There are hundreds if not thousands of different tools made to visualize, analyze and track activity around the Bitcoin network. It can quickly get overwhelming to figure out what are good, reliable, sources of information and which aren't. It's also very easy to forget cool tools that you've found and used before if you never bookmarked them.
At LocalBitcoins we use several tools daily to help us reply to support requests and to just keep us informed with what is going on with the Bitcoin network. I've gathered together in this blogpost our current five most used tools.
The first thing to do when you wake up and the last thing to do when you go to bed is to check the price. Bitcoinity is the favorite for many at LocalBitcoins due to its simple design and the metrics it shows.
Quickly spot the trend over the last period, check the status of the orderbook and see how much the price has moved. Switch easily between different exchange-currency pairs and wonder why the price in CNY is higher again.
As a bonus it also displays a constantly updating price in the menu bar of your browser, making it easy to keep an eye on the price while writing that report.
Every Bitcoiner has their own favorite block explorer, at LocalBitcoins our current favorite is Tradeblock.com. We like it because it picks up newly sent transactions quickly, it doesn't forget unconfirmed transactions and it has a clear and simple user interface. You follow chains of transactions by clicking on inputs and outputs and get nice warnings when a transaction is built on unconfirmed inputs.
It's easy to find the fee level of each transaction as well as other statistics you care about such as the size and the transaction ID. We really dig how they grey out the last four digits of Bitcoin amounts.
Plus the live view of the network is one of the most funky we've seen, the lavalamp of 2016.
I admit, it's a little egoistic to add this one to the list but Charts.coin.dance shows the total Bitcoin volume for several peer to peer exchanges, LocalBitcoins included. It updates once a week on Monday and using our public market data API the site gets the most up-to-date data on trades done on our exchange.
Many in the Bitocin industry believe that our volume is a good indicator for overall Bitcoin adoption around the world and who are we to disagree? Either way, even if you disagree, it's hard to not be bullish when you see Bitcoin volumes grow.
Let's face it, the way Bitcoin wallets handle transaction fees is right now messy. Some wallet allow you to choose a priority, others allow you to choose a fee level and some just show the exact fee you're paying.
That doesn't help when Bitcoin is under a spam attack and your normal fee no longer works to get your transaction confirmed in the next block.
Enter bitcoinfees.21.co. The guys over at 21 inc have made a tool that allows you to judge what fee level you should be paying for your transaction to get it confirmed in time. Using this site you can finally convert that cryptic Satoshi per byte number into what you actually care about - how long it'll take for your transaction to confirm.
While bitcoinfees.21.com uses bar graphs, bitcoinqueue uses stacked line graphs to give you a visualization of all transactions waiting to be confirmed per fee level. Watch the queue of transactions grow and see which fee levels are the most popular.
Used together, Bitcoinqueue and Bitcoinfees.21.co, gives you a great overview on what is currently going on with Bitcoin transactions in the mempool.