What is a ticker ?

A ticker, a synonym for a stock symbol, is the short form of full security (asset). A ticker has a stream of quotes (AKA prices) attached to it, continuously updated throughout a trading session by the various exchanges.

For example, take ETH-BTC , if you have curlopen in new window and jqopen in new window installed, you can get a ticker from Kucoin with this command

curl -s https://api.kucoin.com/api/v1/market/orderbook/level1?symbol=ETH-BTC \
| jq .data

The result will look like this :

  "time": 1597187421265,
  "sequence": "1594340550066",
  "price": "0.033131",
  "size": "0.0013217",
  "bestBid": "0.03313",
  "bestBidSize": "2.1812529",
  "bestAsk": "0.033131",
  "bestAskSize": "2.8001025"

The first listed currency of a currency pair is called the base currency (ETH in our example), and the second currency is called the quote currency (BTC in our example). A price at 0.033131 means 1 Ether can be bought with 0.033131 Bitcoin.

These are the fields you can find on a ticker quote:

currencyPairCurrency pair
openThe opening price is the first trade price that was recorded during the day’s trading.
lastLast trade field is the price at which the last trade was executed.
bidThe bid price shown represents the highest price.
askThe ask price shown represents the lowest price.
highThe day’s high price.
lowThe day’s low price.
vwapVolume-weighted average price (VWAP) is the ratio of the value traded to total volume traded over a particular time horizon (usually one day).
volumeVolume is the number of shares or contracts traded.
quoteVolumeQuote volume
bidSizeThe bid size represents the quantity of a security that investors are willing to purchase at a specified bid price.
askSizeThe ask size represents the quantity of a security that investors are willing to sell at a specified selling price.
timestampThe moment at which the account information was retrieved.