Learn Crypto

What is Market Cap?

Jesse
5 min

What is Market Cap?


The term market cap is short for "market capitalisation," which refers to the financial value of a company based on the total number of its outstanding shares multiplied by their price per share. For bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, it refers to all coins mined.

All the coins (or all of them that have been mined) in a cryptocurrency add up to its market cap. The crypto market cap refers to this sum and is used as an indicator of how valuable a cryptocurrency or a portfolio of cryptocurrencies is.

The market capitalisation of a cryptocurrency (or any other company) can be calculated by multiplying the number of coins by the current price per coin.

For example: The market capitalisation of a let's call it "Xcoin" is $6.2 billion, the number supply of "Xcoins" in existence is 16,842,100 with a price per coin of $273 which indicates to us that the market cap of the "Xcoin" is equal to $1.37 billion.

These logistics are dynamic and can change depending on the price of a token at any given moment. The infinite total of tokens is a part of the strategies implemented by cryptocurrency projects to ensure no deflation of assets can occur, giving a riser to project potential and profits.


The current market capitalisation of cryptocurrencies

The market capitalisation of the crypto-market is currently above $2 Trillion as per the 17th of August 2021, with more to gain.

Most top coins have a market cap that exceeds $1 billion which means they are in the large-cap group, this includes Bitcoin with its market cap of over $885 billion and Ethereum also well above $383 billion.

This is a good sign for the market as these two coins are among the most large-cap markets and well-known cryptocurrencies. The majority of tokens in the cryptocurrencies market are in fact small caps, with over 90 percent of them currently below $1 billion.


You can view and compare trading and market capitalisation statics on Coinbase for a more in-depth look at each crypto, whether for investment purposes or out of curiosity.


Market cap, a reliable indicator?

A high market capitalization doesn't mean a cryptocurrency is doing well. A cryptocurrency that has a large market cap might be overvalued in terms of price, what it can deliver now and in the short-term future, as well as current demand.

Some coins can have a relatively high price but low volumes because they have been issued in small numbers by only one person, one of the many market capitalisation strategies. The price is largely driven by expectations and hype, rather than the number of coins out there, giving an unwarranted riser to some tokens.

These small market cap tokens have relatively high prices but a low market capitalisation due to a low total volume of their coin supply. These tokens can be particularly risky as most of them do not come with business model plans and many of them are just new (ICOs).

Price is an important factor in any financial sector, but market capitalization (market cap) is an important data point for investors seeking to analyse and compare the value of a cryptocurrency and is often used by traders to help determine the growth potential of a cryptocurrency and if they should buy or sell the specific crypto when compared to others.


The different crypto market cap categories:

Cryptocurrencies and other digital currencies are classified by their market cap into three categories, Large-cap medium-cap and small-cap. Let's get comparing:

Large-cap (capped at $10b )

Generally speaking, coins with the highest market caps are considered to be in the large-cap group. This includes Bitcoin and Ethereum. These are considered "Lower risk" by an investor as they demonstrated a track record of growth and high liquidity which means their volume of trading can withstand a high number of sell transactions without majorly affecting the price, giving a sense of securities.

Medium-caps (capped at $1b to $10b)

The secondary level of cryptocurrencies, mostly altcoins, are considered to be a part of the medium-cap group. They are generally more volatile, but enjoy a greater growth potential than their more traditional large-cap counterparts.

Small-caps (capped at under $1b)

This last category consists of small-cap cryptocurrencies or tokens which generally don't have a market cap exceeding $1 billion. These are most susceptible to dramatic fluctuation of price based on market sentiment. An investor may vouch for them as these fluctuations are easy to make money on, but also have high potential to lose on.

Market Cap is only one way to measure cryptocurrency value, but it is an important data point for investors to consider before purchasing a cryptocurrency. Market trends, a cryptocurrency's stability, and liquidity are also important when looking at the value of a cryptocurrency.


Coin market capitalisation conclusion

Whether you are here for investment strategy analysis, or because you want to know what people mean when they say market cap, we hope this article helped with your evaluation on the differences of each market capitalisation. It's always recommended to have some diversification in your portfolio, don't keep all your eggs in one basket as they say. As already stated, the market cap of a blockchain technology token does not give definitive proof of whether a project will be successful or not, it comes down to plenty of variables. Brand market, social media presence, online community, and more. The market cap trend greatly depends on how old the project is, currency market supply, marketing, and more.

It is always important to do your own research before investment, evaluating it the project meets your needs, the team behind it, its potential in the market, and so much more. While market cap may be of some importance, it is not the only thing the makes a project successful.

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