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Methodology
(Last updated: July 15th, 2019)

Market Data

CoinMarketCap provides up-to-the-minute updates for all market data found on the site. Every minute, the various exchanges are queried for their most recent market data. All data is run through several data cleaning and verification algorithms to ensure data integrity. Here is a summary of how each metric is calculated:

(1) Price (Market Pair)

The price for each individual market pair is calculated by taking the unconverted price reported directly from the exchange and converting it to USD using CoinMarketCap’s existing reference prices. Let’s take LTC/BTC market as an example:

Let (E) be the price of LTC/BTC reported directly from the exchange.
Let (C) be the last known reference price of BTC from CoinMarketCap in USD.
Let (D) be the derived price reported on CoinMarketCap for the market pair.

For this example, let (E) = 0.01 BTC / 1 LTC and let (C) = 10,000 USD / 1 BTC.

D = E * C
D = (0.01 BTC / 1 LTC) * (10,000 USD / 1 BTC) = 100 USD / 1 LTC

Therefore, the derived price for LTC/BTC on this specific market pair is $100 USD.

Note: Any conversion into other fiat currencies (for example, EUR) are converted from the USD price based on current FX rates provided by openexchangerates.org.

(2) Volume (Market Pair)

The volume for each market pair is calculated by taking the 24h volume reported directly from the exchange in quote units, and converting it to USD using CoinMarketCap’s existing reference prices. Let’s take LTC/BTC market as an example:

Let (E) be the 24h volume of LTC/BTC reported directly from the exchange in quote units.
Let (C) be the last known reference price of BTC from CoinMarketCap in USD.
Let (D) be the derived volume reported on CoinMarketCap for the market.

For this example, let (E) = 100 BTC and let (C) = 10,000 USD / 1 BTC.

D = E * C
D = (100 BTC * 10,000 USD / 1 BTC) = 1,000,000 USD

Therefore, the derived volume for LTC/BTC on this specific market pair is $1,000,000 USD.

Note: Any conversion into other fiat currencies (for example, EUR) are converted from the USD volume based on current FX rates.

(3) Price (Cryptoasset)

The price of any cryptoasset is a volume weighted average of market pair prices (1) for the cryptoasset. The higher percentage of volume contributed from the pair, the more influence it has on the average price. The rationale for using a weighted average is because in general, markets with higher volume have higher liquidity and are less prone to price fluctuations. Some prices are manually excluded from the average, denoted by an asterisk (*) on the markets tab if the price does not seem indicative of a free market price; for example, when an exchange disables withdrawals or deposits, or regulatory conditions make it impossible for anyone else outside of a certain geographical region to buy coins. Some prices are also automatically excluded when our algorithms detect that the reported price is a significant outlier when compared to other market pairs for the same cryptoasset, denoted by three asterisks (***) on the markets tab.

(4) Volume (Cryptoasset)

The volume of any cryptoasset is the total spot trading volume reported by all exchanges over the last 24 hours for that cryptoasset. Some market pairs are excluded from the sum, denoted by two asterisks (**) on the markets tab, if the exchange does not enforce a trading fee or otherwise offers significant incentives to trade on the market pair. Market pairs with these characteristics are rather susceptible to wash trading, resulting in artificially inflated reported volumes. From our experience, we have found that it is better to exclude these markets to give a better representation of relative trading volumes for the crypto market.

(5) Volume (Exchange)

The volume of any exchange is the sum of all market pair volume (2) reported from the exchange over the last 24 hours.

Note: Market pairs that have been excluded from the cryptoasset volume calculation (4) are not excluded in the total exchange volume calculation (5). For example, when an exchange begins fee rebates on a specific pair, the pair will be excluded from the volume calculation in (4) but will not be excluded from its total exchange volume (5).

(6) Volume (Aggregate)

The total volume for all cryptoassets (found on the top of the site) is the sum of all individual cryptoasset volumes over the last 24 hours (4).

Note: Any market pairs with a cryptoasset on both sides of the market pair (for example, LTC/BTC) are essentially double-counted in this metric.

(7) Circulating Supply (Cryptoasset)

  1. Circulating Supply is the best approximation of the number of assets that are circulating in the market and in the general public's hands. We have found that Circulating Supply is a much better metric than Total Supply for determining the market capitalization. The method of using the Circulating Supply is analogous to the method of using public float to determine the market capitalization of companies in traditional investing.
  2. Assets that are locked (via smart contracts or legal contracts), allocated to the team or private investors, or not able to be sold on the public market, cannot affect the price and thus should not be allowed to affect the market capitalization as well. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. Private sale - Assets that were earmarked for a subset of investors and not available to the public through open bidding/balloting.
    2. Ecosystem/Bounty/Marketing/Operations/Airdrops - Assets that have been earmarked for activities to grow the project’s ecosystem.
    3. Masternodes - Assets that have been ‘staked’ in masternodes are generally excluded. Factors such as masternode distribution and lock-up periods are also taken into consideration.
    4. Team/Foundation/Treasury/Escrow - Assets held by project members or major ecosystem participants. Such holdings can constitute a significant percentage of the supply.
  3. Circulating Supply is verified by our team through communication with the project’s team. We ask for details including but not limited to the initial distribution, private allocations, locked addresses, team-controlled addresses, and addresses containing portions of the supply allocated for future use.
  4. We examine the project’s blockchain and distribution table to determine the best approximation of what is freely circulating in the market based on the information provided.
  5. Once the information is verified, circulating supply is usually updated in real time by using relevant block explorer APIs.
  6. It is in every project’s interest to provide accurate and well-documented information in good faith.
  7. Projects that attempt to manipulate or artificially inflate their supply figures will be permanently disqualified from the rankings.

(8) Market Capitalization (Cryptoasset)

Market capitalization of the cryptoasset is calculated by multiplying the existing reference price of the cryptoasset (3) by the current circulating supply (7). Let’s take the market capitalization of Bitcoin as an example:

Let (C) be the last known reference price of Bitcoin from CoinMarketCap in USD.
Let (S) be the current circulating supply of Bitcoin.
Let (D) be the derived market capitalization for Bitcoin.

For this example, let (C) = 10,000 USD / 1 BTC and let (S) = 17,000,000 BTC.

D = C * S
D = 10,000 USD / 1 BTC * 17,000,000 BTC = 170,000,000,000 USD

Therefore, the derived market capitalization for Bitcoin is $170,000,000,000 USD.

(9) Market Capitalization (Aggregate)

The total market capitalization for all cryptoassets (found on the top of the site as “Market Cap”) is the sum of all individual cryptoasset market capitalizations that meet requirements outlined in section (10g) below.

(10) Cryptoasset Rank

Due to the launch of the CoinMarketCap indices (administered by Solactive, which is fully compliant with IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks), a project’s eligibility for a Top 200 Cryptoasset Rank will now be determined by market capitalization (8) and the following factors:

  1. Our ability to verify the project’s supply information with no incongruities
  2. Strengths in a number of areas of Listings Review Criteria's Section C (Evaluation Framework) below
  3. Significant liquidity/trading activity with normal bid-ask spreads across sufficient sources of market data
  4. Absence of significant price discrepancies across CMC-supported exchanges
  5. The asset is traded on at least three non-decentralized exchanges that possess a number of the following attributes:
    1. DATA Partner
    2. Regulated/Licensed
    3. Publishes granular API endpoints
    4. Active product development and communication from the team
    5. Active/engaged community
    6. Accredited/Audited by a credible 3rd party

The aforementioned factors are intended to provide general guidance without disclosing internal thresholds so as to prevent projects from ‘gaming’ or manipulating the rankings. Further, the sheer variety of monetary and accounting models used by projects adds complexity to the process of verification, which means that there will be occasions where CoinMarketCap will have to exercise its discretion in determining a project’s circulating supply and/or eligibility for a Top 200 ranking (e.g. stablecoins, privacy coins, sidechains, and exchange tokens). Consequently, maximum rank eligibility of a project will fall under one of three categories:

  1. Top 200 Rank: The project must minimally have a CMC-verified market capitalization and fulfill the requirements outlined in 10a - 10e.
  2. Top 201 Rank and beyond: The project must minimally have a CMC-verified market capitalization but does not need to fulfill the requirements in 10a - 10e.
  3. Unranked: Cryptoassets without a CMC-verified market capitalization sorted by 24h trading volume.

Listings Criteria
(Last updated: June 17th, 2019)

DATA ADMISSIBILITY GUIDELINES

CoinMarketCap strives to provide accurate, timely, and unbiased data for cryptoassets. Our view is that we should always over-provide data (as opposed to censoring and policing information) and let our users draw their own conclusions. We actively listen to feedback/requests from our users to enrich the quality of the data on our website.

Determining which requests to prioritize/process is a balancing act as information may vary across different sources. Consequently, we rely on 3 principles to guide our decision-making process:

  1. Credibility: Is the requester able to substantiate his/her case with supporting evidence?
  2. Verification: Are we able to verify the information from credible and independently verifiable sources?
  3. Methodology: Is this request in accordance with our methodology?

The most common types of requests that CoinMarketCap receives are as follows:

S/N Request Type Best Practices
1 Updating of project details/URLs
  • Please ensure that the requested updates match what is found on the project’s website/social media accounts.
  • If the request entails changing the project’s website, please explain why the team is unable to get the original URL to redirect to the new website.
  • The verification process will be delayed if we observe any incongruities.
2 Name change/Rebrand
  • Ensure that the majority of CMC-supported exchanges have already processed the name change before reaching out.
3 Add markets/pairs for CMC-supported exchanges/assets
  • Ensure that the asset and exchange are tracked listings on CMC (See section B3 below).
  • Ensure that there is non-trivial trading activity/volume.
  • Provide direct URLs to the specific pairs/assets.
  • Include the full name of the asset to minimize confusion.
  • We will not add markets that have trivial volume/activity.
4 Project listings
  • Review Sections (A) - (E) below.
5 Supply Updates
  • Provide detailed and well-structured documentation on the asset’s distribution.
  • The verification process will be delayed if we observe any incongruities.
6 Complaints about misconduct
  • Provide a detailed and specific account of the incident.
  • Furnish proof with evidence from credible and independently verifiable resources.
  • The challenges of drawing the right conclusions are explained in this blog post.
  • Our general approach is to avoid censorship/policing and provide as much information as possible to our users so that they can form their own conclusions and interpretations. As such, we generally rely on factual alerts (rather than censorship) when we are able to verify the complaint from credible sources (e.g. regulator watchlists).
7 Requests to delist ‘scam’ cryptoasset projects
8 Requests to exclude ‘scam’ exchanges that are distorting prices

LISTINGS REVIEW CRITERIA

On a daily basis, CoinMarketCap receives thousands of requests to add specific cryptoassets and exchanges to the website. In an ideal world, we would be able to entertain most of these requests, but the reality is that due to finite resources, we must prioritize listings based on set criteria and guidelines to uphold the quality that users expect of CoinMarketCap.

The process of getting listed and remaining active on CoinMarketCap is a 5-step process, as outlined in Sections A - E below.

(Section A) Application Tips

The online submission form is the only way to request a new addition to CoinMarketCap. Do not reach out through other channels, such as email or social media, because you will always be directed to this form.

  1. Please review Sections A - E before submitting an application.
  2. Requests that provide complete and well-structured information (with evidence) will be prioritized for review.
  3. Check and ensure that you submit your application to the correct option on the form. For example, new exchange applications must be submitted to the ‘Add new exchange’ option on the form, and not anywhere else. Applications that are submitted to the wrong option(s) on the form will be discarded.
  4. Take the time to consolidate your points in a separate document before completing the form.
  5. Avoid piecemeal submissions.
  6. Substantiate your points with evidence from credible, independently verifiable sources.
  7. Quantify and qualify your progress with concrete and specific examples.
  8. Avoid hyperbole and vague statements.
  9. Organize and structure your points in a coherent and logical manner.
  10. Be truthful. False or misleading claims may render your submission inadmissible.

(Section B) Listing Review Prerequisites

Note that these are just the minimum requirements and meeting them does not guarantee a listing.

(1) Cryptoassets

For a cryptoasset to be considered for a listing review, it must meet the following prerequisites:

  1. Leverage cryptography, consensus algorithms or distributed ledgers, peer-to-peer technology and/or smart contracts to function as a store of value, medium of exchange, unit of account, or decentralized application.
  2. Must have a functional website and block explorer.
  3. Must be traded publicly, and actively traded on at least two (2) exchanges (with material volume) that are supported on CoinMarketCap.
  4. If the cryptoasset had an issuance through an IEO (Initial Exchange Offering) or is an exchange-based token that is on at least one (1) CMC-supported exchange, we may exercise our discretion to add it if off-platform withdrawals are possible.
  5. Provide a representative from the project with whom we can establish open lines of communication for any clarifications.
(2) Exchanges

For an exchange to be considered for a listing review, it must meet the following prerequisites:

  1. A functional website with trading volume that matches its API data.
  2. Must publish a summary API endpoint that exposes the last price and 24h volume of each cryptoasset.
    1. See sample of an ideal summary API endpoint.
    2. See sample of ideal API documentation.
  3. Must be in operation for at least sixty (60) days.
  4. Must allow traders to place buy and sell orders on an orderbook.
  5. Must allow users to view all market pairs and order books without the need to log-in to the website.
  6. Must have a ‘System Status’ page that shows all coin listings/details (e.g. full name, logo, project URL, block explorers).
  7. Must be able to provide a representative from the exchange with whom we can establish open lines of communication for any clarifications.
  8. Requests originating from emails that share the domain of the exchange will be prioritized.
(3) Listing Tiers

Projects that do not meet the minimum requirements may still be featured on the site as untracked listings, as outlined in Item (c) below.

  1. Inactive Listing - Projects that have been set to inactive status due to the absence of market data on at least one (1) CMC-supported exchange or cessation of operations. To qualify for a reactivation review, the project must be able to demonstrate that the asset is actively traded with material volume on at least two (2) CMC-supported exchanges.
  2. Unverified Listing - Projects whose price data show up through automated processes, but have not been reviewed by CMC.
  3. Untracked Listing - Projects that do not meet the minimum requirements in Section B1/B2 to track market data, but nevertheless exhibit strengths in a number of areas of Section C (Evaluation Framework) below.
  4. Tracked Listing - Projects that have met the minimum requirements in Section B1/B2 and exhibit strengths in a number of areas of Section C.

(Section C) Evaluation Framework

Beyond the prerequisites, we perform our evaluation holistically and pay close attention to a multitude of factors (both quantitative and qualitative). Getting listed is therefore not simply a matter of ticking off a checklist or hitting predefined thresholds, as we benchmark submissions against others in the cohort. These factors include but are not limited to:

S/N Factor Description Examples
1 Trading Volume & Market Pairs Trading volume and liquidity help with establishing a market price for users to acquire and sell cryptoassets. We also pay close attention to the market pairs on supported exchanges and the sources of the volume.
2 Community Interest & Engagement A project’s usefulness is largely a function of adoption and its ability to foster meaningful interactions with its community and user base.
3 Traction/Progress This can take the form of user growth, partnerships, institutional/consumer adoption, and roadmap progress
4 Team The personnel, investors, and advisors are integral to the success of any given project, especially if there are transferable skills/experience/networks that can be leveraged. The conduct of the team (e.g. transparency and professionalism) will also factor into our assessment.
5 Product/Market Fit A project with a minimum viable product that addresses a specific pain point, problem, or use case is more likely to gain traction in the long run.
6 Impact & Practicality Some of the most transformative ideas (such as livestreaming and eCommerce circa 1996) failed initially because they were ahead of their time. By that very token (pun intended), it is critical that a project be easy to implement and use for a sizeable addressable market.
7 Uniqueness & Innovation Creating a project with unique and interesting characteristics/technology expands the use cases for crypto and helps the crypto ecosystem grow as a whole.
8 Project Longevity & Activity Many projects come and go. For this reason, we prefer to list projects that have stood the test of time.

(Section D) House Rules

  1. The online submission form is the ONLY way to request for listings/updates to CoinMarketCap.
  2. DO NOT reach out through other channels, such as email or social media, because you will always be directed to this form.
  3. DO NOT submit duplicate requests or repeatedly ask for status updates as it will add to the queue and delay the process.
  4. DO NOT contact our team members on any other channel, as this will not help in getting your request expedited.
  5. DO NOT ‘spam’ the request form (or incite other entities into doing so on your behalf) as this may result in the blacklisting of your project.
  6. DO NOT send “angry comments” to our official email channels or social media as this does not reflect well on your organization and may result in the blacklisting of your project.
  7. If your project is not listed right away, you may send us additional information about your progress (consolidated with all the information from previous submissions as a new request on the online submission form) to keep us updated, especially if the project has made significant progress.
  8. CoinMarketCap listings are always free. Please beware of spoofed emails, fake social accounts, or individuals requesting listing fees. Anyone asking you to pay a fee or tip for getting your project listed on CoinMarketCap is definitely not sanctioned to do so. We also do not sanction any listing service to assist in the listing application of any cryptoasset project or exchange. While we gladly accept donations, attempting to bribe us in the hopes of influencing the outcome of your request will not work.
  9. CoinMarketCap DOES NOT accept payment of any form to bypass listing requirements or to intentionally publish inaccurate information. We evaluate every request with the same level of scrutiny.
  10. Offering to pay large sums for advertising, contingent upon the outcome of your listing, will also not improve your chances of getting listed.
  11. Focus on organic growth and use of your project. Inflating your project’s trading volume, traffic, or social media metrics will not increase your chances of getting listed.

(Section E) Delisting Policy

CoinMarketCap reserves the right to exercise its sole discretion in delisting a market/pair, exchange, or cryptoasset without prior notice. Factors that could contribute to such a course of action may include the following:

  1. Low liquidity or suspicious trading activity.
  2. The project’s cessation of development and/or business activity.
  3. The project’s listing on CMC was the result of misleading, incomplete, or false information.
  4. The project (and/or its associates) is under investigation or is found guilty of a breach of law(s), statute(s), and regulation(s).
  5. Extraordinarily poor implementation or reception by the project’s community.
  6. Any other factor that CoinMarketCap deems risky for its users.