Cryptocurrency Data 101: Market Landscape of the Bitcoin & Crypto Data and Analytics Sector

It has been said that the next wave of $1B+ companies in the cryptocurrency sector will be data and analytics firms.

Within this market, I wanted to have a better understanding of all of the data providers within the Bitcoin and crypto sector. Most importantly to better understand all of the various sources people consume data regarding the crypto market.

Unlike the traditional financial markets, most of the underlying data is public within the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ecosystem. This leads to a unique development where there is a large and growing consumer & institutional demand for data within the cryptocurrency market.

Below is a quick primer on crypto data and an overall landscape into the data & analytics space today. 

Primer on Crypto Data

One of the most interesting things about the crypto space, is the overwhelming majority of data is public. For example, on the Bitcoin network, every single transaction from the beginning of time (genesis block) until now, is recorded on the Bitcoin blockchain.

This includes every transfer between people, between exchanges, to service providers, and to merchants. Any amount of value that has moved from one address to another is recorded for all time on the Bitcoin blockchain. The same is true for most other blockchain networks out there as well: Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP, etc.

Because all data is recorded on the blockchain, this creates an interesting dynamic where all of the most valuable economic data for the $250B cryptocurrency industry, is hiding in plain sight. Unlike the traditional finance system, if you have a question about Bitcoin, you can most likely find the data to answer your question.

Companies within the data and analytics market aim to pull together all of this public data to help participants (consumers, funds, exchanges, miners, etc) make sense of the crypto market. 

Data Sources

Mohamed Fouda lays out that the majority of data about crypto comes from three primary sources:

  1. Exchange Data (Spot markets, derivative markets, OTC)

  2. Blockchain Network Data (block explorers, hashrate, supply schedules, etc.)

  3. Off-Chain Data (github, nodes, clients, community channels)

All of this data is largely public, especially anything recorded on the various Blockchains. The few sources that are not inherently public are:

  • Over the Counter (OTC) trading information

  • Exchanges (spot and derivatives) - Prices, order books, volume information, etc. are largely public however anything to do with user, demographic, or geographic data is more difficult to derive.

  • Off-Chain data is not necessarily public; however, most of the underlying sources are for the most part easy to pull (github, reddit, twitter, telegram, etc.).

Who consumes blockchain data?

Everyone in the crypto ecosystem consumes some form of blockchain data, including but not limited to:

  • Consumers - To check prices of Bitcoin and various cryptocurrencies.

  • Traders - Pulling data to build trading models.

  • Consumers - To confirm transfers via block explorers.

  • Exchanges - Reconciling & tracking the flow of funds.

  • Hedge funds - Pulling data for arbitrage, etc.

  • Institutional investors - Reconciling pricing data for bookkeeping.

  • Miners - Monitoring hashrate & profitability.

  • Regulators - Monitoring suspicious activity.

  • Journalists - Researching the source of truth. 

  • DApp developers - Monitoring app usage and statistics .

Because blockchain data is inherently public, all kinds of participants can now see and utilize the underlying financial & network data within the crypto ecosystem. 

Market Ecosystem Map

Below is an ecosystem map of the data and analytic providers within the whole crypto ecosystem. I also attempted to categorize all of the companies based on the core activities they provide (some of these companies provide many services all in one). 

Please tweet at me @mccannatron if:

  • I missed any major sources of information (particularly regional providers)

  • If you feel I have have mis-categorized any company in particular.

  • If there are any other companies we should consider adding.

The visual market map has a truncated list of companies, with the full listings of all the companies within each category below:

Crypto Data and Analytics Ecosystem Map - Market Cap Providers, Portfolio, DApp, Defi, Insitutional data.png
Crypto Data and Analytics Ecosystem Map - Mining, block explorers, blockchain analytics, media.png

Price & Market Cap Information Providers

Price and market cap providers, provide - you guessed it - price and market cap data of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

These services are typically free and public and also expose other surrounding data including volume, supply, charts, exchange data, etc. Since most of these services are public, in my opinion, it’s fair to stack rank them based on the monthly web traffic each service provides. 

Using this metric, the top 5 price & market cap information providers are: CoinMarketCap, TradingView (price & charting), CoinGecko, CryptoCompare, and WorldCoinIndex. See below for the full ranking: 

Bitcoin and Crypto Data Analytics Firms - Coin Market Cap Information Providers Companies.png

Data and Analytic Tools

This is the broad category of providers that seek to pull together basic price/market/network data into more meaningful insights. I further break this broad category into a few specific sub-sectors which I grouped together below. 

Again the majority of these services (except for the institutional centric data services) are primarily public so I am using website traffic to stack rank each company in order.

General Data and Analytic Tools

Here are a few of the companies in this category: 

  • - All in one tool including: market data, exchange API's, monitoring,  portfolio tools, etc. 

  • BitInfoCharts - One of the original analytic services providing many charts and graphs of Bitcoin and all the major cryptocurrencies.

  • Coin360 - Infographics and charts looking at different tokens and exchanges.

  • Cryptoslate - A crunchbase like services highlighting various people, companies, products, and more. 

  • Blockchair - Accumulation of network & market data with charts & API's.

Bitcoin and Crypto Data and Analytics Companies.png

Portfolio Tools

Portfolio tools are products and services that focus on helping people track their overall portfolio of Bitcoin and other crypto assets over time, and through various trades. A few of these services have expanded to also cover tax information as well.

  • CoinTracking - Portfolio tracking and reporting

  • Coinigy - Portfolio management and exchange account management 

  • Blockfolio - Portfolio tracker + communications platform

Crypto Portfolio Trackers - Data and Analytics startups.png

DApp/Defi centric tools

Analytic tools that specialize in areas within the application ecosystem including decentralized applications (dApps), decentralized finance (Defi), and Ethereum services.

Ethereum, defi and dapp analytics companies.png

Institutional Centric Data Tools

These include data and analytic firms that specialize in catering to institutional clients (traditional funds, crypto funds, family offices, etc.).

Most of these services are paid subscription only services, so it’s unfair to stackrank by website data; however, it does give us a relative sense of the most popular services. Also some companies do provide reports via their blog and limited publicly available data.

  • TradeBlock - Data platform for institutional investors 

  • CoinMetrics - Provider of market & network data 

  • Delphi Digital - Boutique institutional-grade analysis on the digital asset market.

  • Digital Assets Data - Full scale data acquisition and application platform for institutions. 

Institutional data providers for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.png

Mining tools

Mining is one of the most important, although often overlooked aspects of the Bitcoin and crypto ecosystem. Mining information providers include looking at real time hashrate’s of various blockchains, profitability calculators, pool profitability, etc. 

The majority of this data is public. Below is the full stack ranking of each provider. The top three are:

Block explorers

Block explorers are the source of truth for network data. 

From a consumer standpoint, people typically use block explorers to confirm & track transactions. On Ethereum you can also use them to verify tokens/supply information and track dApp transactions as well. From a business standpoint, you can also query data directly from the underlying blockchains (via full node) or use block explorers to aggregate directly from the blockchain. 

Below are the largest block explorers (in terms of viewership) with the top 3 being:

  • Blockchain Explorer - Bitcoin & Ethereum explorer offered by

  • Etherscan - Ethereum centric block explorer

  • - Bitcoin block explorer with various mining pools overlaid on top of block data 

Blockchain Analytics Firms

These are firms that specialize in collecting and analyzing transaction data across Bitcoin and other crypto networks. The most typical use-cases are for Governments, exchanges, and financial firms, to track suspicious activity. 

All of these firms analysis’ are private so public website data can only give us a sense on the most used services. 

  • Chainalysis - Prevent, detect, and investigate crypto compliance violations. 

  • Eliptic - Blockchain analytics for regulatory compliance 

  • Crystal - Analytics for due diligence and compliance

  • Anchain - Analytics for threat detection & threat intelligence. 

Blockchain analytics compliance aml investigation tools startups.png


I included media here as well because the media plays an important role in synthesizing market & network data to all of the participants in the crypto ecosystem. Further, outside of price, this is one of the main forms people take to consume information within the crypto ecosystem. 

Below are the media sites stackranked by website views, with the top five media publications being:

  • CoinDesk - Blockchain news and events. 

  • Cointelegraph - Crypto news and analysis 

  • CCN - Market update and crypto news. 

  • NewsBTC - Bitcoin news and analysis

  • The Block - Crypto news which shares a lot of great original analysis 

Geographic Analysis

While trying to understand all of the places people consume blockchain data & analysis, one of the interesting byproducts is also a high level overview of the geographic dispersion of the crypto industry.

Unlike previous innovation cycles, the crypto industry was global from day one. While looking at the top 3 geographic sources for all of these services above, here is one look at where the crypto industry is located: 

Crypto industry location by geographic location.png

Even though the United States is one major center of the crypto industry, it is by no means the only major geographic the industry is located in.

My Key Takeaways

After looking into the total landscape of all the various data providers in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency sector, here are my biggest takeaways: 

  • Because the core blockchain data is inherently public, the whole ecosystem has a much greater level of access to data (vs. traditional finance).

  • There is a large and growing consumer demand for data and information within the crypto ecosystem.

  • We will likely see large companies built on both the consumer end of the spectrum and institutional end of the spectrum.

  • Yahoo Finance alone has 170M monthly views on their homepage, so we still have some time before the “crypto to finance flippening”. 

If you are an entrepreneur working in this space building unique data services with the crypto industry, I’d love to chat with you. My contact info is listed on our fund website: Proof of Capital.

Remittance Market— Primer and Landscape

This post was originally written on May 25th, 2019 on Medium.

Note — I originally wrote this writeup on the Remittance industry in April 2019. I’m releasing a redacted version of this writeup publicly. All of the numbers and stats in this article were from April.

An Introduction to Remittances

Remittance is the capital flow between individuals in two different countries, typically by foreign workers to individuals in their home country. According to the World Bank, the total remittance market is comprised of $550B in total flows, 80% of which are within emerging economies.

Because of globalization, remittances have increased sharply worldwide and have increased 5x from 2000 to 2018. Remittance is a significant activity and can be as high as ⅓ of the total GDP of various countries and is 3x the value of developmental aid.

The global average for sending $200 worth of value between countries is 6.94%. This means that ~$48B is taken directly out from remittance transfers through fees, middlemen, and financial institutions. These exact rates are highly regionalized, and will be discussed further below.

The goal of this document is to give a short introduction to the remittance market, a landscape of existing participants within this market, and how the blockchain could impact this market sector.

Primer on the Remittance Market

Remittances sit within the larger market of cross border payments, which includes all forms of payments between consumers and businesses

payments landscape crypto.png

Zooming in on the remittance category, the majority of remittances payments are handled by traditional banks & credit unions and specialized money transfer operators (MTO) which specialize in cross border payments. Some of the largest providers in this space include Western Union, UAE Exchange, MoneyGram, and up-and-coming operators such as TransferWise.

Because of the macroeconomic forces of globalization & migration,remittances have been growing 10% on average worldwide. Three key reasons why the remittance market is growing faster than worldwide GDP are:

  1. The number of migrants grew faster than world population, in total there are 266M international migrants (240M migrants workers and 26M total refugees). This means they are proportionally more people likely to send remittances.

  2. Migrants were able to earn higher incomes, because of relocation towards higher earning countries.

  3. It has become cheaper to send remittances, falling from 10% on average to 7% on average. This reduction in cost is likely to have allowed migrants to send a larger fraction of their incomes.

Source: World Bank — Migration and Remittances: Recent Developments and Outlook

Source: World Bank — Migration and Remittances: Recent Developments and Outlook

For remittances, sending money abroad has traditionally been an expensive task (vs. domestic transfers), with a never-ending supply-chain of middle men, paperwork, and hidden fees. On top of this, it is estimated that 80% of these remittance payments are still handled via physical cash.

Below is a diagram showing just how complex the movement of money internationally can become:

Source: Bank for International Settlements — Cross-border retail payments report

Source: Bank for International Settlements — Cross-border retail payments report

In terms of the overall market, remittances are highly fragmented based on geography and by specific corridors, which is the combination of 2 countries: where the money is sent and received.

Below are the largest receivers of remittances and the top coordinators worldwide.

Source: World Bank — Migration and Remittances: Recent Developments and Outlook Presentation

Source: World Bank — Migration and Remittances: Recent Developments and Outlook Presentation

Source: World Bank — Migration Remittances Factbook

Source: World Bank — Migration Remittances Factbook

The business model of cross border transactions is primarily a mix of two variables: direct fees and foreign-exchange (FX) fees.

  • Direct Fees — Direct fees include all of the fees related to the transfer itself. Examples include: a flat fee, transfer fee, % of transaction fee, outgoing fee, amendment fee, bank-to-bank fee, etc.

  • Foreign-Exchange Fees (FX) — The FX fee is the difference between the mid-market rate, and the actual rate money is exchanged into. Many remittance companies charge a premium on top of their internal FX rate and keep the difference.

These two factors combine together to create the ultimate margin the money transmitter takes. Today the worldwide average is about 7%. Western Union, for example, had a split of 70% and 27% between fee and FX revenue respectively in its 2016 results.

Below are some example mixes of fees + FX charges from some of the highest cost corridors in the world.

Source: World Bank — Migration and Remittances: Recent Developments and Outlook Presentation

Source: World Bank — Migration and Remittances: Recent Developments and Outlook Presentation

Remittance Market Landscape

remittance market landscape.png

Money Transfer Operators (MTO’s)

MTO’s dominate the remittance market and make up the majority of remittance volume worldwide.

Financial Institutions
For traditional financial institutions & banks, international remittances make up a relatively small portion of their overall product offerings; however, on average, banks charge a much higher rate (11% vs. 7%) for international money transfers.

Financial Institutions remittance landscape.png

Fintech Startups
Fintech startups have targeted the remittance market due to their large incumbent market share, although with the exception of TransferWise, very few have broken out. In addition, these startups mostly target digitally savvy customers with bank accounts vs. cash agents — which is the lion share of the market.

Blockchain Specific Fintechs
Blockchain technology has the potential to dramatically lower sending rates and add much needed transparency into the market. Although for the time being it does not seem like any of the new startups have dented the overall market yet.

Incumbent Advantages

Brand, Agents, Cash, Compliance, and Acquisition.

While on the surface, incumbents like Western Union looks like a great target for disruption, there are deep structural reasons why they are still maintaining their lead.

  • Brand — Incumbent providers have huge brand & awareness advantages across the globe with 90%-100% brand awareness in all of the top remittance corridors across the world.

  • Network — Incumbent providers have a huge embedded network of local MTO operators in countries globally, Western Union has 204 regulatory licenses, 500K retail locations, 100K ATM’s, 150M customers, covering every major currency & corridor around the world today. Many of these retail locations are also binded to exclusive contracts to Western Union as well.

  • Cash — It’s estimated that of the total remittance volume worldwide, 80%+ of this is handled via cash payments which also require MTO’s to have both physical presences & cash inventories. For the most part, fintech startups are not serving this segment of the market.

  • Compliance — What most startups don’t realize is the cost of transfering money is not the most expensive part, but rather compliance costs. It is inherently difficult to ensure money is being sent compliantly in multiple jurisdictions 24/7, which is why 20%-40% of the remittance cost is due to compliance alone.

  • Acquisition — On top of compliance, since the remittance market is an established market, incumbent players are willing to spend $15–70 per customer depending on the specific corridor they are targeting.

Demand Side: Satisfaction?
For all of these costs, fees, and friction in sending money cross-border — users of incumbent services are generally satisfied with their experience.

On top of this, as mentioned a few times, the majority (80%+) of remittance payments are processed via cash — either on the receiving, sending, or both ends. Even when people have bank accounts remittance senders prefer cash for a few reasons:

  • Many migrant workers are undocumented.

  • Many migrants are afraid of being deported

  • Avoiding taxes by sending cash to family members

  • Not wanting to fill out paperwork to setup bank accounts

Core Value Proposition
In my opinion, most startups are touting cheaper fees, when that is not the main motivating factor for most remittance senders or receivers. Instead new startups should focus on:

  • More transparency (TransferWise)

  • Ability to track payments

  • Lower compliance costs

  • Unique acquisition channels

  • Focus on underserved corridors

The biggest strategic questions any new startup needs to decide on is if they want to focus on more affluent customers first (where all the startups are today) or focus on the larger (but harder) cash market.

Why now?
In the ideal world, sending money cross border should be as easy as sending a message via WhatsApp to anyone across the world. In theory you can send a digital currency, like Bitcoin, quickly and at low cost; however, anything that interfaces with the banking system (especially cash) adds many complications and cost.

There is a massive opportunity to roll up all of these regional players into one large international payments company. Expanding from there to business payments, etc. also massively expands the total adjustable market these new companies can service.


Future Evolution of Remittance
Remittances today is most commonly thought of in the most basic function — sending money overseas.

As this fundamental layer is solved digitally, new services can be offered to this customer base, blurring the lines between remittance, checking, and business accounts, etc.

future evolution of remittance.png

Average Transactions Amounts by Providers
Among remittances specialists, average transfer size is much smaller depending on core customer segments. For CurrencyFair and TransferWise that mostly target expats from developed countries, the average transfer size could be few thousands of dollars. For money transfer companies targeting migrants from developing countries, the average transfer size is usually a few hundreds.

  • CurrencyFair — $5,500

  • TransferWise — $2,300

  • Remitly — $500

  • Transfergo — $400

  • WesternUnion — $300

  • WorldRemit — $200

  • Large banks

  • JP Morgan — $15,000

  • BofA — $10,000

  • Citi — $7,000

  • Wells Fargo — $2,000

Additional reading