How to Build Real-Time In-App Bitcoin Pricing and Trading

3 min read Michael Carroll on Dec 10, 2013

bitcoin infrastructureA Bitcoin Exchange, like any financial trading platform, needs scalable, reliable, and secure infrastructure to handle large trading volume spikes, stream real-time prices and trades as they happen, and deliver secure channels for customer communication. So how do you do this? You can either try to build out a data stream network on your own, but this can be challenging to scale and maintain, and you may quickly find that maintaining a data stream network is a full-time job in itself.

Bitcoin trading platforms need to be able to:

  • Handle large spikes in usage and trading volumes
  • Be able to stream real-time price changes as they occur, with minimal latency
  • Provide the same level of stability and service around the world
  • Ensure a secure data stream to each trading customer
  • Deliver a reliable, secure history of Bitcoin trades for each user
  • Detect currently active users and usage

We at PubNub like to take care of the heavy lifting of developing and scaling real-time apps for you, and are pleased to release our Bitcoin Exchange Solution Kit. Bitcoin Exchanges can now easily add scalable real-time trade, pricing and collaborative features to their site.

So what kind of features are available in the solution kit?

Real-time public pricing data stream

All trading platforms require up to the millisecond pricing information in order to execute trades effectively. Building the infrastructure to stream this data to thousands of devices simultaneously can be costly and difficult to manage. PubNub provides a core messaging platform allowing developers to publish data streams to millions of devices in less than 1/10 of a second without the need for any costly servers or configuration.

bitcoin infrastructure ticker1Transaction and pricing history

Accurate tracking of transaction data and history is critical to providing a high-trust trading experience. PubNub can automatically record all data that has been published over the network for quick retrieval and playback. In the event a transaction is interrupted for some reason (network connection issues, for example) you could quickly recall historical transaction data and complete the transaction.

bitcoin infrastructure ticker

Secure streaming channels to users

Security is paramount in a trading platform. Transaction and account information must be kept private from end to end. PubNub offers various encryption and access control options to manage all stream data. Access can be controlled for all operations within the PubNub Data Stream Network.

User Detection & Collaboration

A strong virtual currency requires a strong, interactive community. PubNub provides powerful community collaboration features like real-time presence detection, enabling real-time customer collaboration. With PubNub, it’s easy to build real-time chat, forums, and other collaboration features that allow customers to share information and receive assistance throughout the trading process.

User analytics

Understanding user behavior is critical to any emerging platform. PubNub provides key analytic data to track unique visitor, traffic volume by data type and geographical information over time. All of this data is presented in a dashboard in the PubNub Administrator Portal.

Reliable, persistent network connections

The foundation for all of these features is the ability to maintain a persistent network connection to all devices, all the time. PubNub ensures that network sockets remain open to any device and that data can be delivered in under 1/10 of a second anywhere in the world.

Bitcoin Infrastructure Customer Spotlight

PubNub is already being used by one of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges to stream real-time data. The exchange needed a real-time data stream service provider to stream high volumes of real-time data while still maintaining a reliable service.

Faced with the dilemma of building their own infrastructure to meet this demand, the exchange turned to PubNub’s core Data Push service to implement real-time data streams of the exchange rates for various currencies. Additionally, they’ve made these data stream public so that any 3rd party can access this data for use in their own applications.

The exchange has also created private data streams using Access Manager. This allows them to deliver private data such as trade history in a secure and encrypted fashion for use in their site or 3rd party applications. Each of these solutions allows the exchange to scale their operations quickly and easily without the need for costly investment in hardware and ongoing maintenance.

Bitcoin Infrastructure Resources