The apparent price of Bitcoin dropped to zero for a short time last night on CoinMarketCap, sparking confusion among the crypto community.
Tuesday evening, at around 9:43 pm EST, users on Twitter began reporting that the price of Bitcoin had fallen to zero on the popular crypto data aggregator, temporarily dropping out of the top crypto spot for the first time ever.
— cryptoLine (@cryptoLine1) September 18, 2019
This allowed Ethereum (ETH) to take the first position in the market, followed by XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC).
— Digital Asset Investor (@digitalassetbuy) September 18, 2019
It was also later reported that Bitcoin’s market dominance had dropped from roughly 67% to zero as well.
CoinMarketCap learned of the problem almost immediately and was able to fix the issue in a matter of minutes.
The company addressed what it called a “pricing glitch” earlier today on Twitter:
Hi, sorry about that! There was a temporary pricing glitch last night ET. Our team has since fixed it and is working on preventing this from occurring again in the future.
— CoinMarketCap (@CoinMarketCap) September 18, 2019
“Apologies about that! There was a temporary pricing glitch last night ET. Our team has since fixed it. We’re working on making sure this doesn’t happen again,” CoinMarketCap tweeted.
Despite CoinMarketCap being one of the most popular sources of crypto market and exchange data, there was no noticeable effect on Bitcoin’s actual market price.
Other notable CoinMarketCap “glitches”
This isn’t the first time that CoinMarketCap has experienced problems that affected the price – real or displayed – of various digital currencies.
On August 3, 2018, the platform a “data issue” that lead to a displayed Bitcoin price spike of more than 12% on the site and false data that BTC was trading at more than $73,000 on some exchanges.
The effect on altcoins’ displayed prices was even more dramatic.
The apparent price of Aeternity (AE), then the eighth most valuable cryptocurrency, showed an increase of 951% while MOAC and Bitcoin Diamond (BCD) recorded displayed increases of 905% and 876%, respectively.
CoinMarketCap later apologized, acknowledging that “a price calculation error on Tether which caused any listing with a Tether market to become artificially inflated.”
We apologize for the glitch earlier. There was a price calculation error on Tether which caused any listing with a Tether market to become artificially inflated. We will release a post mortem in the near future giving more details and our plans for preventing this in the future.
— CoinMarketCap (@CoinMarketCap) August 3, 2018
And of course, although technically not a glitch, who can forget the time that CoinMarketCap arbitrarily decided to remove Korean crypto exchanges from its price calculations?
Around midnight on Sunday, January 7, 2018, CoinMarketCap removed Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit from its calculations but didn’t let its users know until the following morning.
This morning we excluded some Korean exchanges in price calculations due to the extreme divergence in prices from the rest of the world and limited arbitrage opportunity. We are working on better tools to provide users with the averages that are most relevant to them.
— CoinMarketCap (@CoinMarketCap) January 8, 2018
For its part, CoinMarketCap has always maintained these issues were just bugs or glitches that were solved as soon as possible and were not related to hacks or any malicious intention to manipulate crypto prices.
The site has also been working ways to offer better, more accurate information and services to users and enthusiasts in the cryptocurrency space.
In a recent blog post, the company announced that it would be updating its ranking methodology.
“We will be announcing a change in our ranking methodology to ensure cryptoassets will have fairer representation in the ranking when comparing across all cryptoassets,” the blog post read.
It also plans to incorporate a new liquidity-based metric into the exchange ranking process on November 12, 2019.
“This liquidity metric will factor into market pairs, and will be combined with other metrics that will go into the ranking of exchanges and projects.”