Information about how the asset currently trades, what it traded at previously, liquidity, etc. can all come in handy in fundamental analysis. However, other interesting metrics that might fall under this category are those that concern the economics and incentives of the crypto asset’s protocol.
(or network value
) is calculated by multiplying the circulating supply
with the current price. Essentially, it represents the hypothetical cost to buy every single available unit of the crypto asset (assuming no slippage).
By itself, market capitalization can be misleading. In theory, it would be easy to issue a useless token with a supply of ten million units. If just one of those tokens was traded for $1, then the market cap would be $10 million. This valuation is obviously distorted – without a strong value proposition, it’s unlikely that the wider market would be interested in the token.
On a related note, it’s impossible to truly determine how many units are in circulation for a given cryptocurrency or token. Coins can be burned
, keys can be lost, and funds can simply be forgotten about. What we see instead are approximations that attempt to filter out coins that are no longer in circulation.
Nonetheless, market capitalization is used extensively to figure out the growth potential of networks. Some crypto investors view “small-cap” coins to be more likely to grow compared to “large-cap” ones. Others believe large-caps to have stronger network effects, and, therefore, stand a better chance than unestablished small-caps.
Liquidity and volume
is a measure of how easily an asset can be bought or sold. A liquid asset is one that we’d have no problem selling at its trading price. A related concept is that of a liquid market
, which is a competitive market flooded with asks
(leading to a tighter bid-ask spread
A problem we might encounter with an illiquid market is that we’re unable to sell our assets at a “fair” price. This tells us there are no buyers willing to make the trade, leaving us with two options: lower the ask or wait for liquidity to increase.
is an indicator that can help us determine liquidity. It can be measured in a few ways and serves to show how much value has been traded within a given time period. Typically, charts display the daily trading volume (denominated in native units or in dollars).
Being familiar with liquidity can be helpful in the context of fundamental analysis. Ultimately, it acts as an indicator of the market’s interest in a prospective investment.
To some, the supply mechanisms of a coin or token are some of the most interesting properties from an investment standpoint. Indeed, models like the Stock-to-Flow (S2F) ratio
are growing in popularity amongst Bitcoin proponents.
, circulating supply
, and rate of inflation
can inform decisions. Some coins reduce the number of new units they produce over time, making them attractive to investors that believe the demand for new units will outstrip their availability.
On the other hand, different investors might see a rigidly enforced cap as damaging in the long run. Such concerns may be that it disincentivizes the use of the coins/tokens as users opt instead to hoard
them. Another criticism is that it disproportionately rewards early adopters, whereas a steady inflationary policy would be fairer for newcomers.