About a month ago, GameStop (GME) stock was soaring because of a Wall Street Bets subreddit. A bit later, the same people got into Dogecoin, and celebrities fanned the flames. The power of social media and communication to tilt the markets has entered the conversation. A little while after the situation, we look back to understand and answer, who is influencing crypto? Looking forward, we also compiled a list of Crypto Twitter influencers to follow on Twitter.
How do Pricing and Trading Work?
Before answering, who is influencing crypto, we have to see how this influence can happen at all. To make the explanation complete, we have to start from the very beginning.
Even though cryptocurrencies are a relatively new class of assets, the market that they entered has been around for ages. Very simply put, the price is formed by supply and demand, as well as the cost of production. This includes cryptocurrencies as well: in this case, the cost of production would be determined by energy consumption.
If cryptocurrency is meeting some needs people have, they will be interested in buying it. This is demand. Supply and emission rate in most cases is hard-coded into the cryptocurrency’s protocol and is predictable. It can be unlimited or have a hard cap, like 21 million Bitcoin. In other words, usually the economic model of a cryptocurrency is predetermined.
In short, the more people want something, the more they are likely to pay for it. The lower the supply, the harder it is to get the goods, and it can further drive the price up. It works both ways, as high-supply currencies will have more steady streams of new users and less “whales” (owners of a large amount of a stock or currency).
Factors Influencing Crypto Market
However, supply and especially demand do not exist in a vacuum. These driving forces can be influenced by information, news, economic factors and so on.
News and announcements often can change the course of a trade. For example, if the news is about partnerships or investments, it can be seen as favorable for the fundamentals. As a consequence, the demand and the price will rise. In the same way, if there is negative information, less people will want to own a currency. As there are fewer buyers, the price will have to get lower for someone to buy.
In the same way, future upgrades or new features can make a currency more wanted. Cryptocurrencies can be used for value transfer or storage. If developers add features that make a protocol meet these needs, the demand is supposed to increase.
Crypto market is more regulated than ever these days. However, there are plenty of gray areas left to define, and the attention of regulators can curb the prices hard. Right now, we can witness this with an ongoing legal battle between the US Security and Exchanges Commission and Ripple. The gist of the debacle is whether XRP is considered a security. Under the US laws, if it gets ruled out as such, trading it will be unlawful. This is why XRP can’t catch the wind of the ongoing rally like other top altcoins.
Communities and Social Media
Additionally, as the world in the digital age is more closely connected, communication and sentiment can influence the market. The WallStreetBets movement has very clearly shown that. It is not that all the traders there “liked the stock”, it was more like the sense of community. By getting all in one stock and rooting for it to grow, the WSB members influenced its price.
A little later, they repeated the same thing with cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin. When this was happening, a large portion of the WSB community moved to Twitter, where they came across Crypto Twitter. In other words, the community who is interested in and who is influencing crypto.
Crypto Twitter (or CT for short) is self-descriptive, the community of crypto enthusiasts on Twitter. Incidentally, on February 20, it has hit a new all-time high: 71.6k accounts creating unique posts related to cryptocurrencies. CT is as lively as ever.
What influences the crypto market? While the first place to look would be the news, Crypto Twitter is coming in second.
Who is Influencing the Price of Crypto: Cases in Point
The most recent and loud case of tweet-induced pumps have to do with Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. He is known for eccentric posts and love of the Internet culture, especially memes. No wonder back in 2014 he accepted the honor of becoming the CEO of Dogecoin. (Which is, of course, a joke, because Dogecoin is decentralized and community-supported).
Dogecoin might be my fav cryptocurrency. It’s pretty cool.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 2, 2019
So, if the question is who is influencing the price of Dogecoin, you know where to look first.
In 2021, he started tweeting about Dogecoin again, mostly just for memeing:
ur welcome pic.twitter.com/e2KF57KLxb
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 4, 2021
Other celebrities joined in on the meme, too.
— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) February 6, 2021
God Of Dogecoin. pic.twitter.com/FK6spgS7ZM
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) February 6, 2021
Gene Simmons was also vocal about purchasing other cryptocurrencies, like ADA. None of them outright persuaded people to buy or invest in crypto. The already heated up from the WSB crusade community, though, reacted wildly to the memes. At the start of February, Dogecoin flew up to $0.084, which is a 1,700% growth.
There have been tons of cases when the price of a cryptocurrency pumped just because someone made a single post on Twitter. However, some celebrities have made themselves a name on Crypto Twitter by doing this repeatedly. One of these people is John McAfee, creator of the anti-virus software of the same name. Being a software developer with global fame, he was trusted by thousands of followers on Twitter.
No. Not joking. I included Verge (XVG) because it is a legitimate privacy coin and it is also selling for less than three cents. If you know investing, you know that it is easier for a 3 cent coin to go to 3 dollars, than it is for a $300 dollar coin to go to $30,000 – same rise.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) December 14, 2017
A day after this tweet, Verge (XVG) was trading for twice as much as it was at the time of the post. However, McAfee did not mean for it to become an endorsement, and in the following tweets he rebuked it repeatedly.
Around the same time, McAfee was actively tweeting about various crypto projects. He promoted several of them allegedly for a $23 million total, and got sued by the SEC.
It’s not a coincidence that some of Bitcoin’s biggest pumpers are cheering the rise of #GameStop and other heavily shorted stocks. Ignoring or not understanding the fundamentals is key to Bitcoin’s appeal, so it makes sense that #Bitcoin pumpers would jump on this bandwagon too.
— Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) January 27, 2021
Sceptics also can make posts that can be interpreted as bullish. Even Peter Schiff, economist and a known Bitcoin critic, does not dismiss the possibility of Bitcoin reaching $100,000. It’s useful to keep tabs on personalities with an opposing view, because they might notice something fans won’t.
Crypto Influencers to Follow on Twitter
These are just a few examples how Crypto Twitter influencers can affect prices, directly or indirectly. Therefore, it is even more important to keep an eye on the accounts with most authority. Who is influencing crypto on the daily? Here are some of these accounts, grouped by categories:
Developers and Scientists
Usually, devs do not care too much about prices or trading. Still, many accounts on Crypto Twitter with the highest follower count are founders, developers or contributors to blockchain projects. In this category, Vitalik Buterin has the most followed account, but here are a few others:
- Charlie Lee, founder of Litecoin;
- Nick Szabo, best known for his work on smart contracts;
- Jameson Lopp, Bitcoin engineer;
- Adam Back, hashcash (PoW) developer;
- Yan Zhu, Brave Chief Security Officer.
Businessmen and Investors
Another group popular on Crypto Twitter is executives and investors of all kinds. Success in this field does not come without extensive research and understanding.
- Roger Ver, angel investor and early Bitcoin adopter;
- Naval, AngelList founder and self-proclaimed “modern-day philosopher”;
- Meltem Demirors, CoinShares CSO;
- Erik Voorhees, ShapeShift CEO;
- Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of Binance.
Writers and Analysts
Not all experts code or put millions into businesses. Some of them choose to share their research on social media for the benefit of the community. Podcasts, newsletters, articles — their content comes in many forms.
- Andreas Antonopoulous;
- Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano;
- Chris Dixon;
- Laura Shin;
- Amber Baldet;
- Preethi Kasireddy.
Another category that should not be ignored is traders and technical analysts. The larger the audience, the more likely they are to make the prices move. Top traders on CT are:
Of course, that is not the extent of the variety of Crypto Twitter. There are also other influencers in a more conventional sense: YouTubers and streamers, trendsetters, creators. Neither does the community fit neatly into these boxes: each of the accounts can delve into the business, trading or engineering side. The answer to “who is influencing crypto prices” is the community and platforms rather than a list of people.
- Cryptocurrency prices, when it comes to price formation, are not different from any other commodity. If the demand is high enough, people are more willing to pay higher prices for a unit;
- When we are asking who is influencing crypto prices, we mean who is shaping the public opinion. By doing that, influencers drive the forces of demand;
- Some examples, like Elon Musk tweets, are more or less incidental. Promoting it for compensation, like John McAfee did, will result in exposure at best and legal trouble at worst;
- Crypto Twitter influencers can be grouped in many categories. Sometimes they overlap, but in general, the largest groups are developers and engineers, entrepreneurs, writers and podcasters, and traders.
We briefly talked about who influences crypto and how they can do it. Of course, our list is not definitive, feel free to share your favorite Crypto Twitter influencers in the comments!