How CoinMarketCap Fell From Grace

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  • CoinMarketCap was beloved by almost everyone in the crypto space
  • The simple design and independent ownership made it a haven for almost everyone, but that has changed drastically since
  • What happened to CoinMarketCap and why is it now a shadow of its former self?

Back in the ultra-Wild West of the 2017 cryptocurrency bull run, there was one thing that was guaranteed to spark interest in a new project – a CoinMarketCap listing. Back then, CoinMarketCap was by far and away the market leader in one-stop market metrics, but, as is always the case, competition has since arrived to take away its market share. Alongside that, CoinMarketCap has shot itself in the foot both on the usability front and the philosophical front, losing any advantage it gained from being a first mover. But where did it all go wrong for the former metrics giant?

CoinMarketCap Ruled the Crypto Waves for Seven Years

CoinMarketCap launched in 2013 and was for years the dominant force in crypto metrics, with the front page displaying essential information on the condition of individual coins and the market as a whole, all at a glance. The information was presented clearly and with no frills, allowing even novice users to understand the state of the markets. There were also categories and tools that more involved users found useful.

CoinMarketCap remained in this state until early 2020 when it was bought out by Binance. This represented the first step towards its reputational decline, with traders and commentators worrying that the site’s famous impartiality was now tainted. CoinMarketCap was now at liberty to promote Binance-related coins, or any coins, exchanges, and other projects for which Binance accepted money for promotion for that matter, which it did – sponsored coins and exchanges now litter every category, sometimes confusing those looking for information.

Binance Acquisition Led to a Deluge of Data

For those oblivious or ambivalent as to who owned CoinMarketCap, a new issue began to arise when Binance began adding more and more features to the site. Normally this is considered a good thing, but there is a limit to what such a site needs and also how much real estate there is to make use of. Some new tools and categories were useful, especially as the crypto space expanded with DeFi and NFTs for example, but a look at the site now shows that Binance has taken things too far.

The homepage is cluttered with data, numbers, and…just…stuff…stuff everywhere. It’s like the digital version of Times Square on New Year’s Eve – sensory overload. Menus and categories plague the screen to the point where it’s almost impossible to find what you might happen to be looking for, and with the advent of video thumbnails now running across the top of the screen it resembles the YouTube front page if it had vomited numbers everywhere.

CMC Is Trying to Be Everything

CoinMarketCap was loved for two reasons – it was independent and, chiefly, it was easy to use. You knew where to find the information you wanted and the homepage didn’t make you want to claw your own eyes out or slam the lid of your laptop down in rage.

Binance has turned CoinMarketCap from the go-to data reference into a cluttered, information-heavy mess that is trying to be many things and is failing as almost all of them.