I’ve spent a good deal of time over the last year or so pouring over Bitcoin and its derivatives. Try as I might I’m unable to predict the price of the currency at any particular point. I have found a few tools along the way though that aid in analyzing trends in Bitcoin et al. What follows is a brief overview of some of the tools I prefer to use. So whether you’re looking to become the Nate Silver of Bitcoin, or just get a bit of trade history, the following should help you out.
BitcoinCharts.com is a great site to get data without all the speculative noise. The home page is a mixture of Bitcoin financial news, market prices, and network stats like the current hash rate. The Bitcoin section provides the most pertinent info to the Bitcoin network such as the current block, hash rate distribution, etc. Meanwhile the markets tab offers a comprehensive overview of the price of Bitcoin versus multiple fiat currencies on different exchanges. Click on one of these listings and you’ll be brought to a comprehensive page containing market depth charts and trade history. The site also allows you to put together custom charts.
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Bitcoin charts is its comprehensive API offering both real time JSON encoded data as well as csv files (comma separated value, i.e. excel). BitcoinCharts is one of the best sites I’ve come across for getting raw data about Bitcoin exchanges.
Google trends can give you a decent picture of both the past and present interest in particular crypto currencies. It has been a pretty good tool for predicting flu outbreaks in the past, even if they were a bit off this year. The google trends graphs are a graphical display of interest over time for a specific keyword.
Clark Moody’s Bitcoin chart project is a slightly more interactive chart showing trading on MtGox. Many users prefer the layout to other Bitcoin charts.
Blockchain.info is a sort of Bitcoin super-site. I mostly use it out of curiosity to explore the Bitcoin blockchain. It will show you all the pertinent information about a Bitcoin block, including where it was mined, transaction fees included, etc. The site also offers charts, statistics, market data, and an online Bitcoin wallet service. The wallet is perhaps one of the quickest and easiest to set up.
I don’t really have a favorite block explorer for Litecoin, but find myself checking Litecoin scout as much as anywhere else. It offers basic information about the Litecoin network and allows you to explore the litecoin blockchain.
Cryptocoin explorer is a blockchain explorer for a cacophony of cryptocurrencies including PPCoin, Terracoin, Freicoin, Feathercoin, Novacoin, and Bytecoin. While it may not be the most visually appealing, it will get you the data you want for these otherwise difficult to access coins.
Dustcoin is a sort of super mining calculator. It offers comparisons of a number of different cryptocurrencies side by side. The currencies are ranked by order of their total market capitalization. Prices of cryptocurrencies are calculated in reference to Bitcoin. Before dustcoin came along it was common to have to check multiple sites to find the profitability of difference coins. Some days it’s the only site I check.
This site offers a number of different charts for different cryptocurrency pairs. If you trade on the multi-coin exchange Vircurex, these charts will help give you a visualization of the trade history and volume.
While allchains.info hasn’t seen a significant update in awhile, it still provides very useful information. If you’re looking for when the next difficulty adjustment will occur for BTC/NMC/LTC, and what it will be, AllChains is your site.
At this point there are quite a few different exchanges, in quite a few different countries. These are the ones I check regularly for prices on different cryptocurrencies. While BitcoinCharts offers a listing of all the major exchanges, sometimes it’s nice to just have the price for one and leave out all the clutter.
MtGoxLive gets a bit slow at times, especially when the price starts to fluctuate. It’s still a pretty good tool to see the volume of buy/sell orders and to help measure stability. Though there are other sites that display market depth, MtGoxLive is nice for it’s simplicity and real time updates.
If there’s a site or resource that you feel I should have added leave a comment below or contact me at cryptojunky at zoho dot com.