Understanding CoinAPI’s tick-level Order Book data

CoinAPI Tick-Level Order Book Data

Today, we dive into the depths of CoinAPI’s tick-level Order Book data and how it enhances trading strategies across the board. From providing a holistic view of current market conditions with Level 1 (L1) data to the granular details of individual orders with Level 3 (L3) data, CoinAPI is equipping traders with comprehensive tools to navigate the crypto seas. This comprehensive guide explores the advantages and uses cases of CoinAPI’s tick-level order book data, setting the stage for informed decision-making and effective strategy implementation.

Level 1: Quote Data

At the most basic level, CoinAPI’s Level 1 (L1) data provides traders with the best bid and best ask prices for a given trading pair’s order book. This real-time “quote” data is essential for understanding the current market conditions and the prices at which buyers and sellers are willing to transact. By subscribing to CoinAPI’s L1 quote data, traders gain access to real-time updates on the best bid and ask prices, along with the associated order amounts.

CoinAPI’s L1 data is accessible through their REST API and WebSocket, ensuring that traders can receive real-time updates in a format that suits their needs. Whether you prefer the simplicity of REST API or the efficiency of WebSocket, CoinAPI has you covered.

Level 2: Depth of Book Data

While L1 data provides valuable insights into the best bid and ask prices, CoinAPI’s Level 2 (L2) data takes it further by offering a more granular view of the order book. L2 data includes all bids and asks at different price levels, providing traders with a comprehensive understanding of the market depth.

In cryptocurrency markets, market makers play a vital role by placing limit orders at price levels that differ from the current market price. CoinAPI’s L2 data aggregates all the bids and asks placed by these market makers, grouped by price level. This “depth of book” data allows traders to visualize the order book beyond the best bid and ask prices and gain insights into the buy and sell orders at various price levels.

Level 3: Market by Order Data

For the most sophisticated traders, CoinAPI offers Level 3 (L3) data, which provides even deeper insights into the order book. L3 data includes non-aggregated bids and asks placed by individual market makers, enabling traders to access every individual order and its associated amount.

While L2 data aggregates bids and asks by price level, L3 data breaks down the order book into individual data points, resulting in a more detailed view of the market. This “market by order” data offers traders unparalleled visibility into the order book, allowing them to identify specific market dynamics and potentially gain an edge in their trading strategies.

It’s important to note that L3 data is typically used by advanced traders who require a high level of precision and detail. While L1 and L2 data may suffice for many traders, the availability of L3 data through CoinAPI demonstrates their commitment to catering to the needs of all market participants. Cryptocurrency exchanges that offer Level 3 data are Coinbase Pro, Binance, Kraken, Bitfinex, and Gemini. 

CoinAPI's Tick-Level Order Book Data

An example of an order book snapshot from Binance. Asks section

CoinAPI's Tick-Level Order Book Data

An example of an order book snapshot from Binance. Bids section

CoinAPI’s High-frequency Order Book Data


Ticks are gathered from each exchange’s L3 WebSocket or FIX channel. CoinAPI is sending a request to the REST API to get a current snapshot of the order book data. This snapshot represents a specific point in time and includes all current buy (bid) and sell (ask) orders in the market. Over time, as trades are executed, and new orders are added or old ones removed, the local version of the order book data can become out of sync with the real, current state of the market on the exchange.

After retrieving the snapshot, CoinAPI updates its local version of the order book. They “replay” all the changes that happened since the last snapshot to bring the local order book back into sync with the actual state of the market on the exchange. This approach helps ensure that CoinAPI’s local order book data remains accurate and up-to-date, which is crucial for our customers who rely on this data for their trading strategies. 


We have opted not to normalize the data because of the considerable formatting disparities among different exchanges. Each raw data packet collected comprises information about the individual bid or ask set by the market maker. CoinAPI format supports L2 and L3 data in the same file. This means that CoinAPI’s data format can accommodate both Level 2 and Level 3 order book data in the same file. Level 2 data provides all the bids and asks at different price levels, while Level 3 data includes non-aggregated bids and asks placed by individual market makers. 

The data file begins with a snapshot of the order book at a particular moment in time. The snapshot includes the current state of all open orders in the market. After the snapshot, the file includes updates to the order book. These updates represent changes to the order book after the snapshot was taken. Updates could include new orders being placed, existing orders being filled or canceled, and so on. 

This format is beneficial because it allows the user to see the state of the order book at a specific moment (via the snapshot) and then track how the order book changes over time (via the updates). It provides a comprehensive view of the market dynamics, which can be useful for various trading strategies.

File Structure

CoinAPI organizes its data files based on the trading symbol and the day. This means that for each trading pair (like BTC-USD) and for each day, there’s a unique data file. In each of these files, the data starts with a snapshot of the order book at the beginning of the day and then includes updates to the order book as they happen throughout the day. This format provides a detailed overview of how the order book changes over a day. 

CoinAPI’s advantage is that it combines the snapshot and the updates in one single file, rather than having them in separate files. This makes the data easier to manage and convert to different formats. Our competitors do not combine the snapshot and updates in one file but keep them separate. This can make the data more difficult to manage and analyze.


CoinAPI provides data daily, and this data is for the previous day’s trading activity. The ‘day’ for which data is provided is determined according to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This is important for standardizing the data across different geographical locations and time zones. There are various methods by which users can receive or access the data. Data is delivered through AWS, GCP, CryptoTick, or S3 API. 

Summarizing, unlike the competition, CoinAPI provides data that is already arranged in the correct order within each file. This makes the process of analyzing the data more straightforward because users do not need to piece together updates from different snapshot files. Instead, they can simply read a single file from start to finish to understand the chronological order of updates. This is a great advantage over other services, where updates

CoinAPI’s Tick-Level Order Book Data: Advantages

CoinAPI’s tick-level order book data provides several distinct advantages for traders:

Granularity: With access to L1, L2, and L3 data, traders can choose the level of granularity that best suits their trading strategies. Whether you prefer a broad overview of market conditions or a deep dive into individual order details, CoinAPI has you covered.

Real-time Updates: By leveraging CoinAPI’s REST API or WebSocket, traders can receive real-time updates on order book data, ensuring that they have the most up-to-date information at their disposal. This real-time data is crucial for making informed trading decisions in fast-paced cryptocurrency markets.

Market Depth Analysis: CoinAPI’s L2 data allows traders to analyze the depth of the order book beyond the best bid and ask prices. By visualizing the buy and sell orders at different price levels, traders can identify areas of significant support or resistance, helping them determine optimal entry and exit points.

Use Cases for CoinAPI’s Tick-Level Order Book Data

CoinAPI’s tick-level order book data can be utilized in various trading scenarios:

Algorithmic Trading: High-frequency trading strategies can benefit from CoinAPI’s tick-level data, as it allows for precise order placement and execution based on real-time market conditions.

Arbitrage Opportunities: By analyzing the order book depth across different exchanges, traders can identify arbitrage opportunities and profit from price discrepancies.

Market Making: Market makers can leverage CoinAPI’s L2 data to assess market conditions, identify areas of liquidity, and optimize their order placement strategies.

Risk Management: In volatile markets, having access to granular order book data can help traders manage their risk effectively. By monitoring changes in market depth, traders can adjust their positions accordingly and minimize potential losses.


Understanding order book data is essential for successful trading in cryptocurrency markets. Whether you prefer the simplicity of L1 quote data or the intricacy of L3 market-by-order data, CoinAPI offers a comprehensive solution to cater to traders of all levels. 

Dive deeper into the specifics of our data offerings by exploring our detailed documentation. There you will find in-depth technical details that can further enhance your understanding and utilization of our data. 

Ready to experience the power of CoinAPI firsthand? Take the next step and try our API for free. You’ll get a firsthand experience of how our robust data can elevate your cryptocurrency trading strategies to new heights. Don’t wait, start your journey with CoinAPI today!