A New Way To Discover Crypto Opportunities
Last week, we very quietly opened up CoinAlert to the public, sharing it with a handful of users who are part of the daily Crypto & Coffee podcast community hosted by our CEO, Nick Black. Since then, we’ve received valuable feedback, made a ton of improvements, and also added some new features — with many more to come over the next couple weeks. In this article, we’ll describe a little about our journey in crypto and some of the things that led us to build CoinAlert.
The Early Days
Nick and I have known each other a long time. We met over a decade ago while doing work in the fitness space and we’ve been collaborating on various startup projects ever since. We’ve run 5Ks together, moved to California about the same time (him to LA, me to Silicon Valley), and spent a ton of time researching and developing investing strategies around crypto. I learned about crypto in 2013, but didn’t get my start until 2016, at the beginning of the ICO boom. While studying AI at Stanford and bumming out on the beach in Aptos, CA, I started looking heavily into blockchain and decentralized computing. I threw a few dollars into Stellar Lumens back when it was $.005, Ripple when it was a few pennies, and AntShares, which later became NEO, when it was also pennies on the dollar. Within a couple weeks, the percentage returns on those tiny investments were so enormous I was freaking out and called Nick to brainstorm. It took me a couple weeks to convince him that something truly amazing was going on, and it wasn’t long before he dumped all of his silver and invested 100% of the proceeds into Bitcoin at around $3K while also building positions in Ethereum, Stellar, Ripple, and a few other early coins. Within a few months, Bitcoin exploded to well over $10K and many of the younger coins were moving even faster.
We realized we were on to something and spent a ton of time trying to develop strategies for evaluating the potential of early-stage coins, figuring out wallets (not so easy to use in those days), crypto exchanges (constantly getting hacked back then), and learning everything we could about this new “Wild West” that was known as the cryptocurrency market.
I’ll skip a lot of the history that followed. As everyone knows, the crypto market mushroomed from 2016 to 2018 and then the bubble popped in magnificent fashion, which was followed by a 2-year “crypto winter”. That insanely euphoric period from 2016 – 2018 turned a lot of heads in the finance world, though, and during that long crypto winter many large institutions started developing investment products and portfolio management strategies that are at the heart of today’s bull market.
Once things started heating up again in 2020, we realized that the sheer number of crypto projects made it almost impossible to spot opportunities extremely early without some sort of software that could scan the entire market regularly. We developed a list of things we’d be interested in searching for, including:
- Price Change
- Volume Change
- Market Cap
- Social Engagement
- Social Volume
- Social Dominance
- News Volume
These are just a few of the metrics we wanted to alert on. Our thinking was that we’d build an app for our own use that (1) integrated with numerous APIs to pull market, social, and other data for ALL coins that would allow us to (2) analyze the entire market on a regular basis (once per hour) and alert based on rules we define, listing coins that match specific criteria.
Coins We’ve Discovered using CoinAlert
We built it, used it, and started spotting some amazing early-stage tokens that we’ve made a killing on in the last few months, including:
- The Graph (GRT) – The Graph is an indexing protocol for querying data for networks like Ethereum and IPFS, powering many applications in both DeFi and the broader Web3 ecosystem. Anyone can build and publish open APIs, called subgraphs, that applications can query using GraphQL to retrieve blockchain data.
- The 1Inch Exchange (1Inch) – 1inch is a decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator, connecting several DEXes into one platform to allow its users to find the most efficient swapping routes across all platforms. In order for a user to find the best price for a swap, they need to look at every exchange — DEX aggregators eliminate the need for manually checking, bringing efficiency to swapping on DEXs.
- The Near Protocol (NEAR) – NEAR Protocol is a decentralized application platform designed to make apps usable on the web. The network runs on a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism called Nightshade, which aims to offer scalability and stable fees.
- Maker (MKR) – Maker is the governance token of the MakerDAO and Maker Protocol — respectively a decentralized organization and a software platform, both based on the Ethereum blockchain — that allows users to issue and manage the DAI stablecoin. Initially conceived in 2015 and fully launched in December 2017, Maker is a project whose task is to operate DAI, a community-managed decentralized cryptocurrency with a stable value soft-pegged to the US dollar.
- Theta Token (THETA) – Theta (THETA) is a blockchain powered network purpose-built for video streaming. Launched in March 2019, the Theta mainnet operates as a decentralized network in which users share bandwidth and computing resources on a peer-to-peer (P2P) basis.The project is advised by Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube and Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch.
CoinAlert has made us aware of many other high-potential, early-stage projects, but these are a few that we moved on with great results. There’s no way we’d have spotted some of these coins until long after they experienced huge price gains and hit the news feeds without a tool like CoinAlert, and we didn’t see one that had the flexibility we needed or the almost real-time integration with high-quality market and social data. Thus, we built one.
From Idea to Product Launch
The initial iteration of CoinAlert didn’t even have a user interface. It was a bit of Serverless scripting that I threw together to test some of these ideas and I whipped it out in less than a day. After a few days of seeing it run, we realized how valuable it was and decided to develop it into a product that we could share with others. In the weeks that followed, we’ve spent a lot of time building out a more serious backend that:
- Includes integrations with some of the highest quality API providers in the crypto space, including market and social data as well as detailed metadata (investors, advisors, team, tokenomics, social and other links, etc) on all coins we track.
- Deployed our own RSS news aggregator that pulls news from dozens of sources every hour.
- Integrated with Twitter to aggregate tweets for all coins in our database.
- Deployed a search index that allows us to serve news and Tweets with better relevance ranking than we have found in other APIs
A lot of this functionality has not yet been deployed in the product. You’ll see some pretty amazing features rolling out in the next few weeks.
There are currently three alert types available in CoinAlert Pro, with two others coming in the next few weeks:
- Market Alerts – This is the original alert type we started with. Market alerts scan the entire crypto market (over 4K coins) once per hour, checking various metrics (price, volume, sentiment, social engagement, social volume, news coverage, etc) against rules defined by you and sending you a list of matches for further investigation. These kinds of alerts are critical since they can help you spot high-potential opportunities long before they make it in front of most other investors and traders.
- Asset Alerts – These alerts just help you keep an eye on specific coins you have in your portfolio or just want to watch. You can set up alerts that will go out when the price of a coin hits a certain target number or increases/decreases by a certain percentage, when volume changes by a certain amount, sentiment or social metrics change by a certain amount, etc.
- Whale Alerts – These alerts allow you to spot whale transactions on various chains. Whale transactions ($500K or more, in our definition) are large deposits or withdrawals that often signal impending selloffs.
- Social Alerts (coming soon) – These alerts will roll out in the next couple weeks. They allow you to receive a periodic digest of news articles, Twitter activity, YouTube videos, top influencers, and other social activity and metrics about a specific coin to help you stay abreast of coins in your portfolio or others you’re considering investing in.
- Wallet Alerts (coming soon) – These alerts will also be available in the CoinAlert app in the coming weeks and allow you to set up listeners on specific wallet addresses. This can be your own self-custody wallets, such as Ledger, Trezor, etc, but can also be ANY wallet address you’d like to keep an eye on, such as wallets you’ve given your kids, spouse, or other family members, or wallets of known institutional investors or whales. We always get email notifications when we deposit/withdraw from centralized exchanges, but we don’t get that same visibility with our self-custody wallets. Wallet alerts solve that problem.
Many of the most advanced features are only available on the Pro plan since we have to pay for the numerous APIs we aggregate data from. Below are a few of the distinguishing features of the Pro plan:
- Alerts are delivered hourly
- All alert types are available — Market, Asset, and Whale (only Market and Asset alerts are available on the lower plans). Pro users will also have access to Social and Wallet alerts within the next week or so, neither of which will be available on the Free and Starter Plans.
- Pro users have access to social triggers for Market Alerts. Social triggers allow you to discover new coins based on shifts in sentiment and social activity. A few of the available triggers for Pro users are:
- Change in Sentiment
- Change in Social Engagement
- Change in Social Dominance
- Change in Social Volume
- Change in News Volume
We accept Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, and we also accept crypto! We process credit/debit payments via Stripe, and we use CoinPayments.net for crypto payments. We appreciate your support and will work hard as hell to make sure you have everything you need to stay ahead the market and learn about new opportunities the moment they arise.
Sign Up for CoinAlert
It’s free to sign up for CoinAlert and test it out. No credit card is required. We offer a 7-day free trial to the Pro Plan. To upgrade to Pro, simply click the avatar in the upper right hand corner, click Account, and pick a plan. We encourage you to try out Pro for a week and see if it helps you spot opportunities that you’d have otherwise missed.
If you have any questions, log into the app and hit us up on chat. You can also message Nick during his show, Crypto & Coffee, which you can catch on YouTube or Theta.tv.
We look forward to your feedback and hope to help you make a ton of money!