The true size of the cryptocurrency market may be as little as 5 percent of its officially reported total. Coinmarketcap (CMC), the leading market data website, has been accused of unquestioningly publishing crypto exchange figures, despite compelling evidence of manipulation by many trading venues including a glut of Asian platforms. Now, a number of market data websites have ramped up pressure on exchanges to provide accurate figures.
Due to its dominance, Coinmarketcap exerts a significant pull over the cryptocurrency market, incentivizing exchanges to inflate their reported trading volume, in a bid to game the ratings system. CMC ranks exchanges by both reported and adjusted volume, in a bid to thwart the exchanges determined to fake it till they make it as legitimately active trading venues. Nevertheless, fake volume remains a huge problem. Some have disputed Bitwise’s claim that the true size of the cryptoconomy is just 1/20th of its reported total. It is evident, however, that the amount of cryptocurrency credited with changing hands on a daily basis has been significantly overstated.
A number of market data websites, led by Messari, are striving to share unvarnished figures that have not been inflated. That doing so will distinguish these data platforms from CMC in the process can’t hurt either. Messari’s Onchainfx dashboard now includes a column for “Real 10” 24-hour volume – the 10 exchanges singled out by Bitwise for their honest reporting.
‘They Could Fix This Problem Overnight If They Wanted’
Coinsbit is a fiat-crypto exchange that’s listed on market data websites including Coinmarketcap. A spokesperson for the platform explained to news.Bitcoin.com that it was incumbent upon each exchange to act ethically and to refrain from practices that might artificially inflate volume. “Sites like Coinmarketcap are reliant upon the accuracy of the data they’re fed via API from cryptocurrency exchanges,” noted the Coinsbit representative. “While CMC can take measures to omit or penalize platforms that have been found to be misreporting volume, the onus is on the exchanges themselves: they could fix this problem overnight if they wanted, but as it stands, there’s no economic incentive to do so.”
Mateusz Sroka of market data website Coinpaprika told news.Bitcoin.com that fake volume is a problem that has plagued the cryptocurrency industry for years, and that blatant market manipulation, including falsely reported volume, has been a deterrent to institutional adoption. “In the past 12 months, we’ve seen pressure placed on crypto exchanges to clean up their act, and also for market data sites to proactively penalize platforms that blatantly misreport their figures,” he said, adding:
It’s going to take a concerted effort to stamp out manipulation altogether, but there are already signs that exchanges are feeling the pressure to act more ethically, which will help to further legitimize the cryptocurrency sector in the eyes of the wider public.
These Coinmarketcap Alternatives Provide a Different Take on the Crypto Markets
For traders interested in obtaining more accurate trading figures, or accessing features that Coinmaketcap doesn’t offer, there is a number of alternatives to explore.
Messari: For “true” trading volume and more accurate figures pertaining to circulating supply of crypto asssets, Messari’s Onchainfx is the market leader.
Openmarketcap: This cryptocurrency data tracker uses prices and trading volumes from trusted exchanges only in calculating average prices and total volume.
Coinpaprika: For clear data on trading volumes, plus information on price differences between exchanges, Coinpaprika has got it locked down.
Bitcoin.com Markets: For legibility, Bitcoin.com’s crypto asset charts are clean and comprehensible, with a distinct and pleasing aesthetic. The portal also offers crypto charts paired with seven fiat currencies.
Blockmodo: For information on social chatter surrounding cryptocurrency projects, and how this may feed into market prices, Blockmodo is ideal.
Coinratecap: This CMC alternative has a number of useful features including a cryptocurrency price converter and links to almost 100 exchanges.
Coingecko: For listing crypto assets the moment they’re tradable, Coingecko is ahead of the pack.
Coincodex: For customized filters, including three-month and year-to-date changes, Coincodex is perfect. Like Coingecko, it’s also quick to list new digital assets and features a host of insightful data points.
What’s your favorite market data website and why? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Kai’s been playing with words for a living since 2009 and bought his first bitcoin at $19. It’s long gone. He’s previously written white papers for blockchain startups and is especially interested in P2P exchanges and DNMs.