If you trade any financial instrument (i.e. securities, F&O, currencies, cryptocurrencies etc.), you know the role that news plays in rise or fall of the markets. One delay in taking action and you might stand a chance to lose all your profits of the day, and in some worst case scenarios even the profits of several days.
For cryptocurrencies, the importance of news is much greater, because these markets operate 24×7 on a global scale and, given the current state of cryptocurrency regulations in different countries, there are so many variables you need to keep tabs on. So, you must have at least some source at your disposal that can give you reliable news as soon as it happens.
Relying on one top news source (or a few) is a bad idea in this case, because no publication covers every news story first, and every publication has its own degree of importance for a given news category/segment. The bottom line is: You don’t want to miss ANY news.
That’s where news aggregators come into play. What works better than news aggregators who combine several news sources into one? By providing real-time updates, they try to keep you as updated as possible about major developments that can affect the prices of financial markets.
There are quite a few aggregators related to cryptocurrency news, but our focus today is CoinSpectator. What separates it from its peers, however, is its straightforward user interface with its easy navigation & filterable feeds, and a number of other interesting features. In this review I’m going to take you through all of its features, and explain to you what is good and what is not, so you can use them to your advantage. Let’s begin.
What CoinSpecator is
At its core, CoinSpectator is a cryptocurrency news aggregator that curates real time crypto news from a variety of sources – including crypto publications, blogs, Twitter feed, crypto forums, crypto-related subreddits, and mainstream media (which made me pause for a second, but we’ll come to this in a bit).
The other part of its offering, that is slightly subtler in presentation, is its ICO listing. The feed for this is curated from sources such as official project websites and launch announcements.
So, in essence, CoinSpectator gives you everything you need as a trader – news, market updates, blog posts, and ICO updates. All in real time.
The UI of CoinSpectator aggregator is neat, professional and functional. Its main interface is a clutter-free, fixed window that fits your browser’s height, which is vertically divided into two panes with their own scroll bars. The wider left pane lists the news feed items from latest to oldest. The right pane by default has a super-concise guide on how to make the best out of the aggregator. When you click on a news item on the left pane, the right pane quickly shows you a peek into the actual news article – either in full or a summary (depending on how the publisher’s RSS feed is configured, I assume).
On mobile, the left pane alone occupies the whole screen, and clicking on a news item invokes a new screen (sort of an overlay) where you could read the article, go to the source to read the full news, or just go back to the feed.
Every news item in the feed shows the news article’s title, the source, timestamp (more like how long ago), community sentiment, and up/down votes – all presented neatly in a card-like snippet.
The top bar above the feed lets you filter news from blogs, sort the feed by popularity/freshness, and search through the feed using keywords. The narrow left sidebar hosts a slim navigation menu. And finally, the bottom end of the functional area shows a price ticker bar with real time prices of popular cryptocurrencies.
The one shortcoming of CoinSpectator’s UI that that struck me was its dark theme, which may not go easy on every pair of eyeballs. Had there been a toggle to switch between a dark and a light theme, it would have been better. But for now there’s only one dark theme in it.
Sources & Frequency
The strength of any news aggregator lies in the sources it chooses to curate news from. It is the most important aspect that determines the quality of the feed, its frequency, and its completeness. In my experience of using CoinSpectator, I found its update frequency to be fine enough. I got almost all sorts of news that I’d want on any trading day, thanks to its rich sources.
Besides crypto-focused publications CoinSpectator also tracks all other major mainstream publications (i.e. TechCrunch, Forbes, IBTimes, India Times, RT, EconoTimes, The New Yorker, ZDNet etc.) for cryptocurrency news, which struck me as concerning at first. It’s mainly because Crypto-News India has always been concerned about the mainstream media’s urge to cover crypto-related news despite their lack of understanding on the subject. But then, an aggregator’s job is more about curating news for the community than judging it, so I guess that’s not a big downside here.
CoinSpectator has also got an ICO page that can be accessed from its navigation menu. The page shows you the list of ICOs at a glance. By default, the page displays the list of active ICOs, but the top bar above the list allows you to switch to the other lists (Hot, Upcoming, Ended & Scams).
Each item in the list consists of the ICO’s name, a project description, start & end dates, and a bunch of resources related to the ICO. The resources include links to the ICO’s website, white paper, social media profiles, the project’s Github activities, etc. that are presented as dynamic icon tiles which grow/shrink according to the available resources for each project.
Clicking on an ICO item opens the detail page in a separate window, so you can drill down into any ICO that interests you.
A concern with the ICO listing is the listing switches at the top. You might think they’re the simple switches to navigate between different lists, but they’re actually toggles. So if you land on the “Active” ICO list and click on the “Active” switch again (maybe because you’re not sure that’s where you are), the list disappears and shows you a blank listing. It takes some getting used to before you figured it out.
A more pressing concern with the ICO listing is the “Scams” list. Despite its perceived differences from the other lists, the “Scams” list in CoinSpectator behaves just like the other ones. You don’t get any hint as to what type of scam each one in the list is, what the size/magnitude was, etc. The actual details of the scam are buried in the details page, so you won’t know about the scam until you click and read through the detail page.
And I think that the “Join Now” button on the detail page of scam coins doesn’t really belong there, because forgetful souls like me are prone to click on it and go through their pitch if I come back to the detail page an hour later and forgot what I was looking at.
CoinSpectator sits among the most reliable cryptocurrency news aggregators that I’d suggest people to use. The website is light and mobile responsive. Its simple UI, number & quality of sources and real-time update functionality can keep you ahead of other crypto traders when it matters the most. You can also use it to keep track of upcoming ICOs. Give it a shot at coinspectator.com and let us know what you think in comments.