- Stocktwits allows users to subscribe to a live feed of comments for their chosen cryptocurrency.
- Ethereum Classic (ETC) has been a major topic of discussion this year, but Dogecoin (DOGE) is gaining popularity.
- Kyber Network (KNC) and Orchid (OXT) stand out as outliers among altcoins.
According to social media platform Stocktwits, Bitcoin, Bitcoin BSV and Ethereum are the most talked-about cryptocurrency projects in 2020.
We asked the platform, which has more than 400 million users, to share their insights into what projects investors, entrepreneurs, and market analysts were talking about the most this year. While many expected Bitcoin to be consistently high up the list, there were a number of surprises, both in terms of popularity, but also how little investors seemed to speak about certain projects.
What is Stocktwits and how does it work?
As a social media platform built for investors, Stocktwits allows its more than 400 million users to share their insights about the market and discuss their ideas with other investors, entrepreneurs and market analysts.
Users can also watch different stocks and assets on the platform, including a wide variety of cryptocurrencies. Doing so will subscribe the user to a feed showing the latest messages discussing the stocks and cryptocurrencies they are watching. Because of this, the platform is commonly used by traders and investors looking to get a broad overview of the market without needing to put in the leg work.
In order to get a rough grasp of how popular each different cryptocurrency is among the platform's users, Stocktwits shows the total number of current watchers for each cryptocurrency tracked by the platform. As you might expect, more popular cryptocurrencies typically have more watchers than less popular ones, but the numbers don't always align with the market capitalization rankings for each cryptocurrency.
However, since Stocktwits users need to manually unwatch a cryptocurrency in order to stop seeing messages discussing it, the number of watchers can indicate a cryptocurrency is more popular than it actually is—since even cryptocurrencies that were only popular for a brief period may have a large number of watchers.
As such, we asked Stocktwits to provide us with the engagement figures for 2020, to see exactly which cryptocurrencies are still popular to this day. For more market insights, don't forget to follow Decrypt on Stocktwits.
BTC, ETH and BSV are the most discussed in 2020
As you can see from the above chart, the number of messages discussing each cryptocurrency in 2020 largely mirrors the ranking of each cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization. As such, Bitcoin (BTC), the number one cryptocurrency by market capitalization was discussed more times than any other cryptocurrency—with 63,978 messages discussing Bitcoin in 2020 so far.
Likewise, as the second-largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum (ETH) also has the second-largest number of messages in 2020—totaling 2,160 messages so far. However, that's where the trend ends.
Here's the current ranking by the total number of messages in 2020 so far;
- BTC-X (63,978)
- ETH-X (8,160)
- BSV-X (8,024)
- XRP-X (7,011)
- ETC-X (5,634)
- LTC-X (4,746)
- XTZ-X (4,361)
- DOGE-X (3,733)
- LINK-X (2,210)
- BCH-X (1,661)
ETC and DOGE are unusually popular
When looking at the number of new watchers a cryptocurrency received in 2020, a similar trend is seen. Bitcoin and Ethereum have by far the largest number of new watchers, but the trend begins to break down at Ethereum Classic (ETC).
Here are the current top 10 cryptocurrencies by number of new watchers in 2020;
- BTC-X (7,570)
- ETH-X (2,662)
- XRP-X (2,055)
- LTC-X (1,697)
- ETC-X (1,579)
- DOGE-X (1,510)
- BSV-X (1,154)
- XTZ-X (1,133)
- LINK-X (740)
- BCH-X (656)
Although Ethereum Classic (ETC) is currently considered to be the 18th-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, it is the fifth most discussed, as well as the fifth most-watched in 2020. Similarly, Dogecoin (DOGE) is currently the 33rd largest cryptocurrency by market cap, but was the eighth-most discussed and received the sixth most watchers in 2020.
This begs the question, why?
Strong performers are the most popular
As many cryptocurrency traders are likely aware, the news can often move markets. As such, cryptocurrencies that are discussed more frequently experience more drastic price swings when the market is active.
The data provided by Stocktwits appears to corroborate this observation. When comparing the number of messages and watchers in 2020 for each cryptocurrency in 2020 against its price performance, a clear relationship is seen.
In total, six out of the top 10 cryptocurrencies by the number of messages in 2020 are also among the top 10 performers in the last three months—according to Bitgur's first-tier performance list. The same six cryptocurrencies are also found in the top 10 cryptocurrencies by number of new watchers this year, and are as follows;
- BSV-X (+149.6%)
- XTZ-X (+129.7%)
- LINK-X (+122.9%)
- ETC-X (+111%)
- BCH-X (+63.42%)
- ETH-X (+60.1%)
While it isn't clear whether there is a cause or effect relationship between the amount of interest shown in a cryptocurrency and its market performance, it does appear that the relationship isn't linear. For instance, although Bitcoin SV was the best performing cryptocurrency in the last three months, it was only the third most discussed and sixth most-watched. Conversely, Bitcoin was both most watched and most discussed in 2020, but was the 16th most profitable cryptocurrency—gaining only 21.2% in the last three months.
Although not foolproof, a sudden burst of discussion surrounding a cryptocurrency may be an indicator of improved sentiment in the market—but it's not a perfect relationship.
Kyber Network stands out, EOS struggles
As we previously touched on, the rank order of cryptocurrencies in terms of the number of messages and watchers it receives in 2020 tends to relate to both its market capitalization and price performance this year. However, there are a handful of cryptocurrencies that defy this trend, and either receive way more engagements than you might expect based on its market capitalization, or far fewer.
Kyber Network (KNC) is among cryptocurrencies that received an unusually high number of engagements this year. Despite being the 48th largest cryptocurrency and having a market capitalization of just $136 million, Kyber Network received the 12th most watchers in 2020 and was mentioned a total of 455 times so far. Similarly, Orchid (OXT) gained the 15th most new watchers and 16th most engagements this year, but has a tiny market capitalization of $16.8 million, making it the 275th largest cryptocurrency.
Coincidentally, Kyber Network was listed on Coinbase Pro late last month, whereas Orchid was recently listed as a digital asset under review, as Coinbase said it was "conducting engineering work to potentially support these assets." Similarly, Kyber Network is the best performing cryptocurrency in the last three months among BitGur's tier 1 and tier 2 assets, after gaining 205.8% since January. This, undoubtedly got at least some people talking.
|Market Rank||Messages (rank)||Watchers (rank)|
|Kyber Network (KNC)||48||455 (17)||368 (12)|
|Orchid (OXT)||275||511 (16)||241 (15)|
|EOS||8||442 (18)||152 (19)|
|Monero (XMR)||15||280 (23)||75 (28)|
On the other hand, cryptocurrencies like EOS and Monero (XMR) have far worse engagements than their market capitalization implies. Despite being the eighth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, EOS is 18th on the list for the number of comments, and 19th by the number of watchers this year. Monero has a similar disparity, being the 15th largest cryptocurrency by market cap, but 23rd by the number of messages and 28th by the number of new watchers this year.
As such, it appears that there has been very little buzz surrounding both EOS and Monero in 2020 so far—perhaps because both have suffered from limited development and a lack of major announcements lately. This might be why both EOS and Monero experienced relatively muted gains during a time in which most other altcoins boomed.