- Circulating Supply is the best approximation of the number of assets that are circulating in the market and in the general public's hands. We have found that Circulating Supply is a much better metric than Total Supply for determining the market capitalization. The method of using the Circulating Supply is analogous to the method of using public float to determine the market capitalization of companies in traditional investing.
- Assets that are locked (via smart contracts or legal contracts), allocated to the team or private investors, or not able to be sold on the public market, cannot affect the price and thus should not be allowed to affect the market capitalization as well. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Private sale - Assets that were earmarked for a subset of investors and not available to the public through open bidding/balloting.
- Ecosystem/Bounty/Marketing/Operations/Airdrops - Assets that have been earmarked for activities to grow the project’s ecosystem. For example, airdropped tokens are generally excluded from circulating supply unless the project is able to furnish evidence that there was active demand for the asset (e.g. users had registered/KYCed for the airdrop).
- Masternodes - Assets that have been ‘staked’ in masternodes are evaluated on a case-by-case basis - Factors such as masternode distribution, ownership, and lock-up periods are also taken into consideration.
- Team/Foundation/Treasury/Escrow - Assets held by project members or major ecosystem participants. Such holdings can constitute a significant percentage of the supply.
- Circulating Supply is verified by our team through communication with the project’s team. We ask for details including but not limited to the initial distribution, private allocations, locked addresses, team-controlled addresses, and addresses containing portions of the supply allocated for future use.
- We examine the project’s blockchain and distribution table to determine the best approximation of what is freely circulating in the market based on the information provided.
- After the information is verified, the circulating supply is usually updated in real-time by (i) referencing deductible wallet balances or (ii) using relevant block explorer APIs.
- It is in every project’s interest to provide accurate and well-documented information in good faith. Most well-run projects are able to account for the distribution of their assets across different addresses. If a project has difficulties furnishing the requisite documentation or if there are irregularities in their submission, we would not able to verify their CS data.
- Projects that attempt to manipulate or artificially inflate their supply figures will be permanently disqualified from the rankings.
- (Verified/Rankable) Circulating Supply (and Market Cap): As a general guideline for the issuance of verified CS, an asset must have material trading activity/volume on at least 3 CMC-supported exchanges with 'tracked listing' status. CoinMarketCap requires projects to provide enough information to meet our baseline levels of due diligence. We will not publish a verified circulating supply figure if project teams do not furnish the requisite information that meets our standards/methodology. Liquidity, volume, and the trading venues that the asset is on will also be taken into consideration when deriving the verified CS (and Market Cap) due to their implications on our cryptoasset rankings. As the adage goes, don't trust, verify.
- (Self-Reported) Circulating Supply: CMC's Self-Reporting Dashboard aims to give projects greater flexibility and control over the information that they share with the public. In the current iteration, projects will be able to manage their (i) self-reported circulating supply and (ii) tags. The goal of (i) is to give projects a voice by allowing them to display their self-reported CS (alongside the CMC-verified CS) on their CMC page (irrespective of the methodology used) without any ranking implications. Previously, the CS figure was derived solely from the CMC's team's methodology and ability to verify the supply information.
We define Total Supply as the total amount of coins in existence right now, minus any coins that have been verifiably burned.
The best approximation of the maximum amount of coins that will ever exist in the lifetime of the cryptocurrency. This is also known as the theoretical max number of coins that will ever be minted.