The Canada-based media giant confirmed in a statement that a new version of its MarketPsych Indices will track and analyze online discussions related to bitcoin. The data feed, which runs in conjunction with MarketPsych Data LLC, a behavioral economics research firm, will scan over 400 websites in order to identify market-moving sentiment and themes.
The surge in cryptocurrency prices in recent years has spurred a growing wave of commentary about bitcoin and other digital coins on the internet. Many traders reportedly use information discussed in forums and news websites to predict whether bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, is poised to rise or fall.
Investors have discovered that scanning the internet is often the best way to establish how their peers currently feel about bitcoin. In recent months, sharp shifts in sentiment have occurred even in the absence of notable news flows, triggering surprisingly huge swings in the volatile digital coin’s valuation.
Austin Burkett, global head of quant and feeds at Thomson Reuters, said the company was urged to provide a service dedicated to tracking online sentiment by its customers, according Quartz. Many of the most informative websites, such as specialist forums, are not always easy to find.
“News and social media are driving the investment and risk management process more than ever with the continuing rise of passive and quant-driven trading,” said Burkett.
Last year, bitcoin’s price rose by more than 1,300 percent, peaking at close to $20,000 in December. Since then, the virtual currency has lost more than half its value. (See also: Bitcoin Price Tanks Amid SEC and CFTC Crackdown on Cryptocurrencies.)
Numerous analysts have linked these dramatic price movements to search engine patterns. When the virtual currency surged to almost $20,000 last December, it was identified as the most searched topic by Google Trends. Since mid-February, search requests for bitcoin have reportedly slumped considerably. (See also: Analyst's New 'Bitcoin Misery Index' Hits Lowest Level in 6 Years.)