Bitcoin Ticker – Crypto Audio

Bitcoin Ticker – Crypto Audio

Wirelessly stream price of cryptocurrencies

Whilst checking the price of BTC or LTC every 5 minutes was fun, it soon became an annoying habit requiring I go to a chart webpage, or after a while installing task bar crypto counters so I could just glance at the top of my screen.

But I always liked the look of the Stock Market tickers, running digits across a panel.

After building a rough prototype on an Arduino and using fake data and a few 7 segment LED displays, I decided it was time to transport this into an Arduino Yun, which has both WiFi and a Python environment.

Bitcoin Ticker made by Gray Bright
Closeup of Dogecoin coin resting on Bitcoin coins
Bitcoin Ticker – Crypto Audio

Streaming a price means you can stream anything.

I built the system using there great 7 segments displays that ran on a few data lines, and could be daisy chained. The Python/Arduino handover was a little complicated so I used a freelancer to help me with the Python API parsing of data, this was a really great partnership and a great experience.

Take the cost of your rent or mortgage + food per month and divide it by 30. This is how much it costs per day to live at home. You will find that it’s possible to travel the world for roughly the same amount. Or, if you live in an expensive city like San Francisco, far less.

Bitcoin Ticker – Crypto Audio

Listen to the Market:

Once the system was up and working, I decided it would be great to start modifying it. At the time I was working for Will.I.Am which I think influenced my decision to make the unit have an element of music to it. The mission to make this device communicate the price of Bitcoin using music began.

Bitcoin chart going to the moon!
Bitcoin Ticker – Crypto Audio

Convert the price of Bitcoin into Music:

I modified the system so it would take the price of Bitcoin and covert it to a musical stream. Here’s how the system worked

  • Take today’s LOW and HIGH price and set that as a mapped range between 0 and 127
    ie. if that day’s lowest Bitcoin price was $214 and the Highest Bitcoin price was $341 the the difference is $127
  • Take that $127 value and map it between the range. In this case 0 = 0 and 127 = $127
  • In this example, each $1 would map to 1. For instance, if the current price is $220, then the system value is 6
  • Then take that number (the mapped 0-127) and convert it into a MIDI output and send it every second our of the Arduino
  • The reason for 0 through 127 is this is the MIDI range, and simple each 1 could relate to pressing a different key on a piano when you feed that MIDI code into a synthesizer.
  • Connect to Garage Band on the Mac and set up a piano
  • Every few seconds the Arduino would ‘press’ a key on the piano, and which key it pressed would depend where it was compared to today’s high and low Bitcoin prices.
  • Needed to add some flair to this system so I further modified it
  • Found what key presses a Fibonacci number sequence would make, it’s really quite nice
  • Mapped the Fibonacci number sequence to immediately follow what ever the 0-127 value was, so every few seconds when it send a ‘key’ press it was now followed by this gorgeous dancing number sequence as well.
Gray Bright speaking at Cross Campus on Bitcoin in 2014
Bitcoin Ticker – Crypto Audio

Interviews and Presentations

Early 2015, I was on The Bitcoin Game #9 – Gray Bright, Hardware Interfaces with Rob Mitchell and Spoke about the Ticker.

Mining Energy Talk on

Dogecar Pit Crew LA Party

Bitcoin Specie


Mid 2014 I presented to the Los Angeles Bitcoin Meetup “Show and Tell” at Cross Campus, Santa Monica, CA. Sponsored by BitPay.

Here are some further links from the PodCast discussion