[image credit : Binance]
Binance Holdings Ltd., the firm behind leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has confirmed the acquisition of cryptoasset tracking platform CoinMarketCap.
In a blog post, Binance confirmed the acquisition and claimed CoinMaketCap “stays committed” to providing quality cryptocurrency data to its users “while benefiting from Binance’s expertise, resources and scale.” It added CoinMarketCap has “maintained independence from external stakeholders since its inception” and will keep being an independent business entity.
In the post, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao was quoted as saying CoinMarketCap is the “landing page of crypto.” The acquisition was first reported on by TheBlock, which wrote the platform could be changing hands for as much as $400 million in cash and stock.
While Binance’s BNB token and the Binance exchange are listed on the platform, the post responded to users’ concerns surrounding the acquisition writing, “CoinMarketCap and Binance are separate entities that maintain a strict policy of independence from one another: Binance has no bearing on CoinMarketCap rankings, while CoinMarketCap has no influence over Binance’s operations.”
Speaking to Bloomberg News Nic Carter, co-founder of Coin Metrics, noted that Binance could also set its platform as the preferred exchange by topping the rankings by default. Carter added, “While the move may cause some to question CMC’s [CoinMarketCap’s] ability to remain a neutral data provider, it could potentially be very productive for Binance.”
Binance’s blog post details CoinMarketCap’s founder Brandon Chez is stepping down as CEO to focus on his family, while current Chief Strategy Officer Carylyne Chain has been named interim CEO.
The cryptocurrency exchange recently raised questions after participating in what was dubbed a hostile takeover of the STEEM blockchain, later on removing the vote. CoinMarketCap’s data itself has also been heavily criticized, with one filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission from Bitwise Asset Management arguing 95% of the trading volume it reports is fake or non-economical in nature.
Cryptocurrency exchanges have been known to use schemes that help boost their trading volumes – in some cases allegedly going as far as wash trading – to boost their rankings on CoinMarketCap and gain visibility.
Addressing the issue Zhao noted it wasn’t an easy problem to fix, adding that almost everything “requires some kind of judgement or algorithm.” While the acquisition comes at a time in which the economy has been suffering because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Market volatility has, however, been good for crypto exchanges. Zhao revealed Binance’s traffic increased about five times over the past few weeks, while Coinbase had already revealed its volumes grew after the March 12-13 market crash.