If there is one go-to site in the cryptocurrency space, it is Coinmarketcap.com. The cryptocurrency listing and ranking site have been a mainstay for over 125 million people who pursue its pages to find out where different projects rank, and what their key metrics are.
However, the cryptocurrency space is also one with difficult metrics to measure; trying to figure out the electricity usage of Bitcoin, for instance, brings enormous disparities. More so, trading volumes have been a hot topic recently as it has been found that exchanges will inflate their volumes to appear more liquid and successful.
Now, the most recent disparity in measuring the cryptocurrency space has come directly from Coinmarketcap. It was identified by Adel de Meyer, the CEO of DAPS Coin, who saw her project shift from 176 on the website to an astonishing 1,173 overnight.
While the cryptocurrency space is a quick-moving one, it is beyond the realms of reality to imagine a coin can go from having the 176th biggest market cap to falling 10-fold down that list in mere hours.
This all happened because of an algorithm change on the site that impacted the way that the top 200 coins are ranked. Its wild effect shook several projects but also left many unscathed, and for De Meyer, it all comes down to the Coinmarketcap requirements.
She told Forbes:
“In my opinion, the requirements are vague and open to interpretation. There is no definitive method by which one can state that if the requirements are fulfilled, you will be ranked appropriately. Their direct competitor, CoinGecko, has its methodology published publicly, so it gives projects a fair and equal chance to rank better for their project’s visibility and credibility.”
For Coinmarketcap, their algorithm changes must be assumed to be implemented for the betterment of their ratings and listings; they requested exchanges to disclose accurate data to improve transparency after the news broke of high levels of fake volumes.
However, these changes which can have such drastic effects on projects call into question how reliable and accurate the site is currently, especially considering it sits as a source of authority.
The Daily Chain also spoke with De Meyer about how this dramatic drop in market cap rankings could affect a project.
“The effect of drastic changes like this on the project and its roadmap is minimal,” said the DAPS CEO. We will not let things like this get us down or stop us. However, the perception of the community and especially attracting new investors is made so much more difficult.”
“Many people use Coinmarketcap (CMC) in order to determine where they will invest next. Having an unreliable ranking system in place or one that favours certain projects means that it’s either the older projects or new ICO’s that are going to be seen because they are either already on the required exchanges or have the ICO funding to get on those exchanges part of the CMC DATA Alliance – including all the market making requirements.”
“For a genuine community funded project trying to push technological boundaries, we are hidden amongst the weeds through no fault of our own. Therefore the biggest effect this sort of move from CMC has is to obscure people’s ability to find the good projects out there, and this can, in turn, hurt the project financially and in some cases potentially kill the project off entirely.”
“I mean if known scams and dead ICO’s are listed higher than you, you don’t stand a chance, do you?”
The more significant concern around this move that affected DAPS, and probably several other coins – and many coins that were not affected and should have been – is that the rating site has a lot of sway.
As De Meyer hints at, investors use this site like a bible and make many decisions off of the data that they glean from it. This puts the site in a position of privilege, and responsibility – in quite a centralized way.
However, De Meyer won’t go so far as to say it’s about centralization, but it does have a role to play in trust and neutrality.
“It’s not so much about centralization as much as it is about transparency, accuracy, and neutrality,” De Meyer told The Daily Chain. “The premise of crypto is a neutral, trusted 3rd party is seen as the authority. In this scenario, CMC can be seen as being neither neutral nor trusted.”
“Unlike their competitors such as CoinGecko, we cannot see how their ranking system works, we cannot verifiably replicate their rankings, and it seems more and more that they themselves can, at will, alter a project’s ranking. Whether this can be considered too much centralization or not is up for debate.”
“What should not be up for debate is that in an industry where the value of a digital asset can change on a minute by minute basis, a trusted, verifiable, neutral and above all transparent ranking system is required.”
“CMC is just not giving us that. The evidence objectively states otherwise.”