Inside Messari’s Crypto Intelligence Platform

This post focuses on how to streamline your crypto research with Messari’s suite of tools.
The front page of Messari’s Disclosures Registry

If journalism is the fourth estate of democracy, then research is the fourth estate of crypto. Analyst teams and independent researchers bring the roadblocks and breakthroughs of the industry to light, as well as support strategic decisions for nearly every firm in the space. Analysts currently have to scour the web to compile and analyze disjointed data sets. Most popular resources, like CoinDesk’s Crypto-Economics Explorer and TokenData.io, are useful for finding metrics and aggregated links to token sites, but fail to create a seamless research experience.

Enter Messari.

Messari’s platform is the most comprehensive toolset for crypto research and due diligence currently on the market. It eliminates many of the inefficiencies in researchers’ workflows by compiling digital asset data from around the web into a single location.

In July of 2018, the Messari team acquired OnChainFX, a premier cryptoasset data tracker, signaling that their product strategy will likely hinge on aggregating valuable datasets to create the go-to hub for crypto research.

Before we dive into some use cases on Messari’s platform, let’s explore its three main advantages:

  • Convenience: Messari combines project information (ex: fundraising details), a wide range of metrics (ex: Github stats) and proprietary research to streamline the process of searching for data and sources. The robust data available within the platform make it a handy, all-in-one platform for token due diligence.
  • Data Integrity: The team is focused on giving you access to credible, verifiable data. Their Disclosures Registry initiative, where token teams opt-in to publicly share their data, and the research team’s recent independent analysis of overstated metrics exemplify Messari’s emphasis on pushing transparency as the standard M.O. in crypto.
  • Adaptability: Advanced filtering lets you quickly tailor Messari’s data to fit countless use cases. Anyone from investors, developers, to exchanges can tease out relevant insights to make data-driven decisions with the Messari platform.

1 — Market Research

Profiles in Messari use ‘Sector’ and ‘Category’ labels that allow you to quickly understand what problem-set the project is working on. By clicking on a tag (like “interoperability”) you can develop a picture of the project’s landscape and competitors. This proves to be much more convenient than combing through dozens of sites to build your own list. When you consider the amount of protocol-specific language that each project uses, it’s possible to misunderstand where a project fits into the ecosystem. These lists are particularly helpful for remedying that problem.

Under the ‘Asset Classification’ tab of the OnchainFX menu you’ll find 5 main project categories. These categories are further divided into about 40 distinct sectors, which can be found here. This built-in taxonomy enables you to understand the different solutions teams are building for a specific problem, and not accidentally overlook any key projects.

2 — Sector/Project Tracking and Analysis

The true value of Messari’s classification system becomes clear when you use it to build custom views with their OnChainFX tool. With the option to analyze sectors by metrics like market data, on-chain data, and Github data, there are a massive amount of views you can build to develop insights from OnChainFX.

A fun chart you can whip up, if you’re one of those who likes to watch the world burn, is this one on 51% attacks.

Chart= Filters> ‘Asset Size: Sm, Med, Lrg cap’ + ‘Consensus: Proof-of-Work’ . ‘% on Nicehash’ as ranking column

Through this view, we understand which assets are the most vulnerable to 51% attacks. While this is useful for attackers, it’s even more important for good actors. Through periodically exporting these stats in CSV format, or continuously through Messari’s API, we can actively monitor the attack-risks the blockchains we have a stake in face.

By creating a ‘watch-list’ with custom asset lists, and exporting the various metrics available through OnChainFX, its easy to automate tracking the ongoing changes in the projects and sectors you follow.

3 — Fundamental Analysis

While metrics are important, there’s much more you may want to research when looking into token projects. In addition to OnChainFX insights, fundamental analysis is also supported in Messari’s profiles. Here, important project factors and resources (token distribution dynamics, key personnel, tech overviews — to name a few) can be found.

When looking at the long-term viability of a project, token distribution and monetary policy is an important factor. Did the team allocate enough funds towards future developing? What time-lock events will fluctuate supply? Will there be continuous new issuance of tokens to incentivize long-term network security?

You can find the relevant data to answer all of these questions with the in-depth project information curated in profiles.

Zilliqa’s supply details from the overview tab on their Disclosures Registry page.

Within Zilliqa’s profile, we learn that 30% of tokens were distributed to the public (liquidity), 30% was allocated to supporting organizations (development incentive),and 40% will be will be released to PoW miners (network security incentive).

Through analyzing the token supply curve found under Zilliqa’s profile tab in the Disclosures Registry, we find that every three months supporting organizations will be able to release 2.4% of the total token supply onto the market.

Every 3 months 509,250,000 tokens (2.4% of total supply) will be released to Zilliqa’s supporting teams until June of 2020.

Project profiles also curate links to white papers, community discussions, financial reports, etc., where you can better understand a project’s protocol, or estimate its team’s burn-rate and runway.

Aion’s non-recurring expenditures fell over the 4 month period, while recurring costs stayed about the same.

The highlighted features above are not exhaustive, but they illustrate the variety of fundamentals you can find in Messari’s profiles. Normally finding and distilling this information would take hours, but with Messari it’s quick.

Some final thoughts:

Overall, the Messari platform’s greatest value is the aggregation and credibility of the robust data it curates, allowing for endless use cases. The features detailed in this post show how it solves some of the inefficiencies analysts and researchers currently face.

The platform’s two greatest areas for improvement are:

  1. Allowing users to view the historic values of metrics and compare these across projects without the need to export these values over time and analyze.
  2. Profiles need consistency in the information they have. Some projects on the disclosure registry are relatively bare compared to others, and this is even more so the case in unverified profiles.

These are both addressable through implementing historical data sets like CoinMetrics.io, and leveraging their analyst community to smooth out profile inconsistencies.

Thorough diligence and research requires more datasets than the platform currently provides. However, it is clear that Messari serves as a great first-step in the research process, helping users glean insights that inform where they will want to prioritize their efforts.

With only a year under their belt, Messari has delivered tools and research at a phenomenal pace. Throughout 2019, I expect the platform will integrate even more datasets and features that focus on helping both enthusiasts and professionals make smart decisions across the burgeoning cryptoeconomy.

Have an idea for how Messari can improve? Mention it below.

*Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with Messari, just a fan.*