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Parsing cryptocurrency applications

Today, the global market capitalisation of all cryptocurrencies is $2.6 trillion, an amount equal to France, the 6th largest GDP economy. Cryptocurrency is at the peak of popularity, which is why many companies are creating applications and products for transactions with it.

We’ve already implemented several major cryptocurrency-related projects and want to share our expertise.

Key terms

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that can be exchanged for goods and services. It is protected by cryptography, so it is virtually impossible to counterfeit or spend twice. The main reason for the recent surge in cryptocurrency: it is not issued by authorities and is protected from government control. Many companies issue their own currencies (tokens), which can be exchanged for goods or services of that company.

Bitcoin is the very first and most popular cryptocurrency and has become the standard for other cryptocurrencies. There are now more than 6,500 types of cryptocurrency. Other popular cryptocurrencies include Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Cardano (ADA), Polkadot (DOT), Stellar (XLM), Chainlink (LINK), Tether (USDT), Monero (XMR).

Blockchain is a decentralised database that contains information about all transactions. All transactions involving cryptocurrencies are based on this technology.

Why cryptocurrency apps are popular
Cryptocurrency trading apps allow the user to monitor and control the flow of cryptocurrency funds, exchanging tokens for fiat (paper) money or vice versa.

Reasons for the popularity of cryptocurrency:

Decentralisation. Blockchain frees cryptocurrency from strict control, which means that the authorities do not dictate the rules to its owners.
Fast and unlimited transactions. Users do not have to wait for days for the money to be available in the account. Also, there is no limit on the number of transactions.
Low commissions worldwide. Cryptocurrency transaction fees are much lower than for other financial transactions.
Anonymity. If the crypto-address is not openly verified, no one will know the sender and recipient’s details.
Stages of creating cryptocurrency applications
1 Determine what task the application will solve. Research the most common problems users face. Predict how your app will solve them or close one of the user’s needs.

  1. Choose a development approach. There are two basic approaches in building mobile apps: use off-the-shelf SDKs or develop your app from scratch. The latter option will give you a customised approach, but the costs will be higher.
  2. Choose the type of app – it can be in-house, cloud-based or hybrid. Choose the right blockchain solution to implement. There are public, private and hybrid blockchain models. For example, the cross-platform frameworks React Native and Flutter are more commonly used to develop cryptocurrency wallets for iOS and Android.
  3. Think about the configuration. It’s important to think about the configuration at the beginning, as most components cannot be changed once set up. After selecting the components of the server you need to decide on the programming language.
  4. Develop a user-friendly UI/UX design. The application must be easy to navigate and intuitive for the user.
  5. Choose an API. You can use ready-made APIs or create your own. They will be useful for generating key pairs, addresses, as well as storing and retrieving data.
  6. Start with the MVP. Create an MVP, a minimally viable product, and then test it for crashes, bugs, memory and storage issues, and performance problems. Only then is your solution worth scaling.

Basic types of applications
All cryptocurrency applications are divided into three big groups: cryptocurrency wallet, crypto data aggregator or cryptocurrency trading application.

Cryptocurrency wallet

It can safely store cryptocurrency as well as related transaction records. As of November 2021, more than 78 million people worldwide use blockchain wallets. The graph below shows the trend in the number of users over the past 10 years:

Mobile cryptocurrencies simplify and speed up transactions – it’s a cheap way to transfer, and decentralisation ensures anonymity and protection.

Factors that determine the quality of a cryptocurrency wallet

  • Variety of coins supported – BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP and others.
  • Security. Connect two-factor authentication, fingerprint scanner, FaceID, multi-signature, push notifications.
  • UX. Make it intuitive to use the app. Wallet should be as easy to use as Google Pay or Apple Pay.
  • Anonymity. Protect users’ sensitive data and transaction histories.

Examples of cryptocurrency wallets: BitGo, Coinbase, Electrum.

Crypto data aggregator

Aggregators provide users with up-to-date information about cryptocurrencies. They regularly update prices, market capitalisation indices, trade volume figures, market data and exchange rankings. Investors use this tool to learn more about the crypto market. It is important to think in detail about the UI/UX design, as it determines the success of the application.

Indicators of a quality crypto data aggregator

  • Quality of displayed data. Bids from exchanges should appear in real time. Users should be able to choose from which exchange to get cryptocurrency rate information.
  • Analytics tools. Provide tools for users to analyze and form a trading strategy.
  • Additional features. Set up push notifications, integration with cryptocurrency exchanges, a news feed, the ability to create personalized lists.

Examples of aggregators: CoinMarketCap, CoinGecko, Kaiko.

Cryptocurrency trading apps

Cryptocurrency trading and exchange applications are intermediaries between sellers and buyers. Most often, they are simply used to buy, sell or exchange virtual money for fiat money. Creating such a platform is a more complex project than developing a cryptocurrency wallet, as it requires more resources.

Indicators of a quality cryptocurrency trading application

  • High liquidity. At first, you are unlikely to have sufficient trading turnover, so connect the service to an external liquidity pool.
  • A large number of currency pairs. Be guided by the principle “the more the better”, but do not forget to check the reliability of the tokens.
  • Reliability and security. Consider the security of the service in order for it to be able to process hundreds of thousands of transactions.

Necessary components of a cryptocurrency exchange and trading application

  • Authorization and user verification
  • Analytics tools – MACD indicator (moving averages convergence/divergence), Relative Strength Index (RSI), Bollinger Bollinger Lines (BB)
  • admin console
  • Transaction History and Bid Stack
  • Push notifications

Examples of applications: Kraken, Gemini, Uniswap.

Surf case study
We at Surf have extensive experience with cryptocurrency projects, one example being the Twim app. It was designed to be user-friendly for experienced traders and beginners alike. The latter mostly use only basic options and trade from their smartphones. Experienced traders use tablets as they need a full-fledged trading platform with full toolkit. So the app had to work equally correctly on smartphones and tablets. In addition, the speed of the app and data updates was critical for all users.

We created a cryptocurrency trading app with all customer requirements in mind:

  • The app has a dark theme, which is good for working at night. The rest of the elements are designed in contrasting colours.
  • The app instantly displays quote updates. Users see all important trading information on the main screen: chart, market depth, currency pair quotes.
  • The app is suitable for professional traders and beginners. It supports cryptocurrency trading, shows portfolio statistics and changes in quotes of open positions.
  • The tablet version provides the trader with a full-fledged trading terminal and advanced analytical tools.