Is Crypto Dead? What to Buy/Mine? FinTechs beyond Blockchain?

Bitcoin crashes to lowest this year, losses top 25% in a week
Bitcoin crashes to lowest this year, losses top 25% in a week | Photo Credit: via Marco Verch

Yesterday, on my way to an AI roundtable, I had an interesting conversation about the future of crypto assets. I met Michael, who works for one of the world’s biggest insurance companies, on the train from Frankfurt to Munich. Of course, our conversation started with a nifty 7-minute Tableau demo – a wonderful ice breaker!

After closing the demo with the Bitcoin Dashboard on Tableau Public, the conversation quickly headed towards crypto assets and (non-)blockchain FinTechs. These are the top 3 of Michael’s questions that I want to share with you – together with my answers:

1. Is the blockchain innovation dead?

Absolutly not! Blockchain is a relatively new technology which has a long way to go before it becomes mainstream. Last year the most successful projects were those that aimed at adapting new technologies for convenient use. Furthermore, crypto assets create a new structure of safe and anonymous storage and managing of information. Projects like Ethereum proved to be extremely useful for building a steady and secure contracts, cloud storage and product quality control.

2. Are there still interesting crypto assets to buy or to mine?

Yes, indeed! In particular I’d suggest crypto assets targeting innovative use cases. If you buy these, you are actually investing in technology projects:

  • Factom (FCT) recently announced a partnership with Equator PRO, and according to the press release that announced the -partnership, Equator PRO is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that aims to offer efficiency and oversight to help other mortgage servicers.
  • Clams (CLAM) is a crypto asset similar to bitcoin, but is using a ‘proof of stake’ system, which should be more equitable and fairer than bitcoin’s ‘proof of work’ system.
  • Electroneum (ETN) has a heavy emphasis on mobility and micropayments. A huge portion of the world’s population own a mobile phone but have no bank account. Electroneum aims to provide financial services for everybody in the world who has a mobile phone.

If you are into mining, it also makes sense if you are going to mine coins with innovative technology. Currently, I would strongly consider to mine Ravencoin (RVN) and its little sister Pigeoncoin (PGN).

Factom use cases
Factom use cases

3. Which non-blockchain related FinTech might be worth to look at?

Definetly Mintos! Mintos is much more than a regular peer-to-peer lending platform. Mintos is a global online marketplace for loans, which provides retail investors an easy and transparent way to invest in loans originated by a variety of alternative lending companies around the world. Furthermore, Mintos has demonstrated exponential growth and has become the world’s largest marketplace of its kind.

What’s your view on crypto? Let me know in the comments or via Twitter:

Price and Sentiment Analysis: Why is Bitcoin Going Down?

Bitcoin Price and Sentiment Analysis with variable Moving Average: click to open interactive Tableau dashboard with annotations
Bitcoin Price and Sentiment Analysis with variable Moving Average: click to open interactive Tableau dashboard with annotations

Bitcoin has become one of the trendy investment assets in the recent years. Whenever bitcoin prices approach historical highs, every investor should watch the currency closely. Bitcoin rallied by more than 20% in the first days of 2017, crossing the $1000 mark for the first time since November 2013.

As many experienced bitcoin traders will remember, the first $1000 peak was a case of obvious over exuberance. Bitcoin was hot, plenty of money was pouring into it. Bitcoin investors got too excited, causing a price surge. Prices then rebounded and suffered a long-term collapse shortly after.

Moving Average Convergence/Divergence Indicator

Many traders rely on a Moving Average Convergence/Divergence (MACD) indicator. The MACD is a measure of the convergence and divergence between two EMAs (usually 12 and 26 days) and is calculated by subtracting the two of them. The signal line is constructed by creating an EMA (usually 10 days) of the signal line.

The signal line crossing the MACD from above is a buy signal. The signal line crossing the MACD from below is a sell signal. Relying only on momentum-based indicators (such as the MACD) and optimization-based models, however, will most certainly fail to indicate heavy price drops, as the drop in late 2016.

Predicting Fear with Sentiment Analysis

In late 2016 a lot of people began to pour money into bitcoin again. This time because they were worried that stock markets and other assets were due for a drop. For investors, it is essential to figure out whether or not these fears are actually founded. However, such “safe assets” are prone to suffering from bubbles. People get scared, get invested into gold, or bitcoin, then realize that their fears were unfounded. As a result bitcoin prices could plummet.

So how to catch emotions such as fear in advance? Twitter is a valuable source of information and emotion. It certainly influences the stock market and can help to predict the market. Sentiment analysis can lead price movements by up to two days. Negative sentiment, however, is reflected in the market much more than positive sentiment. This is probably because most people tweet positive things about bitcoins most of the time. Even more positive news occurred after breaking the $1000 barrier.

This content is part of the session “Price and Sentiment Analysis: Why is Bitcoin Going Down?” that I deliver at the Frankfurt Bitcoin Colloquium. Have a look on my upcoming sessions!

[Update 14 Jun 2017]: Axis for Moving Average adjusted. Relative Date selector added with last 6 month as default. Screenshot updated.

Feel free to share the Bitcoin Price and Sentiment Analysis dashboard, which is also featured as Viz of the Day on Tableau Public: