On January 3, 2009, when the sun was in Capricorn and the moon in Aries, pseudonymous programmer Satoshi Nakamoto pushed theblockchain live, creating its Genesis Block and calling it into existence.
Twelve years on, 22-year-old TikTok astrologer Maren Altman—who is adored by her 1.1 million mostly female audience—believes that this planetary alignment is the key to predicting Bitcoin’s future price.
“Venus is crossing Bitcoin’s sun, the sun is crossing Bitcoin’s Jupiter and Bitcoin’s Jupiter is still doing cute shit. Basically every obvious indicator of growth and expansion is being activated right now,” she told her TikTok followers on Monday, suggesting that Bitcoin may soon return to its stratospheric heights.
Altman, who tends to give off a kind of sexy, Goth, dominatrix vibe in her videos, uses astrology to look at factors that might be good or bad for people, world events and even cryptocurrencies. She thinks that upcoming alignments could do a world of good for Bitcoin in a few months.
“May looks insane. End of May looks insane. I did not [put that] in my YouTube video. I just saw that. I was like, this looks too good to be true,” she told Decrypt on Zoom, speaking from her tiny flat in Manhattan, New York.
On January 17, she posted a video of her previous predictions, pointing to recent price charts and claiming that they came true. And while this kind of thing hasn’t swayed her numerous critics, she’s ignoring them and says she’s putting her money where her mouth is.
“I don't really care to prove anything to you. I'm going to be making money off of this. If you'd like to join in, you can,” Altman said.
After becoming a hit on TikTok, Altman says she’s now raking in so much money—five figure incomes some months, she claims—that, on Thursday, she dropped out of her online PhD in Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies to focus fully on her career. And against all odds, she’s becoming a star.
Developing as a TikTok astrologer
Altman was two years old when she first read about astrology in a newspaper, according to a TikTok video she published last year. She soon learned about psychological astrology and planetary cycles. She graduated a year ago with an undergraduate degree in Philosophy. And suddenly, at 21, she was in the real world, with few ideas about what to do.
Her first thought was that she needed to become more grown up. So she started reading about finance and investing, learning about the inefficiencies of the central banking system. That’s when she discovered Bitcoin.
“It was just an incredible solution in a lot of ways, not that it immediately solves the problems, but it at least provides a new way of dealing with these things that's more in line with logic and sense, in a lot of ways,” she said.
During lockdown, a friend suggested she should try a TikTok video dance, and she gave it a go. Once she became familiar with TikTok, she started posting short astrology videos. By October, she realized that her platform was starting to take off and her Instagram changed from everyday casual photos to an array of semi-nude, suggestive snaps—all from the confines of her bedroom.
As her follower numbers grew, she started posting about world affairs, which attracted a more mature audience. She predicted that Biden would win the US election, who she was also supporting, and made uncertain comments about the senate runoffs (she struggled because she didn’t know the birthdays of each candidate).
Then, one day, she did a Bitcoin video.
“I’ve started looking at the astrology of Bitcoin and it looks like it’s about to enter a crazy growth streak and a substantial price increase,” she said on November 21, 2020, adding, “This is big. This is substantial.”
At that time, Bitcoin’s price had grown from lows of $4,000 in March to $18,600. In the weeks after she published the video, BTC shot up to more than double its all-time high, reaching a peak of $41,900 on January 8.
She’s made 11 cryptocurrency videos so far this month. And her audience is now begging her to branch out from Bitcoin and the select few coins she covers to cover their favorite coins.
Predicting Bitcoin’s price in the future
Astrology works by looking at the positions of planets and stars around the moment something comes into existence, and then comparing that map to where those planets and stars are right now, or where they will be in the future. Typically, astrologists use birthdays when discussing specific people; Altman applies that to crypto by using the first block in a blockchain, known as its Genesis Block.
“If there's a Genesis Block, that is a go-to because that is the initiation or the birth of that moment. If I can't find anything of a Genesis Block, I look to the first listing on CoinMarketCap and I use that and I see if it works out,” she said.
When it comes to comparing the current or future constellations of the stars to the original constellations, she looks for when planets are in similar positions or if they have favorable angles.
“So, bullish indicators would be favourable alignments, basically, in general of Jupiter, Venus, or the north node. Those are all indicators of growth. And so that's a pretty straightforward one. More bearish indicators are things like Mars, Saturn or the South node,” Altman said.
In astrology, “nodes” are the points on the ecliptic where the sun’s orbit and the moon’s orbit intersect. In the crypto world, a “node” is a computer running software that powers a blockchain. “Yeah, I’m used to using that word in multiple different contexts,” she said.
How she makes her money
Altman is now making a living from her astrology work and her side hustles. On TikTok, she has done a few sponsored videos, for projects such as Handshake, Sushiswap and Deflect Protocol. She usually charges a few thousands dollars for doing explainer videos about them.
She runs her own Astrology Academy where she trains prospective astrologers. Here, she has 100-150 paying clients. On top of that, she has 1,000 people in her membership community who spend between $7 to $50 a month for her teachings.
On top of that, she is a co-founder of Stellium X, a software-as-a-service company aimed at making it easier for astrologists to market themselves.
Other times, her followers just randomly send her money. They might ask her to do another Bitcoin video, but by this point she was doing them regularly anyway. “I'm like, sure. I was gonna do that, you know, anyway. Thank you so much people.”
As mentioned, when Altman peers into the heavens, the stars reveal good things about Bitcoin—potentially it returning to $40,000 in the next few weeks. But XRP? Not so much. “The upcoming astrology of XRP makes it pretty clear they’re about to face some unpleasant, frustrating news.” Hell, we could have predicted that.