Crypto’s Big Data Problem

October 22, 2018

Big data is the new oil, so goes the 21st century aphorism. Those who collect data have carved out a prosperous and powerful underbelly to typical industrial giants, providing the proverbial fuel to the fire of modern industry. The importance of quality data is not to be underestimated, especially in the burgeoning digital assets industry — where misinformation and asymmetries abound.

While there is plenty of price data available at all hours of the day, this data frequently lacks consistency and accuracy across endpoints. Further, access to more complex data endpoints such as order books and OHLCV is limited. In short: the broader cryptocurrency space has a data problem.

In particular, there is a lack of high resolution and uniform market data. The sheer diversity and number of exchanges pose technical problems for those seeking consistent data across a single currency pair or asset class. Every exchange uniquely formats their API, making the extraction of data across a large number of exchanges a painstaking and time-consuming process.

Frictionless markets open 24 hours a day are what makes the crypto economy so attractive. But without uniform historical and real-time market data, it can be difficult to make intelligent investment, research, and business decisions.

Every large data-oriented industry has at least one trusted data provider. The legacy financial system has Bloomberg, S&P GMI, Thomson Reuters, and at least a dozen more providers. The cryptocurrency industry runs parallel to the legacy financial system; thus, analysis of trusted data should also be prioritized in any business, research, or investment decision.

Critics of the crypto ecosystem lambast its lack of transparency and pervasive financial malpractice. Data alone may not dissuade the mal-actors, but it can provide valuable insights that will ultimately increase transparency and trustworthiness throughout the broader crypto ecosystem.

At Kaiko, we understand the importance of quality and consistent market data. That is why we seek to ameliorate crypto’s data problem by providing the highest quality historical and real-time trade and order book data from top exchanges. Moving forward, we hope that data is utilized and prioritized throughout the industry. Only then will the crypto ecosystem gain the global respect and trust it is capable of.