertainty, such as the banking crisis:
“Proof of reserves can provide users with real-time, on-chain verification of reserves and liabilities through transparent technology — in this way, traditional finance differs from crypto.”
However, back on March 8, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a United States-based watchdog overseeing audits of public companies, issued a warning to investors about PoRs. The board said these reports “don’t provide any meaningful assurance to investors or the public.”
Nonetheless, companies in the crypto industry continue efforts in transparency. On Feb. 10, Binance also upgraded its PoR system to include zk-SNARKS.