What is Proof of Reserve Audit Method – Explained

Written by: Shilika Jain, who labored with trade greats in Business Development at CoinMarketCap and Binance, and labored with over 50+ tasks together with Dapps, DeFi protocols, NFT tasks, L1’s and exchanges.

FTX crash is one of the black swan occasions within the crypto trade. It was not simply prospects who confronted elevated losses, however the trade’s fame was additionally at stake, in any other case famously recognized for frauds and scams. However, the spiraling of the FTX led to the necessity for elevated transparency within the crypto trade. One of the proposed options by centralized exchanges was to deliver Proof of Reserves into apply to instill confidence and save them from harm management. Therefore, this piece will talk about the significance and limitations of Proof of Reserves. It will even take you thru the doable eventualities for stopping the FTX fiasco.

Coinmetrics Co-Founder Nic Carter expressed his ideas by means of a broadcast weblog put up – “The State of Proof of Reserves as of year-end 2022.” He complied with all the info in regards to the PoR in 2022 and any questions lingering round these attestations. He additionally defined how outstanding exchanges like BitMEX and Kraken lead in this direction by means of his findings.

What is Proof of Reserves

Proof of Reserves is a public attestation that an change or crypto custodian publishes the actual backing of property proven on their change. An unbiased third-party auditor conducts the proof of reserve audit by using the Merkle tree. Several stakeholders affirm that the Merkle tree is a cryptographic knowledge construction recognized for self-verification and PoR audits. So, as a substitute of counting on the change or the auditor’s report, the customers can independently confirm.

Centralized exchanges are recognized for fraudulent actions per the trade’s historical past, and customers are suggested to make knowledgeable selections about the place they retailer their crypto property. The FTX collapse is a basic instance of an change mismanaging consumer funds blatantly and finishing up fraudulent actions. It is laborious to remark if Proof of Reserves might keep away from the collapse of crypto exchanges altogether. Nevertheless, it could deliver elevated transparency on how the change performs its operations and handle consumer funds. It would give the change a way of accountability to hold out their enterprise with integrity.

Limitations of Proof of Reserves

There are additionally limitations within the PoR(Proof-of-Reserves) mannequin; right here, we’ll take you thru them intimately.

Dependence on Human Factors

The Proof of Reserves Audit is usually carried out by a third-party auditor and is thought of legitimate. The unbiased auditor will evaluate the change’s funds with on-chain property to see if the change has the actual asset backing that it claims. It signifies that the auditor fully depends on the info supplied by the change whereas conducting the audit. There are potentialities of the change supplying false info intentionally or by means of negligence, ensuing within the audit’s inaccuracy.

Lack of Real-time knowledge

Proof of reserves is carried out by taking a snapshot of customers’ account balances at a specified time. It is to show that it has sufficient steadiness to cowl its liabilities. Therefore, the change can at all times borrow property to govern the audit by means of unethical practices because it doesn’t monitor real-time knowledge.

Users don’t have any management over their Assets.

Self-custody is the final word kind of safety. While Proof of Reserves can present details about the change’s funds, and present property, the change can at all times transfer consumer property as and when needed with out the information of its prospects.  

Inadequate Information

Although Proof of Reserves is an effective way to know the change’s monetary place, the knowledge is insufficient to verify the change’s solvency. There is at all times a chance that the change has further liabilities and monetary obligations elsewhere that may end up in insolvency.


Proof of Reserves units a excessive transparency commonplace for exchanges regardless of its limitations. If usually carried out, it might mitigate the chances of fund mismanagement and fraud.

Featured picture by way of Unsplash.


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About the Author: Daniel