Visualizing the Daily Variability of Bitcoin with Quandl and Highcharts

October 4, 2016

(This article was first published on R – Fronkonstin, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Lay your dreams, little darling, in a flower bed; let that sunshine in your hair (Where the skies are blue, The Lumineers)

I discovered this nice visualization some days ago. The author is also the creator of Highcharter, an incredible R wrapper for Highcharts javascript libray and its modules. I am a big fan of him.

Inspired by his radial plot, I did a visualization of the daily evolution of Daily Bitcoin exchange rate (BTC vs. EUR) on Localbtc. Data is sourced from here and I used Quandl to obtain the data frame. Quandl is a marketplace for financial and economic data delivered in modern formats for today’s analysts. There is a package called Quandl to interact directly with the Quandl API to download data in a number of formats usable in R. You only need to locate the data you want in the Quandl site. In my case data are here.

After loading data, I do the folowing steps:

  • Filtering data to obtain last 12 complete months
  • Create a new variable with the difference between closing and opening price of Bitcoin (in Euros)
  • Create a color variable to distinguish between positive and negative differences
  • Create the graph using Fivethirtyeight theme for highcharts

This is the result:

Apart of its appealing, I think is a good way to to have a quick overview of the evolution of a stock price. This is the code to do the experiment:

bitcoin %>% 
  arrange(Date) %>% 
  mutate(tmstmp = datetime_to_timestamp(Date)) -> bitcoin
if (day(last_date+1)==1) date_to=last_date else 
  date_to=ymd(paste(year(last_date), month(last_date),1, sep="-"))-1
date_from=ymd(paste(year(date_to)-1, month(date_to)+1,1, sep="-"))
bitcoin %>% filter(Date>=date_from, Date<=date_to) -> bitcoin
var_bitcoin <- bitcoin %>% 
  mutate(Variation = Close - Open,
         color = ifelse(Variation>=0, "green", "red"),
         y = Variation) %>% 
  select(x = tmstmp,
         variation = Variation,
         name = Date,
         open = Open,
         close = Close) %>% 
x <- c("Open", "Close", "Variation")
y <- sprintf("{point.%s}", tolower(x))
tltip <- tooltip_table(x, y)
hc <- highchart() %>% 
  hc_title(text = "Bitcoin Exchange Rate (BTC vs. EUR)") %>% 
  hc_subtitle(text = "Daily Variation on Localbtc. Last 12 months")%>% 
    type = "column",
    polar = TRUE) %>%
    series = list(
      stacking = "normal",
      showInLegend = FALSE)) %>% 
    gridLineWidth = 0.5,
    type = "datetime",
    tickInterval = 30 * 24 * 3600 * 1000,
    labels = list(format = "{value: %b}")) %>% 
  hc_yAxis(showFirstLabel = FALSE) %>% 
  hc_add_series(data = var_bitcoin) %>% 
  hc_add_theme(hc_theme_538()) %>% 
  hc_tooltip(useHTML = TRUE,
    headerFormat = as.character(tags$small("{point.x:%d %B, %Y}")),
    pointFormat = tltip)

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