Bitcoin briefly loses its spot as top cryptocurrency. Wait, what?

Friday 15 January 2021, 2:25 AM AEST - 5 days ago

Bitcoin's market cap was briefly flippened today, as Wrapped Bitcoin suddenly gained quadrillions of dollars in value. But crypto aficionados and maximalists need not worry: The move was a glitch on CoinMarketCap, which briefly displayed WBTC as worth more than all other assets in the world combined.

WBTC showed a behemoth market cap of about $432 quadrillion for a brief period (total world money supply is estimated at $1.2 quadrillion, including derivatives, according to It sat listed atop all the other assets, even Bitcoin (BTC), which had a valuation of roughly $733 billion at the time.

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, or DeFi. Each WBTC has the same value as 1 BTC, backed 1:1 by actual Bitcoin, which is managed by a custodian, as detailed by BitGO in a blog post.


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 on the rankings, with a market cap of about $4 billion at time of publication. Before fixing the glitch fully, however, WBTC remained in top position for a few moments, even after its market cap was corrected.


A spokesperson for Coi ...

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