Understanding CoinMarketCap.com: A Site With Every Crypto’s Price on It and Where to Trade Them

CoinMarketCap.com is one of the more useful crypto sites for getting an overview of the market. Here are the basics of how to understand the site.

TIP: Some of the most important information to know when investing in a cryptocurrency is market cap (total coins in circulation compared to current price), price (in a fiat currency like USD and a major crypto like BTC), volume (fiat value of currency traded in a day), supply (circulating supply of a coin), social media buzz, and what exchanges it trades on. Guess what CoinMarketCap.com displays? You guessed it, all of that! That is why its arguably the most popular cryptocurrency related site.

NOTE: CoinMarketCap.com isn’t an exchange, it is just a resource that helps you find coin prices and where to trade specific crypto pairs like BTC/ETH. It is also one of if not the most popular crypto resource online. While its not an exchange itself, if you hit the “buy” button on any coin’s page you go to changelly.com (which is a type of exchange). Anyway, it is an important resource that goes hand-in-hand with any exchange… so I made an exception and put it in the exchanges section (if you were wondering why it is listed in that section, that is your answer).

Understanding How to Use CoinMarketCap.Com

First off, the main page to look at is the Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations of All Cryptocurrencies (the home page).

This page lists the market cap, price, volume, supply, 24 hour price change, and a graph of that price over 24 hours.

  • Market cap is total coins in circulation plus the current market price.
  • Price is… the current average market price across exchanges.
  • Volume is how much of a coin was traded in the past 24 hours.
  • Supply is how many are in existence (multiple that by the price and you get the market cap).

When you look at a coin, you want to look at market cap for an overview of its value (because this number avoids having the deal with figuring out not just the value of a coin, but the value of a coin compared to how many there are total circulating).

Price is rather self explanatory, good when it goes up to sell, good when it goes down to buy.

Supply gives you an idea of how limited the current supply is (but not how many can be created in total, you need to research that per coin).

The 24 hour volume and change tells you about how the coin is preforming now. Is it on a dip, is volume lower than it usual is, these metrics can help you time buys and sells.

That is the gist, you can tweak the perameters by messing with the drop downs above the list.

Next, click on a coin, let’s click on Ethereum as an example.

Here we see a chart with lots of lines crossing over each other. The orange line on the chart is price in Bitcoin. Bitcoin tends to go up, so the relative price of everything in Bitcoin is generally down. Don’t let that throw you off, but do consider the trajectory when trading between coins.

The blue line is market cap, this matters for the reasons stated above. A coin whose market cap is growing is a coin that is doing well in general (as either the price is going up or the supply is going down).

The green line is price in USD. That should be the most obvious to look at.

Lastly, the chart below that is volume.

If volume is high and market cap is growing on average, the coin is generally doing well. Meanwhile, you should expect all coins to be down compared to Bitcoin (for the time being).

To add one last thing to know, the tabs above the chart on a given coin’s page on a given coin’s page shows social media buzz and what exchanges it is traded on (under the markets tab). It also shows what crypto pairs you can trade (like ETH/BTC or ETH/USD).

Other information on the site should be easy to figure out with a little bit of work once you know these basics.

I’ll consider adding more information to this page, but for now I thought it was just important to explain the basic essentials (as it can be confusing to see all those lines and numbers and not understand what they mean).

coinmarketcap beginners tutorial.

What do you think?

harry on

Although this video is recorded 7 months ago and I just found it, it was very useful for a beginner who wants to know about cryptocurrencies.
Thank you

Thomas DeMichele
Thomas DeMichele on

Glad to know. Ideally there we would have a more recent video. However it is useful and its kind of neat to see how far crypto has come in terms of price, volume, and market cap while learning!

Benjamin on

What Does Token Sales Means?

Thomas DeMichele
Thomas DeMichele on

Token sale generally refers to a pre-sale of an upcoming ERC-20 based token (a “cryptocurrency token” that uses the Ethereum network).

So Token sale = the presale of a token from an ICO.

All cryptocurrencies are technically tokens, but people often use the term token to refer to Ethereum based cryptos built on the Ethereum network. Details are a little bit more complex then that (for example we could discuss tokens not meant to be used as currencies), but that is the gist.

Phil on

ICO promotion is almost entirely dependent upon CoinMarketCap, but they only list coins and tokens that are on select and costly exchanges. It’s not a complete list, and makes it very difficult for startups to get funding without being listed. There’s no good site for token listings pre-ICO.

Thomas DeMichele
Thomas DeMichele on

Interesting perspective. there are a few sites that list ICOs though. For example: