Whether TA works or not is a topic discussed ad nauseam in cryptocurrency circles. As a cryptocurrency trader with a fascination for engineering, math and science, I backtested the entire spectrum of the most popular bitcoin TA indicators in early 2015 using the now defunct Tradewave-platform, in search of that magic formula that would allow me to make money on auto-pilot. I did not find it.
Meet the TA Gods
Currently, I’m working on recreating a 2018 version of that experiment, the results of which I’m looking forward to sharing with you in a column post soon. However, I can already reveal that the results are not looking promising. I’ve long been disillusioned with the prospects of earning a steady income using predictive algorithms, to the point where I’ve stopped believing in them completely.
So, while I color myself a TA skeptic, I still tend to marvel at the near-surgical precision of which the market tends to move in certain cases. Observing the above picture, I’m yet again amazed to see the bitcoin price just reaching the descending trend line just under $12,000 before continuing its downward trajectory. How can it be, that while the empirical evidence for TA disproves its relevance, these TA bulls-eye calls appear again and again?
Enter Crypto Twitter
Look at the tweet above. That is just one of hundreds of such tweets I’ve seen in the past months; tweets listing various “TA Gods”, each with tens or hundreds of thousands of followers, who seemingly worship the chart analysis bestowed upon them by their holy prophets.
That’s $30 million in profit.
Make note: the top trader on Bitmex, which is the largest exchange by notional volume, is not some Goldman Sachs trading desk or some hedge fund algo-trader. It’s a Twitter guru, fully immersed in crypto Twitter memeology, slang and banter. He’s even a decent OC meme-lord himself.
So what does @angelobtc do then with his impressive, proven track-record of trading and his 93,800 follower base? Here are some examples:
Fibonacci lines (TA).
Buying $BTC in the $6k region and down if need be. Trade duration: weeks to months. Target: $12k+.
Noobs buy at $19k so they can sell to us at $6k. The market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient. Always has been and always will be.
The Global Hivemind of Memes
Bitcoin traders are, demographically speaking, a pretty homogeneous group. Broadly speaking, we are 18-34 years old, male, and avid Internet users. As a group, we have since the evolution of Internet culture developed our own way of effectively spreading and sharing ideas on a global scale, and that is through viral memes. In a sense, that is how we, as a demographic, experience the world and the events in it together.
It is perhaps not that crazy to assume that this phenomenon has carried over to the bitcoin markets. I contend that at a micro scale there are certain “trading prophecies” that spread among cryptocurrency traders just like viral memes, through Twitter, Telegram and Discord trading chats. These prophecies then become real, through the belief and actions that their audience undertakes.
What are your thoughts on so-called “trading prophecies?” Let us know in the comment section below!
Images via Shutterstock, Twitter.