Data Matters

The crypto asset universe is growing, and so is the operational complexity. In January 2018 alone, ICOs raised $1.6B. The number of ICOs issued and crypto action occurrences (aka forks or ticker changes) is accelerating. What problems need careful attention to drive widespread market participation?

As institutional market participation increases, Goldman Sachs just announced they are spinning up a crypto trading desk, so does the focus on the raw material that drives P&L statements: data.

However, for anyone that works and plays in the crypto asset ecosystem, one thing is clear: the data needs a lot of cleaning.

Here’s a shallow dive into the reality of its current status.  

Numbers Matter

Doubling Up. There are more than 200 instances of crypto asset duplicates, where the same ticker is used by more than one asset. 

Defying Convention. There are more than 200 instances where exchanges abandon an asset’s designated ticker, and create a new ticker.

Delayed Delistings. There are almost 500 crypto assets that have been inactive for the past 6-12 months, most classified as scams, malware or parodies, but are still listed on exchanges.

Details Matter

The crypto asset ecosystem is at a point where “why” is no longer the question, but “how” to implement harmony in a decentralized world.

In its simplest form, it’s clear crypto data needs consistent naming conventions in order to organize into a construct that meets the needs of institutional investors.

In our view, what is needed is a data dictionary of terms that everyone agrees is the correct representation of an asset — ‘crypto reference data’

We can all continue to use whatever terms we want to describe assets – consider Bitcoin/bitcoin/Bit Coin/BTC/btc/XBT/xbt… but how are we going to represent this asset in a consolidated financial statement or smart contract?

We need a way to agree that regardless of what we individually call an asset, that it always points back to exactly what that asset is.  That’s reference data.

Libra is passionate about crypto reference data, and we look forward to helping drive ongoing growth with other interested organizations. Please get in touch if you’re interested.