CMC invents “time machine”, takes XRP back 5 years

by | May 8, 2021

CoinMarketCap, a popular price tracking website for crypto assets, has been reporting the wrong data for XRP since May 7th, slashing $17.5 billion from XRP’s Market Cap.

Ripple API

Ripple has been monitoring the XRPL, updating an API on a weekly basis. Anyone can do that since the XRPL is open and not controlled by a single entity. Ripple’s data includes the total, distributed (circulating), undistributed, and escrowed supply. Even though this data can be calculated independently, reporting websites have been relying on Ripple’s API endpoint, presenting that data to their visitors.

An issue that arises is that because Ripple’s API is refreshed on a weekly basis, these reporting websites knowingly present outdated data to their users. Furthermore, by not pulling their own data independently from the XRPL, any downtime on Ripple’s behalf affects their data and services as well.

Reduced Market Cap

On May 7th, CMC changed XRP’s circulating supply from 46,030,731,641 XRP to 35,108,326,973 XRP, slashing its circulating supply by 10,922,404,668 XRP. At $1.60, that is almost $17.5 billion in market cap.

Other websites and platforms that use CMC data similarly started showing 35 billion XRP in circulation, causing havoc and confusion amongst XRP holders and the crypto space in general. Theories emerged that Ripple might have burned 11 billion XRP or that 11 billion XRP were taken out of the supply as part of a settlement agreement. The change, however, is purely technical.

CMC’s “time machine”

The issue on CMC occurred from the way it pulls data from Ripple’s API. Instead of pulling the latest data and reporting the latest circulating supply, it pulls the oldest data, reporting the oldest circulating supply. CMC is pulling the oldest record, from June 5th, 2016, showing a circulating supply of 35,108,326,973.

The fix is quite simple, just two words: Instead of calling for https://data.ripple.com/v2/network/xrp_distribution CMC should call for https://data.ripple.com/v2/network/xrp_distribution?descending=true, thus pulling the latest data instead of the oldest.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time this occurs. Almost a year ago, CMC and other reporting websites were using Ripple’s API incorrectly, pulling the 200th record instead of the latest one. Back then, most reporting websites had the same error since they were using the same default syntax for their queries. This time, CMC is the one that needs to update its query.

In the crypto asset space, reporting websites provide valuable information, on which Investors rely to make financial decisions. These websites need to step up and provide valid and unbiased information, fixing any errors that occur quickly and seamlessly.