Traders use different software tools depending upon their preferred trading style and the types of data they are looking to analyze. This is Arkham’s guide to 12 of the most well-known crypto analysis tools used by traders.
There are 3 main types of analysis in crypto trading:
Let’s look at each one.
Fundamental Analysis involves looking at the basic realities of a token to determine its intrinsic value. Quantitative metrics could include the number of users, amount of money transacted, transactions per second (TPS), total value locked (TVL), cashflows & net income - depending on what the analyst is examining. Qualitative metrics could include the team’s background, partnerships, or broader market segment (N.B neither list is exhaustive). The goal of fundamental analysis is to find tokens the market is pricing differently from their intrinsic value, in the expectation that over time the market and intrinsic value converge.
Technical Analysis uses price data to make trading decisions. TA tools use charting software and indicators such as buy/sell volume and moving averages to distinguish price chart patterns and attempt to determine good trade entry or exit points. Other widely used indicators are RSI, MACD & Bollinger Bands.
Technical analysis in crypto involves identifying patterns on trading charts that indicate, for example, bullish or bearish market movements, and using existing price points to establish support and resistance levels, or for other purposes. For instance, price “breaking-out” above an established level of resistance is frequently taken to indicate bullish momentum.
On-Chain Analysis relies on blockchain transaction data and is the only type of analysis unique to crypto. It leverages specific information about what market actors are doing to inform trading decisions. This kind of analysis is not available in traditional markets because transaction activity is not accessible to everyone. On-chain analysis tools process the raw blockchain data and add analytics on top so that it is easier to analyze. Some useful data points for traders from on-chain data include analyzing and imitating the activity of major players, investigating exchange flows, and tracking the behavior of the large holders that drive the market for a given token.
Many tools that crypto traders use are focused upon either fundamental or technical analysis, and are very similar to those used by traders in traditional markets. Crypto introduces the ability to track specific entities or addresses as they transact on the blockchain, and use this data to gain insight into the state of the market.
Which analysis tool is right for you depends on your trading style and other factors. Below we’ll look at 12 leading tools which traders & investors should acquaint themselves with and discuss each one in depth.
TradingView is one of the leading crypto charting software in the world, and enables users to chart over 1 million different kinds of financial instruments. This includes traditional assets as well as crypto assets.
TradingView is one of the most popular crypto charting tools owing to its wide range of supported assets and trading indicators. It is most commonly used for technical analysis.
TradingView allows traders to create and customize their own indicators on many different asset charts, to save their analysis for future reference, and share it with others.
CoinMarketCap is a one-stop shop for fundamental analysis. It provides important basic information for each crypto asset such as total supply of a token, market capitalization, and trading volume.
CoinMarketCap is often the first place that new traders will look to investigate the coins on their watchlist or assets that they are about to purchase. Fundamental analysis traders can compare tokens in the same sector to identify which are likely to outperform or lag behind. For instance, CoinMarketCap allows traders to sort by categories such as DeFi, NFTs, and trending tokens in order to find comparisons with larger and smaller assets that may be relevant for a trader to research.
CoinMarketCap is also a useful tool for understanding tokenomics. It tracks data on token supplies, distributions of tokens at launch, as well as any unlocks that might affect a token’s circulating supply. Unlocks refer to the moment at which the initial token supply distributed to investors or team becomes tradable, which often coincides with a higher selling pressure as these parties seek to derisk by lowering their holdings. CoinMarketCap provides traders with data surrounding the state of the current token supply, as well as future distribution schedule - helping traders make decisions on whether to enter or exit a position.
It should be noted that CoinMarketCap is not necessarily the primary source of this data - which is usually sourced from a token’s documentation or directly from its team. Traders typically monitor team/token announcements to track any changes which might not yet be recorded on CoinMarketCap.
Etherscan is the oldest and most widely used block explorer for Ethereum. It shows blockchain transaction information and allows traders to access a record of the Ethereum blockchain, from the very first transaction.
This means that any Etherscan user can see the transactions and fund movements that occur directly on the blockchain, even down to the point of reviewing the code that is executed by a smart contract, and allowing users to interact directly with smart contracts and make custom function calls.
However, this often requires some level of expertise in understanding blockchain transactions and how they work. Often, blockchain interactions will be represented by pure code and will be completely indecipherable to a non-technical trader. In addition to this, many tokens on Etherscan lack price data or are easy to confuse with fake spam tokens.
Overall Etherscan is useful for basic transaction information and for investigating specific smart contract activity. It is not as focussed on analytics and on attributing blockchain activity to particular entities.
Arkham is a leading site for on-chain analysis, supporting transaction data and portfolio information across 10 blockchains. It allows traders to uncover the individuals and companies behind crypto activity and see a bird’s eye picture of their activity.
Arkham users can search for any entity of interest - token project, trading firm, exchange, individual trader, etc. - and analyze their activity through a streamlined user interface with a range of key data, including exchange usage, portfolio holdings, and a sortable transaction log. Arkham also has some of the best visualization capabilities available.
Traders can also set alerts on specific entities or tokens - to be notified as soon as transactions occur. This lets them remain informed of the movements of large token holders or influential market participants - enabling them to closely track what other market participants are up to. Using these capabilities, traders can build up strong knowledge of their competitors and other market players, forming an understanding of the entities driving market movements.
Coinalyze is an analysis tool allowing traders to review and track crypto futures information such as funding rates, open interest and recent liquidations. Coinalyze draws data for crypto futures from multiple major centralized exchanges (CEXs) - allowing traders to compare exchange-based funding flows and monitor for arbitrage opportunities.
Often, price movement in crypto is driven by the liquidations of large leveraged positions. Monitoring the open interest of major trading pairs allows traders to track and respond to these leverage dynamics.
For instance, Coinalyze allows traders to review past and present futures data on a chart alongside the price of the instrument or asset they are reviewing, allowing traders to analyze how futures activity relates to price activity.
However, Coinalyze does not show information for spot trading beyond price charts - and also does not show any on-chain movements. This brings us onto an important point, which is that traders typically use different crypto analysis tools in combination with one another, even if they adopt a singular trading style. This helps them see things from different perspectives through combining the utilities of different tools, and also leverages the strengths of one tool to cover for the weaknesses of another.
Messari is a multi-purpose crypto data hub geared towards fundamental analysis. Messari allows traders to review and compare different assets, exchanges, and decentralized protocols, and filter each of these by different categories - allowing traders to compare and contrast various sectors of the crypto market.
Free Messari users can access some of Messari’s research reports as well as an aggregator that collects recent governance proposals and important DAO votes. These allow traders to gain insight into different facets of the crypto market and keep up-to-date with the recent developments of various protocols.
Subscribers to Messari’s paid plan can access more, including custom diligence reports for specific assets, and aggregators providing newsflow of recent crypto-specific events as well as macro market news. These news feeds may be useful to traders who wish to capitalize on speedy execution when market-moving news becomes public.
Messari generally has more comprehensive fundamental analysis features than a reference site like CoinMarketCap, but traders doing fundamental analysis typically use multiple data feeds to ensure the validity & timeliness of their information. This is particularly applicable to news traders, who may be frontrun by competitors in case of late publication or lag time from a single data source.
CoinGecko is a fundamental analysis tool that is very similar to CoinMarketCap. It provides a list of top crypto assets, and basic data such as 24 hour volume, market cap, price and historical change - displaying the % change over the past 1 hour, 24 hours and 7 days.
Particularly of interest to traders may be the New Coin list - displaying small-cap cryptocurrencies that have recently been added to the platform, as well as the Top Gainers & Losers - assets that have gained or lost the most in price over the past 24 hours.
CoinGecko also provides traders with watchlists, allowing them to monitor price changes of desired assets, as well as a ranking of centralized/decentralized exchanges by volume. Most important to fundamental analysis traders may be the individual asset pages, which provide information on the tokenomics of a particular asset, as well as relevant links to documentation, and team communication channels such as social media.
One of CoinGecko’s main benefits may be its aggregation capacity - especially for on-chain traders, it is important to verify that a protocol website is legitimate or that a team social media account is officially recognized. CoinGecko hosts not only website links for different projects, but also social media links for communication and contract addresses if a trader is looking for a token on a blockchain specifically. However, CoinGecko does not provide much on-chain data beyond these aggregation capabilities..
Dex Screener is a technical analysis tool specifically for assets traded on decentralized exchanges (DEXs). It displays information on volume, market cap, as well as the liquidity in trading pools. Dex Screener helps traders navigate through the different blockchains and protocols on which they can trade crypto assets.
For example, MATIC is an asset deployed across multiple blockchains such as ETH Mainnet, Polygon, BNB Chain, and Arbitrum. With Dex Screener, traders can compare the relative liquidity and volume of different trading pools containing MATIC, compare different protocols that MATIC can be traded on, and view which blockchain they need to connect to in order to trade MATIC on a certain protocol.
Once traders have selected their preferred trading pair, they can use Dex Screener to investigate price history as well as a log of all historical transactions through that liquidity pool. Since trades take place on-chain, all trade history is publicly visible and able to be investigated through Dex Screener.
Using Dex Screener is often one of the fastest ways for traders to find a token’s contract address, as relevant trading pairs can be quickly and easily pulled up using the search bar. However, newer traders will need to be wary that they are looking at the correct token - as trading pairs are added automatically to Dex Screener, it is very easy for scammers to make their scam tokens appear higher in results than legitimate coins.
Bear in mind that there are no listing rules for coins on DEXes such as Uniswap, and Dexscreener will automatically display tokens as they begin trading on various on-chain exchanges.
Glassnode provides a different take on blockchain data to the tools we have seen before. Rather than tracking specific fund flows and identifying specific entities, Glassnode aggregates and categorizes different types of blockchain-based entities. For example, different charts will show data on entities and addresses of specific sizes (e.g. showing whether more tokens are held by larger or smaller addresses) and the length a token is held (based on the date of the last transaction). Glassnode can also chart unique metrics such as average acquisition cost of Bitcoin across the network (for instance, showing the average price point at which certain BTC last moved).
It should be noted also that Glassnode principally focuses on Bitcoin metrics - that is, focusing on aggregated BTC holder activity and applying the same heuristics to Ethereum & other chains.
Given the wealth of unique data that is provided by public blockchains, Glassnode’s analysis tools provide numerous data points that would be otherwise unavailable in traditional markets. This comes at a price, and many of the most useful or interesting data points and crypto charts are only available for Glassnode’s Advanced plan users.
Velo Data is a crypto data platform that collects and compares centralized exchange data from different exchange platforms. Traders using Velo can switch between the chart tab, which allows traders to quickly and easily visualize chart patterns on a number of popular pairs, and the futures tab, which compares funding rates, open interest and a number of other metrics between different popular CEXs.
Traders using Velo’s Chart tab are able to select from a number of preconfigured “favorite” pairs, or quickly and easily search for a number of the most popular and liquid assets that are being traded on centralized exchanges. The chart tab allows traders to draw indicators and patterns on top of the charts for these pairs, as well as save these patterns for later analysis or review.
The Futures tab contains data from a number of different centralized exchanges on one single screen, regarding futures data. With Velo, traders can compare and contrast open interest across different exchanges, compare basis and funding rates, and monitor liquidations across major exchanges. Not only does this allow Velo’s users to identify funding differences or arbitrage opportunities between these exchanges, it also provides traders with the ability to gain a deeper understanding of the participants who are involved with each exchange and the capital flows that they represent.
Importantly, Velo provides all of this data on one screen - so that traders do not have to switch across multiple tabs or windows to see data sourced from each individual exchange. However, similar to Coinalyze, Velo provides very little information around spot markets, so traders relying on futures data alone may be caught offside if sentiment in spot markets begins to shift.
L2Beat is a fundamental analysis tool that provides traders with actionable and up-to-date information on the fundamental characteristics of crypto bridges and Ethereum Layer 2s. Traders are frequently drawn to other chains to try out new protocols and exchanges, but are often unaware of specific risks that may be associated with these.
L2Beat provides data not only on usage statistics of various Ethereum Layer 2’s, but also displays information on the technical characteristics of each featured project. Traders can not only examine various Layer 2s featured on the website and compare data such as Total Value Locked (TVL) and USD value bridged, but can also compare technical details of each chain concerning their security properties & transaction mechanisms.
L2Beat collects and provides technical data that for crypto traders may otherwise require extensive digging through protocol documentation and technical notes. It also contains relevant links for each Layer 2, allowing traders to perform further research and due diligence before committing funds to a project that they do not understand.
However, L2Beat can mostly be considered a platform only for fundamental analysis. Graphs are mostly used to illustrate user growth or stagnation on various Layer 2’s, rather than to indicate rapid price movements. It’s also unlikely that traders will be able to find much on-chain transaction data on L2Beat, although a number of relevant contract addresses are recorded.
DexTools allows traders to perform technical analysis on coins traded exclusively on-chain. Decentralized exchanges normally do not have inbuilt charting software like centralized exchanges - so DEXTools’s charting software may come as a boon to traders looking to interact extensively with DEXes.
DEXTools is a multi-use tool, allowing traders both to perform traditional price chart technical analysis and - to do basic on-chain analysis.
DEXTools contains a contract checker and project reliability score - this is an automated check that runs on any asset that you analyze on the platform. DEXTools will run automatic tests on the coin’s contract, and check against any popular scam methods that may have been included in the code.
DEXTools includes a number of supporting services, such as the pair explorer and the large swap explorer. Traders who wish to focus into the on-chain asset space may find these filters useful, but those who prefer to trade on centralized exchanges may find limited utility through DEX-focused apps such as DEXTools.
By now you will have a good overview of some of the most popular analysis tools that are used by traders to help them with fundamental, technical, or on-chain analysis.
Traders should always be aware that many of these tools may have slight inaccuracies or blind spots in the data sources that they use, or for some fundamental analysis tools, may be using out of date statistics. Traders who cross-check across multiple tools and datasets will often be in a better position to judge market movements and trends.
Analytics tools provide a wealth of knowledge and information that was previously inaccessible. Learning how to use these tools effectively can provide insights and context to long-term trends as well as short term price changes. Learning how to use the right tools for the right situation can make them a powerful part of any trader’s arsenal.