Cross-border payments startup Ripple hopes that by adopting a new trading volume benchmark, based on data from cryptocurrency index CryptoCompare, it will be able to better address concerns about “misreported, falsified and inflated reported trading volumes.”
The startup faced scrutiny in January when crypto research site Messari dropped a report alleging that the company had exaggerated the trading volume of its native cryptocurrency XRP by some $6.1 billion, as represented on CoinMarketCap.
Ripple pushed back, but the report evidently struck a nerve. Now, starting this quarter, the percentage of the volume packaged off and sold to Ripple’s investors—as per the company’s white paper—will be adjusted, according to a press release published on the Ripple website today.
Ripple claims CryptoCompare’s analysis of trading volume, which considers granular data, is a “more complete look on the quality, regulatory environment, management, and structure of exchanges that filter out a majority of unverified volumes” than the analysis offered by CoinMarketCap, which it previously used. (CoinMarketCap has not yet responded for comment.)
Volume in cryptocurrency is generally perceived to be a good gauge of its vitality but is too often overstated on crypto exchanges due to shady trading practices. A landmark report released earlier this year by cryptocurrency research firm Bitwise claimed that some 95 percent of trading volume across all cryptocurrency exchanges is artificially inflated. (That report was released in March, two months after the Messari report; perhaps Ripple’s change of heart was in response to that.)
In Ripple’s case, the dispute honed in on a specific detail: what is a market cap, anyway? Messari’s contention—that “market cap” necessarily omits capital that is inaccessible or held by the issuing company—didn’t wash with Ripple, who insisted its own vast holdings of XRP were part of the coin’s total circulation.
Ripple has not yet responded for comment.