This year was hugely constructive and productive for the Kaiko team, even while navigating through 2020’s challenges and complexities. We started the year at a sprint, running from conferences to meetings to airports, launching several major products, and making a handful of key hires.
When the world ground to a halt in March, we were all forced to take a step back and recenter our thinking (both personally and professionally). For a fully centralized team, adjusting to a remote working environment compelled us to enhance our communication and team-working skills, resulting in the improvement of our internal processes for product, sales, marketing, business and engineering.
I am proud to say that the team became even more independent, accountable, motivated, and focused during this life-altering year. With new streamlined internal processes, we were able to improve our research, solidify our backend infrastructure, launch new data products, and continue building an awesome team. Most importantly, we were able to work towards Kaiko’s mission: to provide enterprises and institutional investors with core data infrastructure for digital assets.
We also made two key hires, Elodie de Marchi who joined us from VMware as Head of Growth, and Bediss Cherif who is joining us from Euronext as Head of Product
Overall, 2020 has been a tremendous year at Kaiko: Our institutional client base grew by +175%, our presence in the U.S. and Asia strengthened, and we launched key products catering for the needs of institutional investors.
Going into 2021, we are more confident than ever that our data infrastructure will serve as the backbone for digital assets markets, bringing transparency and efficiency to the industry. We are very well positioned to accelerate our growth in the coming year and we THANK YOU for your continued engagement, support, and feedback.
— Ambre Soubiran, CEO
Our biggest project of the year was expanding our suite of order book data products. We believe that order book data is the most valuable data type for understanding crypto market dynamics, which is why our priority was twofold: making this data both easier to work with for less technical users and providing a more granular version of the product for quantitative traders.
Order Book Derivations
We started off the year by launching an entire suite of order book API endpoints for less-technical traders and researchers, built using our order book snapshots. Through these endpoints, we offer several derivations of order book data: market depth, slippage, spread, and averages of these measures over time intervals ranging from 1 minute to 1 day.
Raw order book snapshots can be cumbersome to work and these new endpoints opened the door to a wider range of end users. Messari incorporated our price slippage data into their Screener tool, The Block publishes bid-ask spread and price slippage on their data dashboards, and many private researchers have used this data to study and compare market liquidity.
Tick-level Order Books
Crypto traders have become more and more sophisticated, requiring increasingly granular data for backtesting and simulations, which led us to develop our most granular data product yet: tick-by-tick order book data. Optimized for quantitative traders, tick-level order books comprise every incremental update or “delta” to the order book, and can be used to reconstruct any historical market state with the utmost precision.
Live Derivatives Data
Derivatives data has become the most sought after data type this year, which is why we worked hard to launch the first part of our derivatives data product: live, normalized data through our API, including 30+ measures such as open interest, funding rates, and index price for futures, options, and perpetual futures.
This year, we upped our game in the DeFi space by devoting more engineering resources to this growing sub-sector. We improved our integration with Chainlink and now provide 9 oracle price feeds, partnered with Tezos to publish price data to their blockchain, integrated with Uniswap, set-up our own Ethereum node, published data on Ocean Marketplace, and further developed our data infrastructure to support future decentralized projects.
Reliable, transparent, and auditable pricing and valuation data is becoming increasingly important in the cryptocurrency industry. Over the past year, we vastly improved our pricing endpoints and API infrastructure to support enterprise use and customization. Our pricing and valuation data is now used globally by custodians, asset managers, and funds.
Research Powered by Kaiko
More than 100 researchers contacted us this year in search of data, affiliated with universities all over the world. We are thrilled to work closely with so many researchers and library systems, and Kaiko data now powers publications from dozens of academic institutions. We also worked closely with many cryptocurrency research and media organizations, who produce equally high-quality content. Below, we’ve listed just a few of our favorite works leveraging Kaiko data this year.
- MIT: Price Discovery in Bitcoin Spot and Derivatives Markets
- University of Glasgow: The Role of Technology and Network Externalities in the Long-Term Performance of ICOs
- Delphi Digital: The State of Bitcoin 2020
- Coindesk Research: Coindesk Quarterly Review
- Bitstamp Research: How Bitstamp’s Matching Engine Has Improved Trading and Order Book Efficiency
- Okex Insights: Retail vs. Whale Trade Size Analysis
Research Produced by Kaiko
This year we began producing our own research, publishing scores of articles and reports showing the power of Kaiko data. Our research is now available through Dow Jones Factiva, Refinitiv, and Coindesk’s Research Hub. Below are some of our favorite pieces from the year:
- An Analysis of Cryptocurrency Whale Trade Size and Direction (link)
- Crypto ‘Black Thursday’ Under the Microscope: An Analysis of Market Microstructure (link)
- Why Cryptocurrency Exchange Infrastructure Matters (link)
- How Expensive are Bitcoin Options? (link)
- Bitcoin Historical Volatility: Why the Calculation Methodology Matters (link)
Weekly Research Factsheet and Monthly Market Report
One of our most popular and high-growth ventures of 2020 was the launch of our weekly Research Factsheet, which includes detailed data-driven market commentary, a PDF report, and interactive charts. We saw huge growth over the year, and are thrilled to have developed the weekly analysis into a widely-read standard (3,000+ institutional subscribers) for data-driven market commentary.
We also launched our Monthly Market Reports, which condense and summarize the month’s most important data-driven market events.
Subscribe to our weekly Research Factsheet here and download our Monthly Reports here.
We’ve grown the team significantly over the past year to a total of 16, the majority headquartered in Paris with regional offices in New York and Tokyo. We welcomed two new developers, Sven and Remi, an awesome HR officer, Lisette, a sales associate, Lucas, a Head of Product, Bediss, and a Head of Growth, Elodie.
Bediss Cherif joined us from Euronext where he worked for 5 years as a product manager, leading the development of the exchange’s derivatives market platform. At Kaiko, he will take the lead on product management leveraging his extensive experience in traditional capital markets.
Elodie de Marchi joined us all the way from Silicon Valley, where she worked as a vice president at Silicon Valley Bank and most recently on the investment team at VMware, leading M&A deals. At Kaiko, she will help us scale and expand our company around the world.
While 2020 was not the best year for in-person events, we had the opportunity to host the first cryptocurrency startup and venture capital event right before the lockdowns. We introduced EthVC at this year’s Ethereum Community Conference, which was an exclusive venture capital track designed for blockchain startups and investors. The event was a huge success and facilitated networking and knowledge sharing between 30 founders and 35+ leading venture capitalists.
We are thrilled to announce that the second iteration of EthVC will take place this April at EthCC (either in person or online, to be determined).
Despite the lack of in-person events, members of the Kaiko team had the opportunity to speak at many virtual conferences this year, including Messari’s Mainnet, Coindesk’s Consensus 2020, Chainlink’s Smart Contract Summit, LA Blockchain Week, DeFi Conference 2020, BPI’s BIG 2020, BFM Business and more.
2021 Product Roadmap
What’s next for Kaiko? As we look back on the past year, we noticed many data trends strengthening (such as interest in order books and derivatives data), but also the emergence of new ones (looking at you, DeFi). Thus, our 2021 product roadmap focuses on existing product needs, while leaving plenty of room for agility in anticipation of rapid changes in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Our priorities are as follows:
- Order Book Coverage: Expanding our tick-level coverage to all exchanges in our collection, including more options for order book formatting and granularity.
- Historical Derivatives Data: Planned for early 2021, we will launch the historical version of this data product, providing 30+ measures in CSV files and through our REST API to complement our existing historical derivatives market data.
- DeFi Market Data: We have thus far focused primarily on centralized exchanges, but that will change in 2021 thanks to the massive growth of decentralized finance over the past year. We are excited to expand our data coverage to decentralized exchanges, and work more closely with decentralized projects.
- Research Collaborations: We are thrilled to expand our work with exchanges and research organizations, providing the data and expertise required to publish unique insights. Contact us if you would like to partner!
Our hard work and efforts paid off in 2020 and we had a tremendous end to the year at Kaiko. We plan to hit the ground running in 2021, and keep our momentum going with new products, research, events, and partnerships planned for Q1.
With our incredible team, solid product, robust backend, and mission-driven ambition, we are excited to keep working alongside our partners and friends in the blockchain industry.
As always, Carpe Data and see you in the new year.
— The Kaiko Team
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Kaiko 2020 Year in Review was originally published in Kaiko Data on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.