Crypto Total Market Cap, $

TOTALCRYPTOCAP
TOTAL
Crypto Total Market Cap, $CRYPTOCAP
 
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Important events

Nov 292022

BlockFi boils over

Turns out the strain of the collapse of FTX was too much to bear for BlockFi, who have now gone full bankruptcy mode.

  • Crypto firm BlockFi has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after the FTX fiasco, detailing that it had more than 100k creditors with liabilities ranging between $1bn and $10bn despite only having around $257m in cash – yikes. The company also had links to the now-collapsed Three Arrows Capital, which only deepened its liquidity issues.
  • BlockFi was one of the firms for which FTX was something of a guardian angel – reportedly offering a $400m credit line to the group. That credit line however, was only enough to keep the $4.8bn company buoyant for a period of time as it struggled to cope with a cascading crypto market – which has fallen by 17% in value over the last month.
  • The company’s largest creditor, Ankura Trust Company, is owed around $729m and BlockFi now joins the infamous ranks of this year’s collapsed crypto companies including Celsius and Voyager – both of which were in the running to be purchased by FTX at one point. It seems that “too big to fail” doesn’t apply to crypto.
Illustration by TradingView

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Nov 172022

The contagion spreads

FTX isn’t done wreaking havoc yet, with some of the biggest companies in the crypto industry struggling to stay afloat.

  • Crypto lender BlockFi is contemplating filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is planning a slew of layoffs as it struggles to cope with the collapse of FTX. The group has also paused withdrawals and approached exchange giant Binance about financial assistance.
  • The lending arm of crypto investment bank Genesis is also pausing new loans. It’s a pretty big deal as it’s one of the biggest lenders in the space, with $2.8bn in active loans last quarter. The company said the pause was in order to “navigate this difficult market environment.”
  • It’s looking like the FTX collapse will cause major contagion for the crypto industry, with many eyes now turning to Crypto.com. Rumors are circulating that the 40% drop in the platform’s CRO token after that of FTX might indicate that it’s next on the chopping block.
Shubham Dhage / Unsplash
Nov 022022

Turning the volume waaay down

With crypto exchange volumes plummeting, crypto bears are looking pretty comfortable in hibernation mode.

  • In October, crypto exchange volumes reached a 23-month low with levels not seen since December 2020. The global volume of crypto transacted on exchanges was $542bn last month, which marks a 25% decrease from the $733bn transacted in September.
  • Europe in particular seems to be embracing the crypto bear market the most. With just $17.7bn in exchange volume over the course of October, European exchange volumes are at a 25-month low, with levels not seen since October 2020.
  • There’s a few reasons why crypto trading might be looking less appealing recently. The industry has made a 57% loss YTD and since the collapse of Terra’s UST stablecoin in May, increased regulatory scrutiny of the space has some investors spooked.
Rodion Kutsaiev / Unsplash
Oct 182022

Mastering mass adoption?

Financial giant Mastercard wants to help banks take crypto mainstream and joins forces with Paxos to make it happen.

  • Mastercard is teaming up with Paxos to launch crypto trading for banks, planning to launch a platform that will function as a bridge between the two sectors. Paxos is already utilized by PayPal for its crypto services, and will take care of the custody and trading side while Mastercard handles regulatory compliance and security.
  • So what’s prompting this transition? Well, a gap in the market. Mastercard did some research and found that there are actually a ton of people (like 65% of those interviewed) that are keen to consider crypto investments but that would feel better doing so through a bank or traditional institution.
  • Crypto continues to be embraced by TradFi as a slew of large banks get their foot in the door, and it's a bullish signal for the industry. Both Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have set up their own ‘crypto teams’, but so far they’ve been hesitant to offer crypto services to retail investors. Maybe Mastercard’s move will change that.
Ron McClenny / Unsplash
Oct 172022

Adoption outweighs declines

The crypto market’s valuation isn’t looking too pretty rn, but sometimes it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

  • Some experts think that the price of top cryptos is irrelevant to their success. Markets may be significantly down with Bitcoin and Ethereum down 60% and 65% YTD respectively, but analysts think increased adoption is a better bellwether of their trajectory.
  • The last few months have seen some pretty big moves for mainstream adoption, with Google announcing last week announced it would be partnering with Coinbase to implement crypto payment solutions and have Coinbase data moved from Amazon Web Services over to Google Cloud.
  • Financial institutions have also been hopping on board over the past few months. In August, the largest asset manager in the world, BlackRock, launched a spot BTC private trust and last week BNY Mellon became the custodian for the cash reserves of sablecloin issuer Circle.
Jonathan Borba / Unsplash
Oct 062022

Music to DeFi's ears

Warner Music Group looks ready to put another brick in the wall of crypto adoption with a new metaverse push on the way.

  • Warner Music Group is expanding into web 3 and the metaverse, with two new job postings indicating the company’s direction. The first of the two new openings relates to metaverse marketing, with the second involving partnership strategy for web 3.
  • The group already partnered with NFT marketplace OpenSea last week, making it the platform for its music-related NFT drops – in the hopes of bolstering fan engagement and revenues through the partnership.
  • Warner isn’t alone in seeking to capitalize on the metaverse craze, with Disney also looking to expand its web 3 presence, posting a job opening last month for an NFT and DeFi specialist. It seems like everyone's looking to stake a claim in the metaverse land-grab.
  • Marcela Laskoski / Unsplash
    Oct 052022

    A threat to the US economy?

    Regulators are getting serious about crypto as growing institutional investment in the space has them thinking – ‘no more mister nice guy”.

    • Crypto could pose a threat to the US economy, according to a report by the US Treasury financial stability watchdog on Monday. The report identified shortcomings of the space, including “limited oversight” and “opportunities for regulation arbitrage.”
    • Congress has been advised to pass legislation ASAP. It’s already produced several bills on the issue of stablecoins and digital commodities, but the watchdog group thinks more sweeping regulation of the crypto space is needed to prevent economic harm.
    • Biden’s administration has been wrestling with crypto throughout his Presidency. This year, Biden released his executive order on the “Development of Digital Assets” and in September, his administration released a slew of reports urging regulators to move faster. It looks like there may be more regulation around the corner.
    Oct 042022

    You gotta Keep Up with those regulations

    It looks like Kim K has yet to get to the “securities” part of her law degree. It’s a shame too, cause it’s gonna cost her way more than those diamond earrings she lost in the sea that time.

  • Kim Kardashian has been fined $1.26m by the SEC for promoting Ethereum Max on her Instagram account back in 2021 – the fine came after she failed to disclose that she had received $250k for making a post about the token. That being said, with a personal worth of almost $2bn, it’s unlikely she’s having to sell any assets to pay it off.
  • The SEC’s been coming down hard on celebs promoting crypto, even prompting SEC head Gary Gensler to hop onto YouTube to make an educational video, warning investors to do their own research before purchasing celebrity-endorsed tokens and saying an endorsement “doesn’t make it right for all investors”.
  • The EMAX token reached its peak in May 2021, at a price of $0.00000059 before falling over 80% in just 10 days. Around the time of Kim’s post (and promo by a bunch of other celebs like Floyd Mayweather) in June however, the token surged by almost 150% – we’re guessing that’s what pricked the ears of the regulators.
  • Bloomberg
    Sep 222022

    A Kraken the wall

    What’s worse than facing a federal investigation? Seeing the CEO step down right in the middle of said federal investigation.

    • Jesse Powell – CEO of the Kraken exchange – has stepped down, apparently because the role had become “less fun” recently. COO Dave Ripley will now take on the role at the world’s ninth-largest crypto exchange, valued at around $11bn.
    • But, he’s inheriting a wounded company. Kraken’s been in the hot seat after the US Treasury opened an investigation amid rumors that the exchange had been offering its services in Iran and other sanctioned nations. Maybe that’s what put a dampener on the fun?
    • Elsewhere in crypto exchange land however, competitor FTX seems to go from strength to strength as it gears up for a new round of funding at a valuation of $32bn. The group seems impervious to the current crypto winter, and even has enough capital to bid on market slump victims like Voyager.
    Sep 212022

    If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em

    You’ve gotta know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em, and the Nasdaq seems to be placing its bets on crypto.

    • The Nasdaq is poised to launch a crypto custody service in a push to be the main service provider for institutional crypto interest. The company’s VP said they’ve seen increasing appetite for digital currencies and will begin by offering Bitcoin and Ethereum custody services, but may expand to offer more.
    • Institutional investors have been flirting with crypto for a while now, showing that the world’s financial giants are undeterred by the crypto winter frost. BlackRock’s Coinbase partnership recently rocked the market and a Charles Schwab-backed exchange is due to begin offering tokens to users this year.
    • The Nasdaq’s got some mean custody-competition on its hands, most notably from Anchorage and Coinbase Custody. But, the exchange is already a big-time market player and handles billions of dollars in share deals every day, so perhaps the New York company can make up for lost time. Either way, crypto is going more mainstream err’day.
    Sep 192022

    J-Biddy gets busy with crypto regs

    President Joe Biden warns crypto investors of the many risks while his administration releases the first-ever comprehensive framework on regulating crypto.

    • There’s no doubt that crypto is evolving, and J-Biddy wants to be ahead of the curve on this one. The new framework from the White House outlines how the financial services industry has to mature to make borderless transactions easier and gives a guide on how to crack down on fraud in the industry.
    • It follows an executive order in March where Biden called federal agencies to examine all the risks and benefits of crypto and hand in their official findings, and govt agencies have been working since then to develop internal frameworks and make recommendations – the new framework leans heavily on existing regulators like the SEC and CFTC.
    • Nobody is mandating anything just yet and there’s no decisive legislation coming out on the back of this, but it does give a clearer picture of what regulation might look like. It does seem like there’s a recognition of the potential of crypto given there was mention of a US Central Bank Digital Currency and its profound possible benefits.
    Cezary Piwowarczyk / Wikimedia Commons
    Aug 172022

    The Fed paves the way for crypto banks

    With new guidance on offering fiat services, the Fed gives crypto banks a ticket to the big leagues.

    • The Federal Reserve has released new guidance for crypto banks which outlines the requirements for access to its master accounts. These grant access to the global payment system and could make it possible for American crypto banks to have both crypto and fiat functionality. Until now, American banks have had to ‘pick a lane’ and stick to it.
    • The guidance was first proposed last year and received public feedback with CEO of Kraken bank David Kinitsky describing it as a “positive step”. In the guidance, crypto banks would be separated into three ‘tiers’. The first would be federally insured, the second would not be insured but ‘supervised’ and the third would be neither insured nor supervised.
    • Kraken Bank and Custodia filed for access to master accounts in 2021 and would be among the crypto banks to benefit from the guidance if it proceeds as proposed. It’s not all happy families however, as Custodia sued the Federal Reserve just two months ago for delaying its response to the bank’s application for a master account.
    ajay_suresh / Flickr
    Aug 042022

    Is the CFTC getting custody of crypto?

    If the Senate gets its way, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission could be the new legal guardian of (some) digital assets.

    • The Senate introduced The Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act of 2022 this week, the latest legislative effort to “clarify ambiguities and provide a regulatory framework” and give the CFTC jurisdiction over cryptocurrency trades that meet commodities law.
    • The regulator would have “exclusive oversight” over what it defines as a “digital commodity”, a question that market participants might also quite like the answer to after a long-running debate around what makes a token a security or a commodity – right now it’s only BTC and ETH under the commodities umbrella.
    • This bill is somewhat of a win for the digital asset market as a whole – who’ve been trying to get basically anyone other than the SEC to regulate the market – bc the CFTC is seen as relatively industry-friendly. Still, Gary Gensler and the team have been shouting “securities fraud” at a number of tokens recently, so the debate seems far from over.
    regularguy.eth / Unsplash
    Aug 022022

    The SEC clamps down on crypto

    Wall Street watch dogs have charged a football team’s worth of bad crypto actors over their $300m “fraudulent pyramid scheme”.

    • The SEC has charged 11 “fraudsters” from Forsage – including four of its founders – which is a project that claimed to be a smart contract crypto earnings program but has been accused of creating a ​​$300mn cryptocurrency pyramid scheme that wasn’t selling “any actual, consumable product.”
    • The regulator says Forsage raised funds by using promoters to convince millions of investors worldwide to recruit others into the programme, and that new investors’ cash was used to pay back old ones. At the peak of Forsage’s popularity in July 2020, over $20m worth of ETH was sent to the platform in just one day, so it was an big operation.
    • Authorities are upping their enforcement in digital asset markets as exploits become increasingly frequent. The charges come only weeks after the SEC charged a former Coinbase employee for insider trading, and accused Coinbase itself of allowing investors to trade unregistered securities.
    Michael Dziedzic / Unsplash
    Jul 282022

    That’ll be $49.99

    US senators are pushing for tax exemptions on crypto transactions up to $50, providing relief for many retail traders.

    • Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have teamed up to put forward a bill that would see any crypto transactions below $50 exempt from being reported to the taxman. This line in the sand has led some crypto enthusiasts to joke they’ll be making plenty of $49.99 transactions if this were to ever pass.
    • Titled the ‘Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act’, it was initially put forward back in Feb when the tax-free price was $200. A few months later, the bipartisan Responsible Financial Innovation Act also proposed a sub-$200 tax break. Given that neither are likely to pass under those terms, people will now be turning their eyes to see if this new proposition will have any legs.
    • The total market capitalization of crypto rose back above $1tn on Wednesday, helped kindly by Jerome Powell and the Fed deciding not to pursue as much of a hawkish stance as some may have thought. Bitcoin traded up 8%, while Ethereum saw gains of almost 13%. Investors won’t want them to rise too much, though – just think of the taxes.
    Gage Skidmore / Flickr
    Jul 112022

    Regulation edging closer for crypto

    Months after Joe Biden signed an exec order on digital assets, the US Treasury leaves the first blueprint for crypto regulation on his desk.

    • Crypto regulation might have to be an internationally-agreed dealio, says the US Treasury, which last week cited the need for “international cooperation among public authorities, the private sector, and other stakeholders” given that “uneven regulation” could hurt investors and accommodate the capacity for crime on blockchains such as money-laundering and the financing of terrorism.
    • The report seems to accept the inevitability of digital currencies, stating the US should work with its foreign allies to oversee the development of central bank digital currencies (CBDC) in order to get with the times and help address the inefficiencies of the global payments system.
    • The dreaded R-word has been doing the rounds for eons in the cryptoverse, however this year has already seen a bipartisan act put forward by Congress dubbed the “Responsible Financial Innovation Act” – designed to classify crypto’s place in US financial markets. Could 2022 be the year of regulation? The White House hopes so.
    Beemergirl99 / Flickr
    Jul 052022

    The crypto contagion spreads

    Crypto winter’s bodycount continues to grow, with yet another crypto lender pausing withdrawals and rumors of more to come.

    • On Monday, crypto lender Vauld paused all withdrawals, trading and deposits on its platform. The Coinbase-backed lender said it’s facing “financial challenges” related to “volatile market conditions, the financial difficulties of our key business partners inevitably affecting us, and the current market climate”.
    • The above has led customers to withdraw over $197.7m from the platform since June 12, putting the company in a tough spot liquidity-wise. They’re exploring “strategic alternatives” – which seems to be the market’s latest buzzword – and are in discussions with potential investors.
    • Vauld is only the latest victim of the crypto winter, which saw 33% wiped off the overall market’s value in June. After disasters at Celsius, Three Arrows and Voyager, people on crypto Twitter are nervous that the KuCoin crypto exchange could be the next to halt withdrawals, sending its native KCS token sinking 22% last week.
    Shubham Dhage / Unsplash
    Jun 082022

    Framing the future

    Regulation has been the rated-R word for many years, but a new bipartisan bill released by two US senators could be set to change all that.

    • Dubbed the “Responsible Financial Innovation Act” (looking at you, degenerates), the bill is the most comprehensive crypto legislation we’ve ever seen. It addresses key areas in the space, including stablecoin regulation and tax structures, while also moderating the balance of power between the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
    • The bill gives CFTC authority over the SEC to manage and regulate crypto, potentially damaging the SEC’s belief that many of these coins and tokens are securities that fall under its jurisdiction. It also loosens the taxman’s grip on investors, ruling that the IRS doesn’t need to know about any crypto profits under $200.
    • Obvs, there’s been a leak of the bill – and it reveals even more. Word on the blockchain suggests NFTs could become their own asset class if the bill passes, and significantly, stablecoins would be required to be fully backed with a reserve – wonder what prompted that. However, the bill will now have to pass through Congress, which alotta people don’t think will happen.
    Kirsten Gillibrand / Wikimedia Commons
    Jun 062022

    New York bans proof-of-work mining

    New York turns its back on the crypto jungle where dreams are made of, and there's nothin' miners can do.

    • The New York State Senate has outlawed proof-of-work (PoW) mining through a bill that passed on Friday, with a particular focus on companies that rely on carbon to power their mining. The bill summons a two-year moratorium for these kinda energy-heavy operations.
    • New York will become the first state in the country to ban mining infrastructure. It’s not as if the state is a small player, either – as of the end of 2021, it was the fourth biggest in the US, taking up 9.8% of national hashrate output. Georgia was top with 30%, followed by Texas with 11.2%.
    • Vitalik chimed in with his two cents, ultimately disagreeing with the peeps in NYC. The Ethereum founder suggested that governments cherry picking what operations are acceptable based on electricity usage is a bad idea. Easy for him to say, though – this won’t be his problem once Ethereum merges to a proof-of-stake model.

    Ultimately I agree with this (that is, I oppose banning PoW). The government picking and choosing which specific applications are an okay use of electricity or not is a bad idea. Better to just implement carbon pricing, and use some of the revenues to compensate low-income users.

    May 262022

    Altcoins now 80% adrift from ATHs

    If your mom thinks Bitcoin is a risk asset, wait until you hear what she has to say about altcoins.

    • Around half of the top 30 altcoins are now 80% or more off their all-time highs. ADA, SOL, and DOT for example are all comfortable down more than that figure. It’s bloody out there. As Bitcoin kinda sleepwalks its way into a bear market, trading below its 100-week moving average for the first time since the covid crash of March 2020, altcoins are taking the brunt of it.
    • “But, but… look how cheap everything is!” Anyone that survived the Crypto Winter of 2018 will know this isn’t necessarily how bear markets work – back then, ETH seemed an excellent buy to investors that saw it drop over 60% from ATHs to $500. What happened next? Fell a further 79% to trade at $100.
    • How low can it really go? Nobody really knows, especially with all this macroeconomic stuff going on. However, given that even crypto’s “blue-chip” Bitcoin isn’t exactly doing much, it might be back to burger-flipping for some heavy altcoin holders.

    This was me in 2014 and to a lesser extent 2018. Lessons learned the hard way.