Get Bitcoin Price In Real Time Using Python

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In this article I will show you how to get the price of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in real-time using Python.

What is bitcoin and who created it ?

Bitcoin is a digital currency and a payment system invented by an unknown group or person by the name Satoshi Nakamoto , who published the invention in 2008 and released it as open source software in 2009. It is the first decentralized digital currency, meaning the system works without a single administrator or central bank, you can use them in every country, your account cannot be frozen, and there are no prerequisites or limits .

Bitcoins are transferred directly from person to person, also known as peer to peer. The cryptographic transactions are verified by a network of people and recorded in a public distributed ledger called the block chain . Note that once a payment is made it can’t be reversed, and if you lose your wallet, you lose your bitcoins.

How much is one bitcoin worth ?

Bitcoin is very volatile, the price of one bitcoin is liable to change rapidly and unpredictably. Earlier in January 2017 one bitcoin was equivalent to $985 USD. If you had invested $100 USD in 2010, you would be worth about $72 million USD as of (12/21/2017).

You can read more about Bitcoin here.

YouTube video of the program

Programming:

The first thing that I like to do before writing logic in my code is to put a description of what the program is about.

#Description: Get the current price of Bitcoin

Next, I will import the request library.

#Import the requests library
import requests

Now let’s store the URL of the ticker, to get the .json file of the cryptocurrencies. This link is the API from coinmarket.com.
Update: The API URL is no longer working for the free version :(

TICKER_API_URL = 'https://api.coinmarketcap.com/v1/ticker/'

Let’s create a function to get the latest crypto currency price for a specific ‘crypto’ like Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ethereum.

def get_latest_crypto_price(crypto):

response = requests.get(TICKER_API_URL+crypto)
response_json = response.json()

return float(response_json[0]['price_usd'])

Test the function to see if it returns the current price of the crypto currency.

get_latest_crypto_price('bitcoin')
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Create a main function to get the current price of the crypto currency, and print any price change when the API updates.

def main():

last_price = -1

while True:

crypto = 'bitcoin'
price = get_latest_crypto_price(crypto)

if price != last_price:
print('Bitcoin price: ',price)
last_price = price

Last but not least, we will run the main function.

main()
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You can easily get the price of litecoin, ethereum and some other crypto currencies simply by replacing the bitcoin string in this program with the cryptocurrencies of your choice !

Conclusion and Resources

That is it, you are done creating your program to get the current price of cryptocurrencies !

Again, if you want, you can watch and listen to me explain all of the code in my YouTube video.

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Learning Python

If you are interested in reading about machine learning to immediately get started with problems and examples, I recommend you read Hands-On Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn and TensorFlow: Concepts, Tools, and Techniques to Build Intelligent Systems.

It is a great book for helping beginners learn to write machine-learning programs and understanding machine-learning concepts.

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Hands-On Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn and TensorFlow: Concepts, Tools, and Techniques to Build Intelligent Systems

Thanks for reading this article, I hope it’s helpful to you!

Other Resources

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Bitcoin
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