Written by Werner Vermaak
The world of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) can be like a cutthroat Wild West outpost, where only a few things count for any self-preserving gunslinger to stay alive: Being the quickest or being the smartest. To save your neck, it’s essential for any DeFi “degen” to have the right weapon (in this case the best and most accurate data tools) at your disposal. After all, as the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed.
The performance of your crypto holdings is directly correlated to the quality of the information you gathered first. Wait for your mate or colleague to tell you about what’s hot in crypto right now and expect to get REKT with a deflating bag that’s going to zero. Get your info from Youtube influencers shilling coins they invested in early through their associated VC and start practicing how to buy high and sell low.
Luckily, on-chain data is verifiable, transparent, and immutable, all core tenets of blockchain technology, and it never lies.
Here are 15 powerful DeFi research tools of 2023 that can help supercharge your Web3 crypto investments with superior on-chain data.
The smartest decision of course to make in DeFi is to remain safe at all times by using cold storage. Use the super-portable CoolWallet Pro, the world’s most convenient Web3 hardware wallet, to interact safely with Dapps such as decentralized exchanges and trading platforms. CoolWallet’s powerful EAL6+ secure element, encrypted Bluetooth and biometric verifications ensure that no transaction can be executed without your explicit approval through a physical button push. Moreover, CoolWallet App also boasts a safe and easy-to-use isolated Web3 Hot Wallet component where you can trade crypto assets faster and also qualify for airdrops.
Important: We are omitting blockchain analytics giants like CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko from this list in order to include smaller tools. However, CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko should be the first stop for any research effort, thanks to their plethora of data points, and should be used to validate DeFi data where possible.
Disclaimer: This post is for educational and entertainment purposes only and targets more advanced crypto owners. CoolWallet is not directly affiliated with any of these research tools and doesn’t take any responsibility nor liability for any loss of funds or negative results that may stem from interacting with any of them or attempts to do so. You do so at your own risk. Please do your own research and look out for phishing scams.
1. DeFi Llama: Onchain Alpha in One Spot
DeFi Llama is a comprehensive tool that provides a wealth of information about the crypto market. It tracks the Total Value Locked (TVL) across various chains, providing insights into where value is flowing. This feature allows users to understand the dynamics of the market and identify potential investment opportunities.
In addition to tracking TVL, DeFi Llama offers sections for airdrops, forks, and fees. The airdrop section details projects that have launched but don’t yet have tokens. This section is an excellent place to discover new crypto airdrops, potentially finding airdrops for future tokens. The fork section shows the major forks of some of the biggest dApps in crypto, particularly useful during periods when certain narratives are outperforming.
Best of all, ChatGPT Plus now supports a DeFiLlam plugin! Watch this Youtube tutorial by Miles Deutcher to see how to extract the latest DeFi data from the site and turn it into real-time insights through the power of AI.
There are also new features that are very useful, such as the section for token unlocks, which help users identify which assets may see an increase in circulating supply due to early investors receiving new tokens, which usually leads to a drop in price.
|Best Feature||Comprehensive tracking of TVL across various chains and airdrop spotter|
2. DappRadar: Decentralized App Data Heaven
DappRadar is a globally recognized DApp market that allows users to explore, search, and track everything related to NFT, DeFi, GameFi, and DApps. It offers personalized tables for DeFi protocols, providing a comprehensive overview of the market. This feature makes it easy for users to compare different protocols and identify the ones that best suit their investment strategy.
Moreover, DappRadar makes data analysis easier for users and developers. Users can make more educated judgments regarding Dapps by examining all accessible data. Developers can use DappRadar to investigate and discover new Dapps, while users can download their data from this DeFi platform and become consumers.
|Best Feature||Personalized tables for DeFi protocols|
3. Dune: The Community Research Hub
Want to get your finger on the pulse of what’s happening right through crowdsourced reports? Welcome to Dune dashboards!
Dune.com is a cutting-edge crypto platform that allows users to create their own scripts and publish data. It has become a community hub for serious crypto researchers, offering quantifiable data on a wide range of topics. This feature allows users to customize their research and focus on the areas that interest them the most.
In addition to user-generated scripts, Dune allows users to explore trending data sets, search for specific dashboards, and even track potential airdrops. For instance, the Layer 0 dashboard tracks the top 25 Layer 0 wallets by ranking score, providing valuable insights for airdrop hunters.
|Best Feature||User-generated scripts and data|
4. Nansen: Advanced Crypto and NFT Analytics
Nansen is a powerful tool that can help you make more informed investment decisions in the crypto market and is a leader in especially NFT collection tracking. It tracks wallet activity, token movements, and other on-chain data, and can send you alerts about market activity to identify potential investment opportunities.These alerts can help you stay updated on large wallet movements or unusual trading patterns, allowing you to react quickly to market changes.
Nansen offers limited free services as its business is more geared towards institutions, and its paid version can be prohibitively expensive. However, right now (July 2023) they’re currently offering a $9 trial for 7 days, so this is ideal to use if you want to try out the platform.
|Best Feature||Advanced on-chain data analytics|
|Cost||Free, with paid|
5. CryptoFees.info: Understanding Revenue Generation
CryptoFees.info is a valuable tool that provides insights into which projects are generating the most revenue. By understanding revenue generation, users can make more informed decisions about which cryptocurrencies to invest in and which ones to avoid. This feature allows users to identify projects with a significant runway and are less likely to fail in the near future.
|Best Feature||Insights into project revenue generation|
6. KyberSwap: Real-Time and AI Insights for Trading
KyberSwap recently launched Kyber AI, a machine learning dashboard that provides real-time insights to enhance your trading strategy. The Kyber Score, a proprietary index, measures the upcoming trend of a token by considering multiple on and off-chain indicators. This feature allows users to anticipate market movements and make timely investment decisions.
In addition to the Kyber Score, the platform also offers a technical analysis tab. This tab provides key structural levels for those not well-versed in technical analysis, making it easier for beginners to understand the market and make informed trading decisions.
|Best Feature||Real-time insights with Kyber AI|
7. DeBank: The Web3 Messenger and Tracker
DeBank is an excellent tool for tracking on-chain Web3 activity and connecting with builders and important public addresses directly. It offers a clean interface to track the top players in crypto. You can follow big whales’ wallets to see which chains, crypto tokens and NFT collections they’re putting their money into, and even monitor live trades. This feature allows users to keep an eye on the market and identify potential investment opportunities based on the actions of the accounts they follow.
In addition, DeBank allows users to track their own assets across various chains. This feature is particularly useful for investors who have diversified portfolios and want to keep track of their investments in one place.
|Best Feature||Tracking of on-chain Web3 activity|
8. CoinAlyze: Spotting Altcoin Trends
CoinAlyze is a tool that helps you spot changes in open interest in the derivatives market. This can be an indicator of whether people are starting to position themselves either heavily long or heavily short. By tracking these changes, users can anticipate market movements and make timely investment decisions.
In addition to tracking changes in open interest, the platform also provides aggregated open interest alongside the chart. This feature allows users to see how the price is moving in tandem with open interest, providing a more comprehensive view of the market.
|Best Feature||Spotting changes in open interest|
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9. Coin Lobster: Simplified DeFi Analytics for Beginners
CoinLobster is a more advanced DeFi tool that shows stats from the leading futures markets normally hard to access. This includes features like a combined order book of multiple exchanges, liquidations, recent large trades, funding rates and open interest.
Here are some of its sections to access to help you get a real-time analysis of what’s happening with the big players.
- Live Combined Orderbook
- Live Combined DeFi Trades
- Whale Watching
- Defi Whale Trades
- Liquidation Watch
|Best Feature||Simplified analytics for beginners|
10. Nanoly.com: The APY Hub for DeFi Yield Chasers
Nanoly is a tool that allows you to see exactly where you can stake your crypto for the highest Annual Percentage Yield (APY). You can sort by APY to see which platform offers the highest returns on your selected token. This feature allows users to maximize their staking returns and earn passive income from their crypto investments.
Warning: Yield farming is a very risky endeavor due to systemic risks like impermanent loss, and project dangers like rugpulling, scams and hacks. It’s not recommended for the casual investor and requires a deep understanding of DeFi and tokenomics.
|Best Feature||Maximizing staking returns|
Dextools is a user-friendly platform for crypto traders, offering real-time data from various decentralized exchanges. It provides insights, historical charts, and customizable alerts for informed decision-making in DeFi trading.
Twitter could easily top this list thanks to its incredible potential and power as the world’s digital town square.
Crypto Twitter can be tough to navigate due to all the toxic trolls, shillers, FUDsters, and scammers waiting to spam any new tweet or comment. However, if you are patient and follow the right (verified) accounts, you have real-time access to the smartest traders and investors in all of Web3, DeFi, and NFT who share their thoughts and oftentimes research, giving you some of the best fundamental and technical analysis resources that money can buy for free.
There are 100s of excellent alpha-sharing accounts to follow on Twitter such as The DeFi Edge, Ignas DeFi and Wifey. A good strategy to follow is to create a new Twitter account for DeFi investments, then visit a top account that you respect and see who they follow and retweet. Over time, you’ll build up a valuable curated alpha list of experts that are happy to share their data findings with the public in order to build their personal brands or grow their networks of readers for who they add additional paid subscription-based services or use to sell ads and sponsorships in their newsletters.
Too lazy to look at numbers and charts? CryptoBubbles makes it very easy to see which chains are doing well over a 1-day or 7-day period, as it visualizes their performance through floating bubbles.
13. Token Unlocks
Token Unlocks is a cool website that tracks token unlocks, which are the release of a certain amount of assets that were previously locked or restricted from circulation in the crypto market. This can be super useful for investors who want to track the supply of tokens and understand early on how it may affect the price of a cryptocurrency. For example, just look back at Moonbeam’s price crash in 2022 to see the impact that new unlocked coins can have on markets.
Token Unlocks provides a number of features that can be helpful for investors, including:
- A calendar of upcoming token unlocks
- Information on the amount of tokens that will be unlocked, the timing of the unlock, and the wallet or address that the tokens will be sent to
- Analysis of the impact of token unlocks on the price of a cryptocurrency
Overall, Token Unlocks is a useful resource for investors who want to stay up-to-date on token unlocks and understand how they may affect the price of a cryptocurrency.
|Best Feature||Track token unlocks to capitalize on changes in circulating supply|
Artemis.xyz is a crypto data analytics platform that provides investors with the metrics they need to make informed decisions. Artemis aggregates data from a variety of sources, including exchanges, block explorers, and social media, and presents it in a clear and easy-to-understand way. This allows investors to track market trends, identify trading opportunities, and manage their risk.
|Best Feature||Aggregates data from various sources for comprehensive analytics|
Cryptoquant.com is another crypto data analytics platform that provides investors with a wide range of tools and insights. Cryptoquant offers data on spot and derivatives markets, as well as on-chain metrics. The platform also provides a variety of charting tools and technical analysis indicators. Cryptoquant is a popular choice for institutional investors and professional traders.
|Best Feature||Offers data on spot and derivatives markets, and on-chain metrics|
|Cost||Free, with paid plans for additional features|
|Tool Name||What It Does|
|DeFiLlama||Provides comprehensive tracking of Total Value Locked (TVL) across various chains.|
|DappRadar||Offers personalized tables for DeFi protocols and makes data analysis easier.|
|Dune Analytics||Allows users to create their own scripts and publish data on a wide range of topics.|
|KyberSwap||Provides real-time insights to enhance trading strategy with a proprietary index.|
|DeBank||Tracks on-chain activity and allows users to follow wallets and monitor live trades.|
|CoinAlyze||Helps spot changes in open interest in the derivatives market.|
|CryptoFees.info||Provides insights into which projects are generating the most revenue.|
|Nanoly.com||Shows where to stake crypto for the highest Annual Percentage Yield (APY).|
|Coin Lobster||Provides instant DeFi analytic data and blockchain transactions for beginners.|
|Nansen||Tracks wallet activity, token movements, and other on-chain data, and sends alerts about market activity.|
|Artemis.xyz||Aggregates data from various sources for comprehensive crypto analytics.|
|CryptoQuant||Offers data on spot and derivatives markets, and on-chain metrics, along with charting tools and technical analysis indicators.|
|Crypto Bubbles||Visualizes the performance of various cryptocurrencies in a unique, easy-to-understand format.|
|Token Unlocks||Tracks large token-unlocking events to help users avoid potential market dumps by early investors.|
Why should I use DeFi Research Tools?
Smart investments require you to roll up your sleeves and interact with actual blockchain data. Here lies the beauty of “real” crypto investment and trading, however.
Crypto blockchains are public, which means all their on-chain behavior can be analyzed by anyone and everyone. Of course you need the right cypher to make sense of all the numbers and figures. Using on-chain data platforms can yield the latest information or “alpha” first, which if applied right and quickly enough can lead to lucrative returns.
Keep in mind that it’s a competitive field where you’re battling with other traders and investors to crunch the numbers and put the smart money in. In some cases, it’s a case of if you can’t beat them, why not join them? Some tools allow normal investors to see where the biggest whale accounts are investing, and you can also simply track and copy the actions of these wallets, getting into the same investments as them early. Strike it lucky by copying someone like this PEPE whale and you’re set for life.
DeFi on-chain research tools provide a wealth of information and insights when you know when and where to look. Here are a few benefits:
- Comprehensive Market Overview:
These tools provide a wealth of information about the crypto market, including tracking the Total Value Locked (TVL) across various chains, which can help users understand market dynamics and identify potential investment opportunities. Where is the money going and which chains are really growing? DeFi onchain data tools will show you irrefutable evidence.
- Airdrop Spotting: Some tools, like DeFi Llama, offer sections for airdrops, allowing users to discover new crypto airdrops and potentially qualify for them by interacting with the protocols.
- Fork Tracking: Tools like DeFi Llama also track major forks of some of the biggest dApps in crypto, which can be particularly useful during periods when certain narratives are outperforming.
- Real-Time Insights for Trading: Platforms like KyberSwap’s Kyber AI provide real-time insights to enhance trading strategies, helping users anticipate market movements and make timely investment decisions.
- On-Chain Activity Tracking: Tools like DeBank allow users to track on-chain activity, offering a clear view of the top players in crypto and enabling users to monitor live trades.
- Spotting Altcoin Trends: Platforms like CoinAlize help users spot changes in open interest in the derivatives market, which can be an indicator of whether people are starting to position themselves either heavily long or heavily short.
- Understanding Revenue Generation: Tools like CryptoFees.info provide insights into which projects are generating the most revenue, helping users make more informed decisions about which chains are profitable and attracting new users and developers.
- Maximizing Staking Returns: Platforms like Nanole.com show where users can stake their crypto for the highest Annual Percentage Yield (APY), enabling them to maximize their staking returns and earn passive income from their crypto investments.
- Simplified Analytics for Beginners: Tools like Coin Lobster provide instant DeFi analytic data and blockchain transactions in a user-friendly format, making it easier for beginners to understand the market and make informed investment decisions.
- Advanced NFT Analytics: Platforms like Nansen offer advanced on-chain data analytics, tracking wallet activity, token movements, and other on-chain data, and can send alerts about market activity, helping users stay updated on market changes.
In this comprehensive on-chain data tool guide, we have explored a wide range of DeFi tools that can significantly enhance your chances of success in Web3 investing. From lending platforms to decentralized exchanges and portfolio management tools, each tool plays a vital role in empowering you as a DeFi investor. As the DeFi landscape continues to evolve, always conduct thorough research and due diligence before allocating any funds.
There are many tools that we didn’t cover, and remember that all good research starts by using CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko and ends by securing your DeFi assets with a powerful hardware wallet like CoolWallet. With an app geared for DeFi and NFT trading thanks to numerous marketplace integrations, WalletConnect 2.0 support as well as a native Web3 browser, and a slim form factor that allows you to discreetly keep it on you or in your wallet wherever you go.