I was inspired to write this blog today by one written by @XRPMichaelB here is a link to his blog.
I use eToro for a large percentage of my crypto purchases, yes I know that I am opening myself up to some ridicule here but there is a reason why I like this platform. Back when I decided to invest in XRP I did a simple google search to find where I could get my first holdings using GBP, eToro came up and after reading several reviews decided they were a trust worthy enough exchange and jumped on board. It is a very easy platform to use, they have designed it so that even the most tech adverse person could get online and trade very easily within a few minutes. Deposits are easy to do, and buying even easier. They even give you a handy little video to explain the basic concepts. What they also give you is a nice virtual portfolio, this is great if you want to test your own TA/Fundamentals etc in a safe way.
One of the biggest selling points for me was the social trading aspect. they provide chat/forum type areas for each of the cryptos where in theory at least you should be able to go in and chat with like minded HODLERS.
OH IF ONLY THAT WERE TRUE!
One of the very first things I noticed in the eToro XRP forum was the wide array of views and opinions, now granted I got started just before the December Bull run kicked in so the general sentiment for my early visits was very obviously positive.
As this year has progressed we are all very aware of what has happened in the market and we are all painfully aware of how people are currently sitting on huge red piles. What has stood out for me is the general tone in the forum. As Michael stated in his blog, on twitter the xrp community are very rarely concerned with current price and instead choose to discuss the news and share views and opinions. On eToro what I see is anger, hatred, vitriol and general posionous personalities all doing their best to be that bit louder than anyone else.
Oftentimes I read these fights and I think of the old school witch hunts where huge groups would go out looking for a good burning.
We get a lot of spam, but we also get the sort of FUD you see all over social media. What you don't tend to see anywhere else is the XRP holders turning on each other and having the Social media equivalent of a rumble in the jungle. Even making simple fact based statements is likely to get you attacked, and more often than not that attack is going to come from a person who has reached their own breaking point. I am talking about the poor souls who brought in near ATH and then watched their money slip away as this year has progressed. To a degree I can understand the sentiment, it is hard to sit day in and out watching your hard earned money appear to vanish before your eyes. As we all know regardless of what platform you use, you DO NOT make a gain or a loss until the point where you sell. Yes you maybe showing a loss in your portfolio but until you actually close out that trade these are nothing more than a bunch of characters displayed on a screen.
When I first got into Banking and working in trading environments I heard a simple saying that has stuck with me to this day
"A profit, is not a profit until you take it"
Early on in my crypto trading activities I started to see some links between human sentiment and market direction, now I am not stupid enough to believe that is the only factor which influences price but I do believe it plays a much bigger role than most of us imagine. During the bull run I was able to make some substantial profits(all put back into my XRP pot) on an almost daily basis, and I did this by using a little bit of TA (15 min charts) a touch of fundamentals but, by and far my biggest analytics choice was Human Sentiment. By simply reading the various chat forums on eToro I was able to base my trades around how people were talking. I traded across all the different cryptos available and I traded in both directions based on the general feeling.
As I started to expand my social reach in order to drive up the volume of sentiment based info I started to realize that eToro was relatively unique in its customer base. I would guess this is to be expected, as its clear that eToro are targetting small scale retail mom and pop investors, they make it easy for regular people to setup an account deposit some cash and start trading. Unfortunately by making it so simple you also invite people from every walk of life and every kind of culture. Over the last six months I have witnessed the general sentiment hit rock bottom to the point where a few cents in the right direction can turn every person on the forum into a mooner. I still login to eToro every day, right now I am not trading at all, I am sitting on my stack and waiting. Every now and then I am inspired to post a comment in the chat and when I do its most often to correct an incorrect statement, or more likely to try and bring a little bit of calm and tranquility to the space. I feel that if we can give some form of assurance to these people then they will become less concerned around their holdings and more focused on the future.
Now I started to wonder if others use human sentiment to help trading policy, and it struck me that if I found it useful that so too must the big money players. I think we would be foolish to believe these whales and Big Institutional investors don't use every trick in the book. Having worked in many investment banks over the last 20 years I know for a fact that each and every one of them have a research dept linked to each asset class. these guys spend all day looking for stories and news which could give their traders an edge.
Right now I believe we are witnessing the effect of big money players, reading not just the TA and the news but also reading the people. Go onto FB(if you use eToro you already know what I mean) and look in any of the ripple or xrp groups and you will find infighting and despair, comments such as
"this is ridiculous I lost the kids college money, I am selling while I can" Abound.
Do you really think that a big player seeing these types of comment are not going to take advantage of it, were I a whale I would take all of these types of comments as evidence that I can continue to squeeze these people out and pick up their coins on the cheap.
I guess the basis of this blog is to try and encourage our community to start helping these new investors, provide them with answers and re-assure them that based on the fundamentals, we are about as sure as we can be that in time things will turn in our favour. This is exactly the sort of thing I see on Twitter every day, the XRP community on twitter do their very best to support each other and share knowledge.
Lets all make an effort to take this kind of positive community spirit and share it out, there is plenty to go round. If we get XRP retail holders to be less negative and more focused on the future value of XRP perhaps we may even be able to help increase the value of our assets, maybe by only a small amount.