What is Proof of Reserves (PoR)?

Proof of Reserves (PoR) is used by exchanges to prove holdings of assets.
| Cryptopress
Last updated: December 8, 2022


Proof of Reserves (PoR) is a method that exchanges use to show that they hold assets like cryptocurrencies and fiat cash. This is important for exchanges because it allows customers to verify that the exchange has the assets it claims to have, which helps to build trust and confidence in the exchange.

It is an auditing technique that is provable using cryptographic proofs, checks of public wallet ownership, and recurrent audits to verify an exchange’s holdings.

A proof of reserves report provides a snapshot of various exchange-owned assets, such as cryptocurrency holdings and fiat cash.

Composition of Binance PoR assets.

How does proof of reserve work?

The process of proving reserves typically involves the use of cryptographic proofs and checks of public wallet ownership. These cryptographic proofs can be verified by anyone with the necessary technical knowledge, allowing anyone to independently verify an exchange’s holdings.

One of the key benefits of using proof-of-reserve is that it allows exchanges to provide a snapshot of their holdings at any given time. This is important because it allows customers to see that the exchange has the assets it claims to have, which can help build trust and confidence in the exchange.

By providing proof of reserves, exchanges are able to demonstrate that they are following industry best practices and complying with the relevant regulatory requirements.

What projects and exchanges are adopting PoR?

Many projects and exchanges are now adopting PoR as a way to prove their holdings. This includes well-known exchanges such as Bitfinex and Kraken, as well as newer projects such as proof-of-stake (PoS) networks.

Binance 64.17B 7.87B 5.9B 14.24B 1.41B 19.23B
Bitfinex 7.32B 3.33B 1.14B 0.95B 10.61M  
OKX 6.22B 1.54B 1.3B 2.94B 0.35B  
Huobi 3.55B 0.47B 0.15B 0.7B 43.8M  
Crypto.com 3.17B 0.47B 0.64B 54.17M 1.04B  
Kucoin 2.44B 0.24B 0.2B 0.78B 0.14B  
Bybit 1.98B 0.36B 0.21B 1B 0.14B 7.24M
Gate 1.71B 0.19B 0.26B 0.3B 34.74M 18.57M
Deribit 1.33B 0.74B 0.55B   35.37M  
SwissBorg 0.43B 67.17M 43.89M   25.46M  
Proof of reserves from the top 10 exchanges offering PoR.

Limitations of PoR

While POR can be a useful tool for proving an exchange’s holdings, it is not without its limitations. One of the key limitations of PoR is that it only provides a snapshot of an exchange’s holdings at a specific point in time. This means that an exchange’s holdings could change between the time a POR report is generated and the time it is reviewed by customers.

In addition, the use of cryptographic proofs can be complex and require a high level of technical knowledge to verify. This can make it difficult for some customers to understand and verify an exchange’s holdings using POR.

Has PoR worked as expected?

Despite these limitations, PoR has generally worked as expected, providing exchanges with a way to prove their holdings and build trust with their customers. As more exchanges and projects adopt PoR, it is likely that it will continue to be an important tool for proving holdings and building trust in the cryptocurrency industry.

However, some have raised concerns that the protocol’s security measures are not as secure as they could be. As a result, further improvements to the security of PoR are necessary to ensure that it remains an effective tool for exchanges and projects.

Cover: A Gold Bar.

© 2022 Cryptopress. For informational purposes only, not offered as advice of any kind.


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