Tracking Bitcoin conversion rates with Arduino and ESP8266

Maker creates a Bitcoin price ticker using the combination of an Arduino Pro Micro and an ESP8266 Wi-Fi module.

What do you do when you have an ESP8266 Wi-Fi module just lying around? Well, if you’re Bitcoin enthusiast Kendrick Tabi, you make an Arduino-based Bitcoin price tracker.


For this project, the Maker decided to employ the combination of the incredibly popular Wi-Fi chip along with a 5V Arduino Pro Micro (ATmega32U4). The ESP8266 interfaces with the Arduino via serial connection, and operates at 3.3V. Meanwhile, two 3.6V Zener diodes handle the logic level conversion.


“Since I am using an Arduino Pro Micro which only has a 5V output, I made a little tweaky experiment to achieve a 3.3V to 3.7V output. Using a two 3.6v Zener diodes connected in series, I managed to get a voltage drop of 1.05V and an output voltage of 3.74V from the 4.79V output of the board. This seems enough to make the ESP8266 work and to prevent overpowering the module,” Tabi explains.


The code running on the Arduino is tasked with checking the CoinDesk API every 60 seconds, retrieving the incoming JSON data and then displaying the current Bitcon price in the serial monitor. While this may be a bit of an elaborate project for simply monitoring conversion rates, it’s pretty cool nonetheless and opens the door to a wide range of potential apps.

Intrigued? Head over to the Maker’s project page here.

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