One of the most well-known names in the crypto space which needs no introduction, CoinMarketCap is not just your price tracker that it had started out to be. As we all agree crypto environment is dynamic and anything that steps into this universe has to have change and evolution by its side. CoinMarketCap is a true example of that. With each passing day, cryptocurrencies are closing in towards mainstream adoption though it might be years before we see that in its true state, but portals like CoinMarketCap are only helping to reduce that space.
CoinMarketCap was founded in 2013. Exactly, three years before I stepped into the Cryptoverse. My initial interactions with the crypto world were mostly through CMC, so it only stands to reason that I talk about it. Let's remind ourselves that growth and change are always an option and I am starting with that premise. Before we delve into the history of CoinMarketcap, a little more introduction will only be fair. I know I said no introduction is needed, but this bit is for all the newbies who are yet to traverse their blockchain journey.
CoinMarketCap is the most referenced price-tracking source in the crypto industry. It is mostly the first source to dig everything about crypto, whether exchange metrics, projects, or a whole pool of information on Alexandria. This year especially has seen a lot of new features being added to make the portal more interactive. The learn and earn initiative gives users an opportunity to learn about various projects while making them eligible to participate in the airdrops. Diamonds, which is the loyalty program was also launched along with BTC price prediction besides the weekly watchlist campaign. In short, it has brought a whole lot of new spaces for users to explore.
A start to a beginning
It all began from the confines of an apartment in a new residential building in Long Island City, Queens where a nobody named, Brandon Chez lived. Smitten by cryptocurrencies and frustrated by the lack of resources to compare altcoins with Bitcoin, he used his programming skills to create something which would shape the whole industry. The idea was to use the market cap metrics to present comparative data on cryptocurrencies and present it on a table with a simple interface. For the next four years, he worked as a lone wolf up until 2017, when the team started to grow.
CoinMarketCap had started its tracking journey with seven cryptocurrencies and a few exchanges with a total market capitalization of approximately $1.6 billion USD. As of May 1st, 2018, it had reached 1600 cryptocurrencies and 200 exchanges with a total market capitalization of over $400 billion USD. Compare that to the present-day stats of 11,119 cryptocurrencies and 391 exchanges with a market cap between 1.5 - 2 trillion USD. The figures are reminiscent of the incredible growth that both the crypto world and CoinMarketCap have seen over the past few years.
As is true for anything in crypto, it's not possible to maintain a constant upward curve. What goes up has to come down at some point, make some correction before it goes soaring into the upper space again. CoinMarketCap has a similar history of sorts. Brandon Chez, for the most part of the initial CMC journey, was an unknown figure, operating from the shadows, doing what he was meant to do. But then 08 January 2018 happened, and with that came a crypto crash wiping out 100 billion USD of crypto market value. The crypto world was in a shock and that brought all the spotlight on Brandon Chaz. The precipitous drop was due to the exclusion of Korean exchanges from the price-quote algorithms. The reason for the exclusion was a response to a series of complaints from users about these Korean exchanges which were skewing the prices of Bitcoin thus artificially inflating it. Mr. Chez's liking for operating from shadows without notifying anyone and trying to be a samaritan became a precursor to a global crypto crash with a lot of agitated people all around. It did put some sort of dent but there is nothing that can't be improved as long as there is an honest commitment.
CoinMarketCap has come a long way since building on its reputation and garnering users more than ever. It has transformed from being just a price ticker to a comprehensive tool guide for any crypto user, whether it's a newbie or an advanced retail trader. The mission statement of CoinMarketCap is,
To make crypto discoverable and efficient globally by empowering retail users with unbiased, high quality and accurate information for drawing their own informed conclusions.
Binance's founder Changpeng Zhao had been pursuing Brandon Chez for a long time. While the whole world was struggling with the health and the economic crisis, CoinMarketCap was acquired by Binance Capital in April 2020 for 400 million USD. The deal made headlines with both parties to gain. It gave Binance an opportunity to add more users while CoinMarketCap gained access to more extensive resources towards offering better and more accurate data to its users.
That's exactly what Binance's Changpeng Zhao (CZ) had to say, “It’s a really good website and I think we can help grow it further”.
There was, however, a scathing attack from some corners of the crypto world questioning, If and whether CoinMarketCap could maintain its independence after the acquisition. It was a conflict of interest where commentators saw CoinMarketCap be reduced to only a marketing tool for Binance.
CoinMarketCap however, continues to be run as an independent business entity while staying committed to providing the most accurate, timely, and quality cryptocurrency data in the industry.
It claims to strictly follow and enforce its independent listing criteria guidelines, circulating supply calculation methods and liquidity score for how it ranks cryptoassets.
Both CoinMarketCap and Binance have emphasised time and again that both entities are independent of each other with no bearing or influence over each other. It maintains that the ranking criteria of CoinMarketCap do not leave any scope of preferential treatment and inspite of any positive or negative financial effect to the parent company, CoinMarketCap will not compromise in enforcing the same. It is important for both to coexist as separate entities for long-term growth and integrity. The mantle of trust and transparency can only be upheld if there is no outside influence or compromise.
CoinMarketCap is committed to providing unbiased and transparent information. With the addition of new tools and features, it surely is heading in the right direction onboarding more users though only time will test the mettle of the values that it stands to safeguard. More on the features in an upcoming article.
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