The history of CMC
In mid-2013 CMC launched, a new platform to track prices of all the cryptocurrencies out there. At first it was a very basic text-based website with only 15 or so cryptocurrencies available. Over the next few years CMC became the biggest site to track cryptocurrency prices and exchanges, it featured all sorts of stats from volume to graphs to historical data. During the big bull run of 2017 the site reached an unbelievable amount of traffic, with basically anyone who wanted to know any quick info on any cryptocurrency quickly checking the website.
The fall of a giant
Back at the time of the massive 2017 bull-run is when CMC started to feel less like a website that wanted to give everyone information and more like a monopoly. Due to the large influx of new cryptocurrencies and the massive influx of new users into the space CMC saw an opportunity and decided to take it at the cost of their transparency. CMC allegedly (though there is little proof to back this) started charging some projects for a listing, and it would take up to a month or more to list a new cryptocurrency on CMC. That is expected as the massive increase in usage was unexpected, however CMC didn’t try to handle it well. Before the end of 2018 CMC’s API was open and free for all, it gave live prices for cryptocurrencies and historical data. However, this changed at the time so that the free API was limited and required an account to be made so usage could be tracked. Now anyone who required access to large API data or frequent calls or required historical data to build data models had to pay for them.
From there CMC started including sponsors on their website from various crypto companies. This is not inherently bad, but it is very confusing to beginners when they look at some cryptocurrency that isn’t supported on those services, yet CMC is clearly labelling them right there on every coin’s page.
CMC then seemed to clearly not care about transparency and honesty since then, accepting faked volume on various crypto exchanges, making it difficult for much smaller and new currencies to list there and clearly not caring about the space as much as pushing an agenda. Earlier in 2020, however, is when the service truly lost its reputation in the eyes of many crypto enthusiasts. Binance (the highly popular exchange) purchased CMC in March of 2020. Since then there have been even more documented cases of weird stuff going on. Binance coin is clearly promoted in different ways throughout the site, CMC “excludes” some exchange’s volumes and prices for no actual reason other than likely because it might benefit Binance. And most importantly with the launch of the new DeFi tab in July this year Binance coin was put as the #1 DeFi coin. This sparked massive outrage as BNB is owned by a centralised company and can’t be classified as DeFi according to a large portion of the community, this outrage did cause the “mistake” to be fixed but it came at a massive cost of their reputation.
As reported by Beincrypto on May 16th CMC had a major shift in its ranking algorithm, especially with the introduction of a “confidence factor”. These changes seemed to favour Binance as many of its competitors mysteriously disappeared from the top 100 exchanges and Binance was always at the forefront of the website.
There have also been bugs discovered recently on the website regarding ranking and how CMC handles marketcaps. Projects were not ranked clearly according to market cap and instead cut off at project 200’s MC of $22m then jumps to $1.2bil for the ranking of 201 as shown below. Bugs happen in almost any website or piece of software, however the fact that CMC isn’t trying to address this quickly and more focused on promotions is not a great sign for them.
What to use instead
Now that we have discussed all the accusations against CMC and their seemingly dwindling service and reputation it’s time to look at the alternatives. While there are many websites that provide market data for cryptocurrencies there are two websites that stand out as fairly feature rich and transparent. Those being Coinstats and Coingecko, two relatively new platforms compared to CMC. Both services offer price and exchange tracking to a very wide range of cryptocurrencies and exchanges with seemingly more transparency than CMC (especially after the Binance acquisition). Coinstats even provides portfolio tracking so you can track how well your portfolio is doing in realtime. Coingecko additionally hosts new crypto news as well as providing several other useful features and a high-quality free API and widget system. There are also many other apps and websites out there to track prices and volumes and I suggest you go out there and look for them and pick your favourite.
As always thanks for reading my article and I highly encourage you to research the topic yourself and make your own informed decisions regarding this.
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