Crypto | August 22, 2018

Tips to building a first class cryptocurrency exchange trading platform.

Written by ChartIQ Engineer

Elliot wave study on ChartIQ candlestick stock chart

Cryptocurrency is today’s version of the California Gold Rush. Everyday, crypto exchanges are popping up for those early and eager crypto traders reading to dig into the Wild West. The phenomenon has very quickly transformed how the financial industry, and the individual, invests and makes purchases. With the increasing number of exchanges being created, it has become difficult for new entrants to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

Despite all the numerous trading platforms out there, high-quality charting and customization tools are hard to find. What if your traders wanted to draw or annotate on their chart, but your crypto charts don’t have the option? What if your traders demanded they have a market depth chart, but you don’t offer one? The result for you as a crypto platform provider is clear—churn. Today’s traders will quickly leave and find another exchange that has a platform better suited for their trading workflow.

If you’re reading this blog post you’ve probably embarked on launching a cryptocurrency platform, or you’ve spent a ton of time and effort configuring the back-end of your platform and are looking for a powerful user interface to tie it all together. So now that you’ve made it this far, what you should look for when choosing an off-the-shelf cryptocurrency user interface?

You want a user interface that delivers high-quality charting, contains a library of trading and analysis tools, and is data agnostic. Also, don’t overlook standard crypto instruments like order books, market depth charts, and quick trade execution functionality.

Have you researched what tools your crypto traders are going to want when they use your platform? Do you have the necessary tooling it takes to meet those needs? Check to make sure the software you choose is used by other leaders in the space – being industry tested may save you headaches down the road. And lastly, cut through the noise. There are many vendors out there claiming to have the same or better technological expertise in the cryptocurrency industry. Do your research so you can make a smart and confident business decision.

To get your research underway, here are three things to consider before choosing an off-the-shelf crypto product:

  • What unforeseen obstacles could block me from getting my platform to market?
  • What are the advantages to white labeled technology?
  • Will this vendor scale with me as I grow?

Time to market

It’s important to enter as soon as possible or at least be in control when the time is right. In order to get a trading platform off the ground and running, crypto exchange product teams seek out free and easy ways to implement the core tools that users typically expect to see in a trading platform. These tools being charts, order books, and a market depth charts. While free tools and rudimentary software may be a quick fix, this route will leave you diminish profits and performance in the long term. In addition to trying to keep up with the growing demands of modern traders, inferior tools can quickly hinder the user experience and encourage your users to experiment with a host of other trading platforms offered by other exchanges.

For many aspiring and established exchanges, building a front end on top of configuring the logistics and infrastructure of the back end leaves development teams scrambling. Sacrifices are often made that compromise the vision and goals of the final product. The back end of your platform is extremely important and choosing to cut corners or save money on the front end is a mistake. Traders, and by default crypto platform providers, need a professional, intuitive user interface that visualizes the complexity of the back end. Not every charting and trading platform provider can provide this. The last thing you want is for your traders to discover your UI is inefficient resulting in a poor user experience.

Don’t underestimate the details of charting technology—or your users’ demands—when it comes to developing a unique trading experience. Central to the trading experience is the chart. Charts produce visualizations of time-series data that can easily be broken down by traders to spot trends or to compare and contrast sets of data. Order execution and other instrument integrations should be seamless. Building out these features on your own can take many months or even years of trial and error to develop and implement which can deflate development budgets quickly.


Customized user interface by BITTREX using ChartIQ’s HTML5 Charting Library.

White Labeling and Customization

You need to make sure that the off-the-shelf user interface and tools allow for easy customization. White labeled solutions give you the most flexibility and provide the most control over your brand and reduce the amount of headaches for your developers. If you choose a third-party product incapable of doing what is expected to do, your users will take notice and associate any bad user experience with your brand. Exchanges, new and established, need to be vigilant of the many roadblocks free and discounted trading products present when it comes time to make small and large platform updates.

The worst case scenario is having to share your valuable platform real estate with that of the third-party vendor’s logo. This often leads to a patchwork UI and a disconnected user experience. With a white label vendor, you can create a unified, cohesive, and powerful platform experience that represents the brand in a professional manner.

Advantages to white label and customizable solutions:

  • Create a unified experience
  • Attract, convert, and retain users with superior UX
  • Brand ownership – no third-party recognition
  • Establish credibility – software can appear to be built in-house
  • Differentiate yourself in the marketplace

Having a technology option that allows you to communicate your brand can help differentiate yourself in a market that is saturated when trying to attract new users. By white labeling, you are able to leverage and take advantage of an expert vendor or partner’s reputation within the industry, without sacrificing the meticulous time and effort it takes to build the high quality tools they provide. Charting alone is time consuming and expensive to build. When adding other trading instruments into the mix, it’s a no-brainer to choose an off-the-shelf solution and not waste valuable resources building in-house. White labeling appears to users as if the technology you’re providing was built in-house with use your brand colors, fonts, and logos. In addition to the white label technology that comes out of the box, make sure there is clear and concise developer documentation, a dedicated support team, and tutorials that will help you get up and running in no time. Arguably, the best part of white labeled solutions is that your users will be none the wiser about it, and your brand reaps all of the benefits.


Not only is time to market important, but having a flexible platform that scales is essential. You need a technology provider that will grow and evolve in parallel with your company. A good vendor accommodates your needs not only today, but is prepared to handle your requirements in the future as well.

Here’s a quick list of questions to consider when looking at a front-end solution for your crypto platform:

  • How is the software delivered?
  • Is it easy to integrate?
  • Is it data agnostic?
  • What sort of developer documentation do they offer for your team?
  • What factors can make a chart non-responsive or crash?

As your application attracts more users, it is essential you have an elastic infrastructure in place that will allow you to easily meet growing requirements that come from user demands. Not being able to do so can negatively impact your platform, users, and profits. If you try to add new features and functionality to a non-flexible platform, fixing of bugs and other problems will become a daily routine to the point that it could hinder delivery to your users and more importantly, innovation.

One area where crypto exchanges need to make smart decisions on is what data provider to choose and what types of feeds to plug into the platform. As the crypto market becomes more mature, options and offerings for data has also expanded to meet unique user preferences. There are plenty of free and paid data services that exchanges can access; however, you don’t want a vendor that will place any limitation on you or your users in regards to the data and user interface. To avoid getting into an agreement that restricts your platform, choose a solution that is data agnostic. This option allows you to have the freedom to choose your own data source, aggregate that data, and display the data on your charts any way you want.

ChartIQ has built CryptoIQ, a powerful cryptocurrency technology and user interface package, that allows you to increase your time to market, customize how you like, and give you the ability to grow your business as your user base and needs grow. Unique tools like ChartIQ’s ScriptIQ and Active Trader + Trade From The Chart options provide exchanges with a unique offering that they can pass along to their traders. For example, ScriptIQ allows exchanges and more advanced individual traders to develop their own custom technical indicators within minutes, personalizing their trade experience and increasing engagement time on your platform. Trade From The Chart allows a trader to execute trades directly on the chart without having to leave their workflow. Other tools that are popular with crypto traders like market depth charts and order books are available as part of our crypto package. Don’t take our word for it, ask BitStamp, Bittrex, or Coinone why they chose ChartIQ over the competition.

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