Bitcoin’s market capitalization was briefly flippened today as Wrapped Bitcoin suddenly gained quadrillions of dollars in value.
WBTC showed a behemoth market cap of about $432 quadrillion for a brief period (the total world money supply is estimated at $1.2 quadrillion, including derivatives, according to Rankred.com.) It sat listed atop all the other assets, even Bitcoin (BTC), which had a valuation of roughly $733 billion at the time.
But crypto aficionados and maximalists need not worry about the usurpation of the Bitcoin crown: The move was a glitch on CoinMarketCap, which briefly displayed Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) as worth more than all other assets in the world combined.
Even a Google search for four hundred and thirty-two quadrillion, nine hundred and forty-nine trillion, two hundred and forty-seven billion, four hundred and thirty-two million, eight hundred and sixty-five thousand, six hundred and sixty-four displayed Wrapped Bitcoin’s supposed market value. And if it’s on the internet, it must be true…
CoinMarketCap quickly fixed the glitch, subsequently putting WBTC back in its rightful place: 13th in the rankings, with a market cap of about $4 billion at the time of publication. Before fixing the glitch fully, however, WBTC remained in the top position for a few moments, even after its market cap was corrected.
But what is WBTC anyway? It’s Bitcoin in an Ethereum wrapper. This allows participants to use WBTC within the Ethereum ecosystem, as the network runs on a different blockchain. This way, participants can use Bitcoin for Ethereum-based activities, such as decentralized finance. Each WBTC has the same value as 1 BTC, backed one-to-one by actual Bitcoin, which is managed by a custodian, as detailed by BitGO in a blog post.
A spokesperson for CoinMarketCap told Cointelegraph:
“The bug was caused by an errant supply module, which was reporting erroneous values for WBTC’s circulating supply, one of the inputs that goes into rankings. The problem was quickly rectified. Alas, even we couldn’t keep this under ‘wraps.'”
Another asset flipped Bitcoin once before on CoinMarketCap, during the height of pandemic lockdowns when toilet paper became one of the world’s most desired commodities. Toilet Paper Token rose above Bitcoin on March 31, 2020 — as an April Fools joke. So, this isn’t the first time Bitcoin has been Number Two.
Cointelegraph will be sure to report on the next time CoinMarketCap’s data “cwraps” out.