Mission

Our mission at K.i. Markets are to provide all our users with the most accurate and relevant information to select exchanges and tokens to invest in and trade-in. We continuously strive to research, design, and provide new and interesting metrics to make our users’ lives easier in navigating the digital asset space.

Methodology

K.i. Markets strives to provide accurate, timely, and unbiased data for crypto assets. providing data (as opposed to censoring and policing information).

K.i. Markets provides up-to-the-minute updates for all market data found on the site. Every 20 seconds, the various exchanges are queried for their most recent market data. All data is run through several data cleaning and verification algorithms to ensure data integrity. Here is a summary of how each metric is calculated:

  1. Price (Market Pair, Crypto asset)

  2. Volume (Market Pair, Crypto asset, Exchange, Aggregate)

  3. Supply (Circulating, Total, Max)

  4. Market Capitalization (Crypto asset, Aggregate)

  5. Ranking (Market Pair, Crypto asset)

  6. Liquidity Score (Market Pair, Exchange)

  7. Web Traffic Factor (Exchange)

  8. Confidence Indicator (Market Pair)

Price (Market Pair)

The price for each individual market pair is calculated by taking the unconverted price reported directly from the exchange and converting it to USD using Ki Markets’ existing reference prices. Let’s take LTC/BTC market as an example:

Let (E) be the price of LTC/BTC reported directly from the exchange.
Let (C) be the last known reference price of BTC from Ki Markets in USD.
Let (D) be the derived price reported on Ki Markets for the market pair.


For this example:

let (E) = 0.01 BTC / 1 LTC and let (C) = 10,000 USD / 1 BTC.
D = E * C
D = (0.01 BTC / 1 LTC) * (10,000 USD / 1 BTC) = 100 USD / 1 LTC
Therefore, the derived price for LTC/BTC on this specific market pair is $100 USD.

Any conversion into other fiat currencies (for example, EUR) are converted from the USD price based on current FX rates provided by openexchangerates.org.

Price (Crypto asset)

The price of any crypto asset is a volume-weighted average of market pair prices for the crypto asset. The higher percentage of volume contributed from the pair, the more influence it has on the average price. The rationale for using a weighted average is because in general, markets with higher volume have higher liquidity and are less prone to price fluctuations. Some prices are manually excluded from the average if the price does not seem indicative of a free market price; for example, when an exchange disables withdrawals or deposits, or regulatory conditions make it impossible for anyone else outside of a certain geographical region to buy coins. Some prices are also automatically excluded when our algorithms detect that the reported price is a significant outlier when compared to other market pairs for the same crypto asset.

Volume (Market Pair)

The volume for each market pair is calculated by taking the volume reported directly from the exchange in quote units and converting it to USD using Ki Markets’ existing reference prices. Let’s take LTC/BTC market as an example:

  • Let (E) be the 24h volume of LTC/BTC reported directly from the exchange in quote units.

  • Let (C) be the last known reference price of BTC from Ki Markets in USD.

  • Let (D) be the derived volume reported on Ki Markets for the market.

  • For this example, let (E) = 100 BTC and let (C) = 10,000 USD / 1 BTC.

  • D = E * C

  • D = (100 BTC * 10,000 USD / 1 BTC) = 1,000,000 USD

Therefore, the derived volume for LTC/BTC on this specific market pair is $1,000,000 USD. Any conversion into other fiat currencies (for example, EUR) are converted from the USD volume based on current FX rates.

Volume (Crypto asset)

The volume of any crypto asset is the total spot trading volume reported by all exchanges for that crypto asset. Some market pairs are excluded from the sum if the exchange does not enforce a trading fee or otherwise offers significant incentives to trade on the market pair. Market pairs with these characteristics are rather susceptible to wash trading, resulting in artificially inflated reported volumes. A wash trade is a form of market manipulation in which an investor simultaneously sells and buys the same financial instruments to create misleading, artificial activity in the marketplace. First, an investor will place a sell order, then place a buy order to buy from him or herself, or vice versa.

Volume (Exchange)

The volume of any exchange is the sum of all market pair volume reported from the exchange over the last 24 hours.  Adjusted Volume - Volume from spot markets excluding markets with no fees and transaction mining.

Reported Volume - Volume from all spot markets

Market pairs that have been excluded from the crypto asset volume calculation are not excluded in the total exchange volume calculation. For example, when an exchange begins fee rebates on a specific pair, the pair will be excluded from the volume calculation but will not be excluded from its total exchange volume.

 

Volume (Aggregate)

The total volume for all crypto assets (found on the top of the site) is the sum of all individual crypto asset volumes over the last 24 hours. Any market pairs with a crypto asset on both sides of the market pair (for example, LTC/BTC) are essentially double counted in this metric.

Circulating Supply

Circulating Supply is the best approximation of the number of assets that are circulating in the market and in the general public's hands. We have found that Circulating Supply is a much better metric than Total Supply for determining the market capitalization. The method of using the Circulating Supply is analogous to the method of using public float to determine the market capitalization of companies in traditional investing.

Assets that are locked (via smart contracts or legal contracts), allocated to the team or private investors, or not able to be sold on the public market, cannot affect the price and thus should not be allowed to affect the market capitalization as well. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

Private sale - Assets that were earmarked for a subset of investors and not available to the public through open bidding/balloting.

Ecosystem/Bounty/Marketing/Operations/Airdrops - Assets that have been earmarked for activities to grow the project’s ecosystem. For example, airdropped tokens are generally excluded from circulating supply unless the project is able to furnish evidence that there was active demand for the asset.

Master nodes/Staking - Assets that have been ‘staked’ in master nodes are evaluated on a case-by-case basis - Factors such as master node distribution, ownership, and lock-up periods are also taken into consideration. Master nodes are part of the infrastructure that sustains cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dash. Unlike regular nodes, master nodes do not add new blocks of transactions to the blockchain. Instead, they verify new blocks and perform special roles in governing the blockchain. There are several types of nodes that together form the infrastructure of a decentralized blockchain, collectively providing transparency and security and running the software that implements a cryptocurrency's rules and functionality. Nodes maintain the massive ledger of public transactions in a given cryptocurrency and verify new transactions. Master nodes also play a special role in the management and governance of the blockchain's protocol.

 

Operating a master node requires a significant financial investment and running costs, including a significant stake in the cryptocurrency itself and computer hardware that is far more expensive than your average laptop. It also requires expertise. As an incentive for people to maintain master nodes, operators are rewarded with cryptocurrency earnings, usually a share of block rewards.

 

Dash, a fork of Bitcoin, was the first virtual currency to adopt the master node model but many other cryptocurrencies have adopted the model.

Team/Foundation/Treasury/Escrow - Assets held by project members or major ecosystem participants. Such holdings can constitute a significant percentage of the supply.

Circulating Supply is verified with the project’s team. We ask for details including but not limited to the initial distribution, private allocations, locked addresses, team-controlled addresses, and addresses containing portions of the supply allocated for future use.

We examine the project’s blockchain and distribution table to determine the best approximation of what is freely circulating in the market based on the information provided.

After the information is verified, the circulating supply is usually updated in real-time by (i) referencing deductible wallet balances or (ii) using relevant block explorer APIs if there is scrutability and reproducibility.

It is in every project’s interest to provide accurate and well-documented information in good faith. Most well-run projects are able to account for the distribution of their assets across different addresses. If a project has difficulties furnishing the requisite documentation or if there are irregularities in their submission, we would not able to verify their CS data.

Projects that attempt to manipulate or artificially inflate their supply figures will be permanently disqualified from the rankings.

(Verified/Rankable) Circulating Supply (and Market Cap): As a general guideline for the issuance of verified CS, an asset must have material trading activity/volume on at least 3 KI MARKETS-supported exchanges with 'tracked listing' status. Ki Markets requires projects to provide enough information to meet our baseline levels of due diligence. We will not publish a verified circulating supply figure if project teams do not furnish the requisite information that meets our standards/methodology. Liquidity, volume, and the trading venues that the asset is on will also be taken into consideration when deriving the verified CS (and Market Cap) due to their implications on our crypto asset rankings. CS is the verification is a way of preventing errors when data is copied from one medium to another. Verification does not check if data makes sense or is within acceptable boundaries, it only checks that the data entered is identical to the original source

Total Supply

We define Total Supply as the total amount of coins in existence right now, minus any coins that have been verifiably burned. 

Max Supply

The best approximation of the maximum number of coins that will ever exist in the lifetime of the cryptocurrency. This is also known as the theoretical max number of coins that will ever be minted.

Market Capitalization (Crypto asset)

Market capitalization of the crypto asset is calculated by multiplying the existing reference price of the crypto asset by the current circulating supply. Let’s take the market capitalization of Bitcoin as an example:

Let (C) be the last known reference price of Bitcoin from Ki Markets in USD.

Let (S) be the current circulating supply of Bitcoin.

Let (D) be the derived market capitalization for Bitcoin.

For this example, let (C) = 10,000 USD / 1 BTC and let (S) = 17,000,000 BTC.

D = C * S

D = 10,000 USD / 1 BTC * 17,000,000 BTC = 170,000,000,000 USD

Therefore, the derived market capitalization for Bitcoin is $170,000,000,000 USD.

Market Capitalization (Aggregate)

The total market capitalization for all crypto assets (found on the top of the site as “Market Cap”) is the sum of all individual crypto asset market capitalizations that meet the requirements outlined here.

Market Pair Rank

Volume inflation has been a problem that Ki Markets has been actively addressing since 2020. We have noted that some of the exchanges listed on K.i. Markets have reported inflated trading volumes to give the impression of legitimacy and a false sense of liquidity in markets. This has, in the past, contributed to eroding confidence in the cryptocurrency industry and has, at times, misled both investors and traders.

K.i. Markets realizes the severity of the situation and has worked on a comprehensive and algorithmic solution to the problem, as is our standard practice we identified two main drivers of volumes liquidity of markets, and the number of traders on the exchange. In general terms, within a retail-driven crypto trading market, it is difficult to have high volumes without (i) a large number of traders and (ii) liquid markets.

With modifications to our Market Pair Ranking algorithm and introduction of the Confidence indicator, we strive to achieve two main objectives:

Rank market pairs of all crypto assets using a combination of Reported Volume, Liquidity Score and Web Traffic Factor. Highlight the confidence level we have that the exchange’s Reported Volume is accurate.

Market pair ranking will be done by taking the key variables of Reported Volume, Liquidity Score and Web Traffic into consideration. The algorithm takes all these factors as inputs into a machine learning model, and automatically ranks market pairs based on the dynamic weights attributed to each of these criteria. The top market pairs for each cryptocurrency will be those that have the highest relative Reported Volume, Liquidity Score and Web Traffic, instead of simply being weighted on Reported Volume alone. This triage of factors, fairly calculated by an automated machine learning algorithm, is expected to provide a more comprehensive picture of each market pair, ensuring that users make better decisions on where to trade.

 

Crypto asset Rank

Due to the launch of the Ki Markets indices (administered by Solactive. Solactive is a German provider of financial indices based in Frankfurt. The company develops, calculates, and markets cost-efficient indices over several asset classes, including equity, fixed income, and commodity indices. Which is fully compliant with IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks)? The principles address Benchmark governance, Benchmark and Methodology quality and accountability mechanisms. appropriate governance arrangements in place to protect the integrity of the Benchmark determination process and to address conflicts of interest. a project’s eligibility for a Top 200 Crypto asset Rank will now be determined by market capitalization and the following factors:

The ability to verify the project’s supply information with no incongruities, Significant liquidity/trading activity with normal bid-ask spreads across sufficient sources of market data. Absence of significant price discrepancies across Ki-supported exchanges. The asset is traded on at least three exchanges that possess several the following attributes:

  • Minimal data irregularities

  • Publishes granular API endpoints

  • Active product development and communication from the team

  • Active/engaged community of a considerable size

  • Accredited/Audited by a reputable 3rd-party

  • [TBC] standard deviations around the [mean – calculation TBC].

Regulated/Licensed

The aforementioned factors are intended to provide some degree of transparency and general guidance without disclosing internal thresholds to prevent projects from ‘gaming’ or manipulating the rankings. To use an analogy, we have shared the ingredients but not the recipe/secret sauce because the latter is proprietary and a trade secret. Consider how search engines typically publish general guidelines on how their algorithms work without being too specific.

Further, the sheer variety of monetary and accounting models used by projects adds complexity to the process of verification, which means that there will be occasions where Ki Markets will have to exercise its discretion in determining a project’s circulating supply and/or eligibility for a Top 200 ranking (e.g. stablecoins, privacy coins, sidechains, and exchange tokens). Consequently, maximum rank eligibility of a project will fall under one of three categories:

Top 200 Rank: The project must minimally have a KI MARKETS-verified market capitalization and fulfil the requirements.

Unranked: Crypto assets without a KI MARKETS-verified market capitalization sorted by 24h trading volume.

Purpose of the Liquidity Score (“formerly Liquidity Metric”)

K.i. Markets tracks crypto assets and their corresponding market pairs across multiple exchanges worldwide. This information can be overwhelming for our users when they are deciding which exchanges and market pairs are best for them to transact on.

We have designed our Liquidity Score to address these concerns and highlight the importance of understanding liquidity in markets. Liquidity refers to the ease of buying or selling one asset for another - for example, selling Bitcoin for USD or vice versa. When executing trades, the most liquid markets have the least slippage (i.e. when the price you expected and the price you actually got are different). Less slippage effectively means that you are saving money on transaction costs, while more slippage in an illiquid market will cost you more money.

In our previous iteration, called the Liquidity Metric, we focused on the depth of the order book (i.e. the order sizes). The larger the orders in the order book, the more liquid a market is deemed to be. However, we have realized that orders beyond a certain size are not relevant to most of our users. For example, an average crypto investor will not be trading in 50 BTC orders and hence won’t need that information.

In the new Liquidity Score, we focused on tracking the slippage of order sizes that matter most to our users, prioritizing the slippage of orders in the range of $100 to $10,000. Larger order sizes up to $200,000 are still tracked, but with a much lower weight attributed to them.

Liquidity Score emphasizes the importance of monitoring slippage. A crucial function of liquid markets is to reduce the slippage (i.e. difference between asking and selling price) that is incurred while trading. In liquid markets, one is able to trade in and out of an asset cheaply without fear that the order would adversely affect the execution price.

K.i. Markets’ Liquidity Score for every single market pair is based on how much slippage a trader would incur on a range of orders if the trades were executed immediately. With most of our user base in mind, orders between $100 and $10,000 will be prioritized.

 

 

How to Interpret the Liquidity Score

We track slippage both ways, on the buy (bid) and sell (ask) orders, as markets need to have sufficient orders on both sides of the order book. The more buy and sell orders there are, the more likely that traders are able to transact at their expected prices. This will effectively keep slippage to a minimum.

A perfect Liquidity Score of 1,000 means that the market has a very low slippage for orders up to $200,000 in size. The lowest Liquidity Score of 0 means that the order books have less than $100 in total value on either the buy or sell side.

The Methodology Behind Liquidity Score

Three key factors go into calculating Ki Markets’ Liquidity Score: A range of different order sizes that are most relevant to retail traders (~$100 to ~$200,000);

The order book depth of the specific market pair.

The slippage of the different order sizes in (a) when sent into the order book (b). In (1), we pick a handful of different order sizes ranging from $100 - $200,000. The order quantities are spread fairly over the entire range and reflect sizes that are most used by traders. For each of these different order sizes, we simulate an immediate market buy and sell order, tracking the resulting slippage. As stated earlier, slippage is defined as the distance between the price that the trader wanted versus the price at which the order was eventually bought or sold. The lower the slippage, the higher the score. The slippage of the entire range of tested orders is calculated collectively to form the resulting Liquidity Score.

 What do the Liquidity Scores represent, The Liquidity Score allows users to compare the difference in liquidity of different markets by looking at a single number. This is in contrast to having to either manually compare order books of different exchanges (which can be quite tedious); or to compare liquidities using fixed parameters defined (for example, a ± 1% on the order book depth).

 

Reporting liquidity requires us to show order sizes on the bids and asks, and the slippage incurred by orders of a certain quantity. Instead of showing multiple numbers that may confuse users, we decided to simplify everything by performing all the calculations internally and surfacing a single number that reflects the liquidity of markets.

 liquidity matters whenever you trade in markets. When you buy or sell in a market, the final price you receive is dependent on the other traders in the market willing to trade with you. A liquid market has many participants competing to give better prices. Hence, trading in a liquid market allows you to get the best prices for your buy or sell orders.

Liquidity Score is calculated by tracking the order book depths of all exchanges via their APIs (or what the exchanges submit to us). The scores are a purely quantitative measure of liquidity of an exchange or market pair.

Liquidity Scores and volumes are entirely different concepts one measures liquidity of markets, the other tracks the amount of assets that changes hands.

However, they are correlated to a certain degree. A highly liquid market can imply a high-volume market as traders usually prefer to trade in exchanges that have a high number of counterparties as that reduces the slippage on their trades. We will refresh the Liquidity Scores every 2 hours, subject to the availability of order book data received from the exchanges' API.

Liquidity Score (Exchange)

K.i. Markets ranks exchanges via the Liquidity Scores attributed to the trading pairs of the exchange. The scores shown reflect the average of the Top 25 Trading Pairs listed on the exchange.

These Trading Pairs do not include stablecoin/stablecoin pairs. An average of the Top 25 Trading Pairs is used as simply summing up the Liquidity Scores of all exchanges would unfairly favour exchanges that have a lot of trading pairs. We wanted to prioritize exchanges that have good liquidity amongst the top trading pairs as those exchanges would serve the needs of our users best.

Web Traffic Factor (Exchange)

Our mission at K.i. Markets has always been to provide all our users with the most accurate and relevant information to select exchanges and tokens to invest and trade in. We continuously strive to research, design, and provide new and interesting metrics to make your lives easier in navigating the cryptocurrency space.

Exchanges used to be ranked by their reported volumes. However, volume inflation is a problem that plagues the cryptocurrency space. We went back to the drawing board and reviewed what important data we could collect for a more accurate representation of crypto exchange ranking. 

In the absence of wash-trading, volumes remain a good indicator of the health of an exchange. The “anatomy” of volumes can be broken down into two large drivers — traders and liquidity. In general terms, within a retail-driven crypto trading market, it is difficult to have high volumes without (i) many retail traders and (ii) liquid markets. We have already comprehensively addressed the second driver with our proprietary Liquidity Score. We shall now address the first driver — number of traders.

While it would be counterproductive to ask exchanges for the number of traders on their site — those that have actively inflated volumes would simply inflate their user count — we found that a good substitute for user count would be web traffic. Thus, we designed a score showcasing exchanges' web traffic, making it easier for our users to compare exchanges.

Methodology

K.i. Markets’ Web Traffic Factor considers various factors before arriving at a final output score. We track the numerous data points provided by various web traffic solutions (SimilarWeb, Ahrefs) before arriving at a final score. Similarweb is a digital intelligence provider for enterprise and small to mid-sized business customers. Ahrefs is an SEO software suite that contains tools for link building, keyword research, competitor analysis, rank tracking and site audits. Most of the features inside of Ahrefs are designed for marketing professionals. In short: Ahrefs is a popular SEO tool that people use to get higher Google rankings. The platform provides web analytics services and offers its users information on their clients' and competitors' web traffic and performance. Some of these data points include pageviews, unique visitor count, bounce rate, time-on-site, relative ranking, and keyword searches on major search engines.

Weighting of Data Points

After collecting the data collected from the various web traffic solutions of exchanges, we attribute weights to the data in the following manner:

  • Pageviews (20%)

  • Unique visitor count (15%)

  • Bounce rate (10%)

  • Time-on-site (5%)

  • Relative ranking (25%)

  • Keyword searches (25%) - we tracked the search engine ranking of exchanges for a select pool of keywords (for example, “cryptocurrency exchange,” “bitcoin exchange,” “cryptocurrency trading,” etc.)

After tallying the data, we distributed scores based on the relative performance of the exchanges in the above categories. The score is a relative point scaling system from 0 to 1,000. The top exchange will always be given 1,000 points, and the rest of the exchanges are given scores based on a relative comparison against that exchange. High scores would reflect high amounts of web traffic, which is a good indication of high user count.

 

Confidence Indicator (Market Pair)

We currently report the liquidity of all market pairs using our Liquidity Score and estimate the number of traders on the exchange using our Web Traffic Factor. Taking these factors into account, together with time and sales, we then construct a machine learning model to estimate volumes of every single market pair that exchanges report. With estimated volumes, we can then detect outliers where exchanges report far higher volumes than the model predicts — based on the amalgamation of all these factors involved — allowing us to flag them accordingly via our Confidence indicator. 

The Confidence indicator will be categorized into 3 bands:

  • High            >75%

  • Moderate   50% - 75%

  • Low             <50%

This Confidence indicator will provide our users with a quick and easy way to understand the level of confidence we have in the market’s reported volume. This model will gradually improve over time with more data being ingested and processed.