As we have exhaustively covered, getting accurate estimates of the actual economic throughput of public blockchains is not a trivial task. Due to the existence of mixers, self-churn, privacy enhancements, spam, and change outputs (in UTXO chains), raw estimates of transactional value are often misstated by a factor of 10 or more.
Recently, it was brought to our attention that our figures for transaction count and transaction volume for ERC-20 tokens were quite significantly different from those of Etherscan.io. We looked in to this and realized that we were undercounting these figures – dramatically in some cases.
On May 6th, 2017, Bitcoin hit an all-time high in transactions processed on the network in a single day: it moved 375,000 transactions which accounted for a nominal output of about $2.5b. Average fees on the Bitcoin network had climbed over a dollar for the first time a couple days prior.
Coinmetrics was created to publish hard-to-acquire data about major public blockchains, and to promote some ratios we thought were instructive. Since the founding of this website, the field of cryptoasset valuation has matured and grown significantly. The cryptoassets in question also continue to grow and change, meriting thoughtfulness about various analytical tools. While users are more empowered than ever, uncertainty remains about a) whether ratio analysis is appropriate, b) how to interpret major ratios, and c) the shortcomings of such analyses. In this piece, we’ll discuss ratio analysis and discuss its shortcomings and some common mistakes. As always, we urge skepticism and restraint in the interpretation of our data.
Being certain is a lovely thing. Despite what many would allege about the poor finality of proof of work, the relative certainty it provides is part of the appeal. Once that inbound transaction is buried six confirmations deep, it’s almost certainly yours. Of course, even more certainty is achievable with an in-person cash transaction. But you can’t send those over the internet.
We are happy to report that this site is getting quite a bit of attention these days. We never anticipated this when we first decided to put together a public repository of cryptocurrency data. With lots of attention comes lots of trouble. One thing we’ve always worried about is how to carefully present data which is very noisy by its very nature.
If you head over to coinmetrics.io/correlations, you’ll see a new addition: time-series correlation charts. There are other places to find cryptoasset correlations: see cointrading.ninja and sifrdata, as well as the individual charts on onchainfx, but we wanted to build a tool to visualize multiple correlations of major cryptoassets on the same graph.
If you’re firing up Coinmetrics for the first time in a while, you’ll notice a trove of new content. Here I’ll give a little bit of detail into how you can use these indicators and incorporate them into your investment strategy.
As new asset classes emerge, parallel information markets spring up to accomodate them. After all, financial markets are simply mechanisms to compensate the informed. Ultimately, markets are information-discovery systems, and it’s no surprise that a huge set of cryptoasset information services have appeared in the last few months to cater to investor demand. Coinmetrics.io is one such entity.
If you’ve been following coinmetrics closely, you might be convinced of the usefulness of our network value to transactions metric (NVT) in determining relative value. However there is an important caveat that must be mentioned.
Here at coinmetrics, we believe in open source everything. That’s our central credo, and it underscores everything we do. We have benefited from a remarkably open cryptoasset information economy, which is quite unique, especially when compared to the regimented and generally closed information ecosystem surrounding equities. Our ideas did not emerge from a vacuum – we routinely bounce thoughts off traders, investors, and academics, and borrow from them. We developed the MTV ratio independently (standardizing transaction volumes by mcap wasn’t a particularly radical idea) but borrowed the nomenclature from elsewhere. We simply seek to innovate and improve upon the quality of cryptoasset research.
Litecoin is a remarkable cryptocurrency. Of the seven profiled on coinmetrics.io/mtv, its MTV ratio is among the steadiest (in our sample period of the last two years). Only bitcoin boasts a stabler market to transaction value. (Read our intro to MTV and a handy explainer.) As mentioned in our last article, useful fundamental ratios ought to generally be stable, so that price movements can be compared to the fundamental.
Please note: By consensus, we have renamed the “MTV” (market to transaction value) to “NVT” (network value to transactions ratio). We’re leaving this post as is.
Our very first contribution to the body of research on cryptoassets is one we think will become mainstream as this discipline matures. It has intuitive strength – the market to transaction value ratio makes diverse cryptoassets easily comparable. This ratio wasn’t summoned out of thin air; we put careful thought into its legitimacy and usefulness. Read on for a discussion of why we chose this ratio above all.
Please note: By consensus, we have renamed the “MTV” (market to transaction value) to “NVT” (network value to transactions ratio). We’re leaving this post as is, aside from changing some links.
Currency serves as a medium of exchange, store of value, and unit of account. The Market to Transaction Value metric captures its efficacy at enshrining that first property. For a cryptocurrency to intermediate effectively, it must have sufficient on-chain volumes. This reduces spread size and enhances convenience. Of course gross numbers aren’t particularly comparable, so we construct a ratio between transaction volume and market cap. We extract actual transaction volumes from blockchain explorers and construct a time-series metric so you can see how the market cap to volume ratio changes over time.
Cryptoasset investors often speak of investing based on “fundamentals” rather than hype, sentiment, or technical analysis. However the analytic infrastructure for a rigorous understanding of a cryptoasset’s value relative to another is virtually nonexistent. Equity investors have had 80 years to mull over and refine Graham and Dodd’s principles of value investing, but digital currency investors have had no such privilege.