CoinGecko Exclusive Interview: Bobby Ong Talks Altcoins

August 29, 2014

In a sea of cryptocurrency and altcoins, it can be incredibly difficult to pick and choose which ones to believe in. Without doing the proper research, anyone can be stuck following a hopeless coin. Sometimes people quote CoinMarketCap’s figures but there is more to the picture than that.

It’s well-known that a coin cannot thrive based on the vanilla “economic” value of market cap . Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency that has a massive production rate, but a large and active user base to balance it out: Something that Dogecoin’s market cap doesn’t necessarily inform you of. That’s where CoinGecko comes in. CoinGecko is an altcoin measurement tool that looks at the community, developer and liquidity behind an altcoin to give an in-depth overview of a cryptocurrency.

[divider] CCN [/divider]

Recently, co-founder of CoinGecko Bobby Ong sat down with CCN for an exclusive interview.

Why do you take the approach of community rather than fact-driven economics?

We at CoinGecko measure coins based on 3 major criteria at the moment – community, developer and liquidity. The data that we provide are all facts and publicly available from various sources. What we are doing is aggregating all these data into one page and ranking them using an algorithm.

How we go about doing this is to first determine a major section such as Community and then finding the best available metric that we can use as a proxy to measure the activity. For example, for Community, the coin’s subreddit is a reasonably good proxy for measuring community activity. Likewise for Developer, the number of contributors and commits in the coin’s open-source repository on Github or Bitbucket is a reasonably good proxy for measuring developer activity.

We are of course aware of the limitations of using such proxies for measurement. As we progress further along, we will be adding more metrics to cover more ground and make the rank more comprehensive.

The platform looks proven and quite solid. When do you plan to take it out of beta, or what will it take to get it out of beta?

CoinGecko is still a work in progress. We do not have a set timeline on when we will take it out of beta. When we are fully satisfied that we have covered most major metrics and coins, we will take off the beta tag. As it stands, we still have many metrics and coins that we would want to add.

How was the CoinGecko idea formulated?

The idea for CoinGecko was formulated when my partner and I were talking about altcoins and asked questions on how we should evaluate them. We wanted to get a holistic evaluation of cryptocurrencies and not just look at market capitalization but we could not find any website providing such a service.

We figured that there must be a better way to evaluate cryptocurrencies instead of just relying on market capitalization figures and qualitative reasons from bitcointalk postings on why a cryptocurrency is good. We started asking how we can get a 360 degree overview of cryptocurrencies and came out with a list of metrics. We realized that getting all these metrics from various sources is a very time consuming task. We started writing a simple prototype to collect basic data for a few coins and before we know it we started adding more metrics and coins to make our list more comprehensive. We now have a huge data set of metrics underlying all these cryptocurrencies. It sure has been one very interesting ride!

What advice would you give current cryptocurrencies that might be looking to improve their CoinGecko score?

Do not try to game your coin rank on CoinGecko! We know who has been trying to game our rank and we do put in place measures by tweaking our algorithm to reduce such manipulations. What we would advice instead is to do honest work and focus on making your coin strong by having a strong community and development roadmap. If you are an honest coin playing the long-term game and working hard on achieving your objectives, eventually the market will notice and start rewarding you and you will move up the rank on CoinGecko.

There’s a lot of discussion about community leaders being anonymous, leading to mistrust. Since CoinGecko looks at the community directly, how do you feel this might play into the metrics you calculate either currently or in the future?

We believe it is not a pre-requisite for community leaders to be a public figure, though that may help improve trust tremendously. Satoshi Nakomoto, the founder of Bitcoin is after all an anonymous figure. What we believe is important is the consistency of community building efforts. Sustainable efforts in building the community and improving the coin codebase are more important that short-term hype without substance. If community and development efforts are sustainable, the metrics that we track on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and Github will increase organically and the coin will score higher.

If I were a first-time investor or trader, how would you recommend I use CoinGecko in my daily routine?

Check CoinGecko and look closely at the top 15 coins. When you see a new coin making it into the top 15, pay closer attention to the coin and do all you can to research about the coins. Some notable coins that have made it to the top 15 recently include Monero, BitsharesX and Stellar. Learn about the reason for the coin’s existence, and then look closely at the individual Community, Developer and Liquidity metrics.

What features do you have in store that consumers can anticipate?

The first major update that will be coming by really soon will be the addition of a new section titled Public Interest which takes into account key metrics such as Bing search result count and the official coin homepage Alexa rank. This will give us a better idea of how many people are searching for the coins and how many people are visiting the coin website for information.

We also plan to roll out a premium plan where users can look at graphs and charts of all our historical metrics. This will give a tremendous advantage to the trader to get a “momentum” growth of the coins’ metrics. This measure of growth will be a better reflection of interest in coins and we believe will be a better gauge of future price movements.

Last modified (UTC): September 2, 2014 08:34

Clay Michael Gillespie @thelivingaspect

Clay Gillespie a writer and reporter for many different platforms across the tech industry. He holds a B.S. in Public Relations from Ball State University, and freelances for different clients in technology and cryptocurrency. For more information, visit his personal website,