Business

Erik Gibbs

CoinMarketCap acknowledges volume data is fake

Bitwise Asset Management released a report recently asserting that as much as 95% of the Bitcoin Core (BTC) trading volume on cryptocurrency exchanges such as CoinMarketCap (CMC) was fake. After the report started making headlines, CMC stepped forward and acknowledged that there were issues, and added that it would take corrective action. Curiously, the popular exchange made the same promises last July.

Bitwise filed an application with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch a BTC exchange-traded fund (ETF) in January. In an update to that application, it recently submitted a 226-slide presentation demonstrating how CMC’s spot volume is inaccurate. It claimed that less than 5% of the reported volume is actual real economic activity.

In acknowledging that there were issues, CMC said that it would implement new tools that would hopefully provide more transparency to trading. In an email to Bloomberg News, CMC Global Head of Marketing Carylyne Chan explained that the platform would include “liquidity measures, hot and cold wallet balances and traffic data for listed exchanges.”

She added, “For instance, if an exchange with low traffic has $300M volume and just 5 BTC in its wallet, users will be able to draw their own conclusions without the need for us to make arbitrary judgment calls on what is ’good’ or ’bad.’ We want to state that our philosophy is to provide as much information as possible to our users, so that they can form their own conclusions and interpretations—and not introduce our own bias into that mix.”

CMC is one of the most widely used crypto market data aggregator. It has a rank of 493 on Alexa and is popular with the majority of crypto followers looking for pricing, industry rankings and volume information. When the platform removed several South Korean exchanges from its pricing calculations early last year, the prices for many digital currencies suddenly and sharply dropped.

Last July, CMC said that it would remove volume requirements for exchanges wishing to be listed on the site. It further introduced new 7-day and 30-day volumes and began listing the dates exchanges were established. Those changes were implemented after concerns were raised regarding volume levels at the time, and it appears now that the site is only willing to take a reactive approach to fixing issues that would help provide accurate data for the crypto community, instead of proactively ensuring that the data it offers is legitimate and realistic.

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