A lot of people became interested in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies during the recent explosion in price. Lots of money was thrown into the markets based on little more than hopes of getting rich quick. This is a recipe for disaster. Since then, Bitcoin fell by about 70% from its peak, with some smaller cryptocurrencies faring even worse. Those who invested a lot of money above $10,000 have been shaken out of the market. A superficial understanding of digital currencies — fed by poor sources of news — helped encourage these bad investment decisions.
It took me about six months of study to identify the most reliable sources of Bitcoin news. This was during a period of relative calm, when crypto was less popular. Hence the noise was less and it was easier to discern who knew what they’re talking about. This post summarizes what I learned about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency media.
By far the worst source of news is mainstream media. Investing based on their recommendations will almost certainly lead to losses. The best source, maybe surprisingly, is social media, specifically Twitter. By following a few carefully chosen people on Twitter you will have the most relevant and up-to-date information. This can lead to much better investment decisions. Let’s walk through each type of media one-by-one before focusing on Twitter.
Hopelessly out-of-date: Mainstream media
Several years out of date regarding the technology. Up to date on price, but with insane explanations that have nothing to do with why the price is what it is. Funniest (saddest?) example: CNBC’s step-by-step tutorial on how to buy ripple (XRP) when it was exactly at the peak in price. Mainstream media (Fox, CNN, NBC, even CNBC) is more for entertainment than information.
Good summaries: Crypto-focused websites
Bitcoin Magazine (news articles, my favorite writer here is Aaron van Wirdum)
Coindesk (Better quantity, but somewhat lower quality of articles)
Coinmarketcap (price charts for all cryptocurrencies)When I first started following cryptocurrency these websites were my main sources of information. Later I realized that even these websites are often weeks out of date relative to Twitter.
First to know: Crypto Twitter
To keep up with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency news, use Twitter. I don’t know why, but Twitter is the first place where people in the know have discussions about cryptocurrency. However, it can be fragmented and hard to follow what’s going on. There is also a lot of junk and misinformation to sort through. To make this easier, start by reading tweets by these three people:
- @whalepanda – Full-time cryptocurrency trader. Funny commentary and jokes at the expense of bad projects (ripple, bitcoin cash, to some extent ethereum). Often one of the first people to point out important news.
- @TuurDemeester – Manages a cryptocurrency investment fund. This guy is deep. Lots of knowledge about the history of stock and financial markets. He regularly gives in-depth analysis of cryptocurrency markets. This analysis is based on fundamentals like maturity of technology, risk of disaster, real-world use cases. A regular feature of his posts is detailed analogies comparing and contrasting the developments of the internet and bitcoin.
- @lopp – Unusual combination: skilled programmer who looks like he could be a character on Duck Dynasty. Libertarian and promoter of individual financial sovereignty. Makes frequent appearances on news shows to explain Bitcoin to non-technical audiences. His day job involves running full nodes for several major cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, ethereum, others). This gives him a lot of insight into the relative quality of competing platforms.
I hate social media “feeds” because they are fragmented, random, and leave my brain feeling sick. Junk food for the mind. Better to use twitter by searching for twitter profiles one at a time. Click on that person to go to their Twitter page. This will have a list of their tweets and retweets, ordered with most recent at the top of the page. Catch up on the tweets from that person, then move on to the next person in the list.
More detailed info organized by topic
- @AriDavidPaul (simplified but helpful investment advice)
- @BitMEXResearch (quality, in-depth analysis on a wide variety of topics)
- @NickSzabo4 (Theory of money. Brilliant but doesn’t tweet much. Some people think he is Satoshi Nakamoto)
- @peterktodd (security, keeping your cryptocurrency safe)
- @SatoshiLite, Charlie Lee (bitcoin and litecoin)
- @zerohedge (bigger picture finance/economics news)
- @starkness (tech, mostly lightning network)
- @Excellion (miscellaneous)
- @valkenburgh (regulation)
Trading based on technical factors
I don’t really believe in deep technical analysis. Those methods are only suggestive, and are often completely wrong. But skilled traders like these people below are sometimes able to predict the markets direction. More importantly, when they are wrong (which is pretty often) they are able to adjust perspective quickly to minimize losses.
- @CryptoCobain (also some news)
- @PeterLBrandt (Easily the oldest person on my twitter lists. Lots of professional trading experience.)
Most programmers who are actually building bitcoin software don’t tweet much. But there are several people I find useful especially during times of controversy within the Bitcoin community. For example, the first few on this list helped me understand the technical issues behind the segwit / segwit2x / bcash controversy. Their tweets are usually highly technical and hard to understand.
and others they reference in their tweets.
Critical perspectives on bitcoin
I think critics of Bitcoin often have deep misunderstandings about the technology. Nonetheless its worth hearing the opposing viewpoints. The first two have other favorite cryptocurrencies, while Rickards is a gold bug critical of all cryptocurrencies.
Quality, timely information is a necessary (but not sufficient!) condition to profitable trading. Don’t take any of these people’s words as gospel. Do your own research, make your own decisions, and never invest more than you can afford to lose.