Does the World Need 7,500+ Cryptocurrencies?
Now that Binance owns CoinMarketCap... well... let's just say it's difficult to look past how easy it is for CZ and the gang to manipulate data in their favor. Regardless of your trading activity on the exchange, the 'conflict of interest' alarm bells are ringing full blast.
So, where does one turn for a 2nd opinion? Many crypto aggregator sites exist, but I'm partial to CoinGecko.
Roughly 36 hours ago, I captured this screenshot displaying 7,454 coins spread across 418 exchanges.
Today, I'm back on CoinGecko conducting research. A quick glance into the site's aggregation now shows tracking for 7,548 projects! We've lost an exchange, but that's probably positive news. Does the space truly need 400+ exchanges with questionable business practices?
I'm all for the DEXs that have real volume since actual trading takes place from wallet to wallet. But the glut of centralized exchanges manipulating markets to their favor? We have enough of those, thanks!
The crypto market grew by nearly 100 coins in less than 2 days!
Unfortunately, those lofty figures include everything that’s wrong in the space. For example, it’s safe to assume that we can altogether do away with 90% of each category.
If 6,700 coins and 375 exchanges fall off the map today, most of us would be none the wiser. Not only that, but aside from poor unfortunate souls holding the projects’ coins, the space would vastly improve from such a culling.
You see, most coins and tokens don’t have any real purpose. Well, unless you count wash trading on shady exchanges out to make a living from price-gouging everyone with exorbitant listing and trading fees.
For the uninformed, wash trading is the unscrupulous practice of fulfilling your own buy and sell orders on an exchange. There’s no value transfer from one trader to another, yet the trade volume still counts towards the exchange’s activity ranking.
Point is, most of these 7,500+ projects are nothing more than a whitepaper. A bunch of lofty goals, but no actual product. Not even a product in the works! Plans to ship zero code. You get the idea.
How High Can We Go?
If you're reading this a few days or weeks from now, May 22, 2020: Did we reach 8,000 coins yet? How about 10k? If we continue at this pace, we'll cross into five-digit territory before summer's end.
But do you know of anyone putting crypto to good use outside of staking or loaning? These two use cases, in conjunction with stablecoins, are pushing interest in DeFi to all-time highs, with over U.S. $1B locked in Ethereum contracts as of February. The figure has since dropped to $900M, but people are increasingly looking for alternatives to government-controlled fiat systems.
I feel we'll soon see DeFi cross $1B again. Now, you may not trust the long-term stability of your government's money. But whether you do or you don't, digital assets pegged to that same fiat are currently paying 8%+ annual interest. That's hard to ignore. But we're still talking about two handfuls of coins, not thousands.
That said, does the world need a squillion different crypto coins and tokens? No it doesn't. But that won't stop both good and bad actors from conducting global experiments by launching tokenized value networks.
Which of the blockchain space's 7,500+ projects are worth your time? I'll leave that one up to you!