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Q&A with OpenMarketCap

OpenMarketCap will be answering questions on Tuesday, September 18th at 11:00AM PST.

OpenMarketCap is a trusted token tracker. It keeps you updated on the cryptocurrency markets with transparent and accurate data.

OpenMarketCap posted 1 year ago

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Sam Campbell
What was the biggest challenge in building OpenMarketCap? What was the greatest insight learned that you and the team can translate into future DIRT projects?

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Yin Yin Wu
@campbellcapital - One of our learnings in building OMC is that trading crypto is very different than trading traditional stocks. Answering the question of what's the price of any token is not straight forward because crosslistings are the standard. Crosslistings are where your token is listed on mutiple exchanges. For traditional stocks, this is extremely rare. Facebook is only traded on Nasdaq and Walmart only on the NYSE. Determining the price of any token is more of an art than a science.
As a price tracker, you're closer to an editor than a neutral data provider. The price you show for any token depends on the basket of exchanges you include. Which includes you include depend on whether you consider the exchange "reputable". That's a hard judgement call to make.
Our goal is not be an editor for the crypto market. Rather we think communities should have the tools to govern themselves. OMC is an application for DIRT Protocol, and our team is building the underlying protocol for trusted data that allows communities to self moderate.
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Yin Yin Wu
@campbellcapital This is very timely question given the climate of fake news and misinformation. When discussed in a political context, the solutions posed are usually to overload people with facts. But research shows this doesn't work. When people are faced with information overload, objective facts are less influential than appeals to emotion.

For facts to matter more, we need to create environments that incentivize truth telling. Systems that give rewards people for honesty and where lies are costly. At DIRT, we’re using the blockchain to create this environment. Specifically, we build on the idea of a token curated registry to reward moderation and honesty. To share information, users need to stake tokens with their data. Anyone can challenge false information and earn tokens for their work. While the concept of a TCR has a lot of hype, few have been launched. Our team is building a protocol for TCRs, and using OMC as the first application.
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Sam Campbell
@yinyinwu Thanks for the detailed answers! As a follow-up, what tools or incentives are you putting in place that encourages positive self moderation?
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Brian Kim
Hey Yin! Any plans for developer tools? Widgets or APIs?
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Yin Yin Wu
@brianjckim Yes! more in the pipeline coming soon. We'd love to hear your feature requests here: https://openmarketcap.canny.io/feature-requests
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Nick Neuman
What makes OMC a "trusted" token tracker? How do you compare to OnChainFX, which I also view as a trustworthy source of info?
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Yin Yin Wu
@Nneuman Great question! Our team is a fan of your medium posts :)

Given that token prices are subjective (see answer for Sam Campbell for context), I don't think any price tracker should be seen as the sole oracle of truth. In January, CMC removed the Korean markets from the average price exchanges. It looked like the markets were down 20-30% even though nothing had fundamentally changed. If a single site is the gatekeeper, it has the ability to control the perception of prices and ultimately to directly influence the markets.

For now, OMC is getting to trust by proxy through showing you the data from other price trackers. You can see the price and circulating supply from CMC, cryptocompare, and CoinLib (onChainFx's api isn't public and we plan to add more trackers). If our numbers are wrong because we're considering the wrong basket of exchanges, you can check it against other sources.

Moving forward, OMC will be crowd governed. It will be powered by DIRT (https://dirtprotocol.com), a protocol for trusted data. More on that front coming soon.
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Dennis Stücken
Do you rely on coinmarketcap or do you fetch market information from all exchanges on your own?
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Yin Yin Wu
@dstuecken We pull the data from the exchanges directly. We have found that some exchanges have data are consistently unreliable. When we detect these outliers, we flag the exchanges to share that information with our users.
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Soona
Hi Yin! How does OMC play into DIRT's grand vision of becoming the trust token for TCRs? When and how can we expect to use DIRT tokens with OMC?
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Yin Yin Wu
@soonaorlater - To build a successful protocol, you need to have a first application. The analogy we want to follow is AWS. AWS works great because Amazon.com is the first customer. OMC will be the first customer for DIRT protocol. We're aiming to launch the protocol this year and OMC users will the first to test the mechanisms.
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Anthony Ko
What makes OMC different than other price trackers?
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Yin Yin Wu
@Anthony-Ko Two parts:
1. Outlier detection - Exchanges can be hacked or frozen, affecting prices within the market and across aggregator sites. New coins get introduced on a daily basis, yet low trading volume makes prices unstable. Manipulating the price of any token is easier than you may think. We detect and highlight outliers so you have the context around the data.

2. Comprehensive - We pull in prices across trackers so you get a more complete picture. You can think of OMC as the one stop shop for all your crypto data.
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Dennis Qian
Token Curated Registries (TCR) are one of the most hyped concepts in crypto, what’s your perspective on TCRs?
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Yin Yin Wu
@Dennis-Qian I think part of the problem with the hype is that there's no clear definition for a TCR. It's seen as a cure all for everything. Our team views TCRs are useful when 3 criteria are meet for the data:
1. Objective - It's harder to vote on subjective content. Instead of a TCR, you can have a ranked list with token stake.
2. Publicly verifiable - Any token holder can participate in a vote. For the crowd to vote correctly, the information to adjudicate the vote needs to publicly available.
3. Commercial value - Wikipedia works great for most use cases. You don't need a TCR to create a list of bird species because there is no incentive to manipulate the data. A list of ICOs and their contribution address wouldn't work in Wikipedia. There is a lot to gain for a hacker to have their personal be on the list. In this case, a TCR would be a valuable tool.
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Wil Chung
How does OMC demonstrate transparency and accuracy of pricing data?
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Yin Yin Wu
@iamwil Ironically for a technology centered around the idea of "trust", there is lot of misinformation in the blockchain space. With any data or news about a token, our motto you shouldn't take it for face value. We've built OMC with that philosophy in mind. By pulling in prices from different price trackers and highlighting outliers in trading volume, we make it easy for users to verify the data on OMC.
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David Tran
I get the value prop of being more open and transparent, but CMC just has huge mindshare at this point— how do you win people over?
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Yin Yin Wu
@dtran320 It's definitely hard to go against the incumbent. Our bet is that crypto is extremely early. It's not about whether we take users away from CMC, but rather can we build a better product to capture the new users that enter the market. At one point, Mt.Gox also had 90% of the marketshare. We're in it for the long haul :)
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Ryan Witt
why switch from CMC to OMC?
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Yin Yin Wu
@Ryan-Witt You'll make wrong decisions if you trade with wrong data. For example, this is the data for NEO: https://openmarketcap.com/tokens/neo. The 24 hour trading volume ranges from $45 - $65M. If you have a position on NEO, the ease of getting in and out of the position depends on an accurate count for the trading volume.

With DIRT, we also pull in data from CMC and other price trackers. By getting the whole picture, you can track crypto with confidence.
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regina
Why is Robinhood not listed as a source?
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Yin Yin Wu
@iregina Robinhood doesn't have a publicly available API. We would love to pull in their data stream if it becomes available in the future.
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Erik Torenberg
How did this idea originate?
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Yin Yin Wu
@eriktorenberg I've started following the crypto closely last year. When CMC removed the Korea markets, Ripple "dropped" $20B in market cap overnight. What was surprisingly to me is that for an entirely new decentralized ecosystem, you had a single point of failure. On principle, no player should have this much influence on the cryptocurrency markets.

Crypto is different than any other market. Anyone can create an exchange. There is a high incentive for manipulating prices. It's also hard to separate deliberate market manipulation and outdated data. The circulating supply affects the ranking. If the circulating supply is incorrect, it's hard to track down whether the misinformation is intentional or overlooked.

If we believe that crypto will be an entirely new financial market, participants need information they can trust. Our goal with OMC is not be the single source for the cryptocurrency markets. Rather we built OMC to be the first application for DIRT - a protocol that allows communities to work together to share trusted data.
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Anthony
Why do you default to market cap when it's a very poor and easily manipulated metric?
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