Can this Brooklyn-built app predict the price of Bitcoin? - Brooklyn

Sep. 20, 2017 7:40 am

Can this Brooklyn-built app predict the price of Bitcoin?

Greenpoint dev David Roma thinks Bitcoin prices are based on public opinion, so he built a tool to measure it.
Ahh those sweet, sweet bitcoins.

Ahh those sweet, sweet bitcoins.

(Photo by Flickr user Antana, used under a Creative Commons license)

Cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ether crashed in value last week after JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon spoke critically of them at a conference televised by CNBC.

Specifically he said cryptocurrencies are a “fraud,” are “worse than tulip bulbs,” and that he would fire any JPMorgan Chase employee trading Bitcoin “because they are stupid.”

Prices for ETH and BTC fell by up to 26 percent in the days that followed.

Those price fluctuations are exactly what Greenpoint developer David Roma is interested in.

“My theory is that the price of Bitcoin is almost 100 percent driven by public opinion,” he said by phone last week.

Greenpoint developer David Roma created the Angle app for measuring Bitcoin sentiment on Twitter.

David Roma. (Courtesy photo)

Roma is the creator of Sygnals, a sentiment analysis app which measures how people are talking about Bitcoin on Twitter.


“Here’s why the worst of the bitcoin pullback might still be to come,” tweets Paul Paetz (author of Disruption by Design; adjunct at Mercer University; startup advisor), with a link to a CNBC story.

Put that one in the negative sentiment category.

But over on the other side, a guy named Sean McHugh (artist by passion, crypto by fascination, both equally important), tweets that “Bitcoin the new Diamond 💎”

Count Sean’s sentiment as positive.

The site places each of their tweets into their respective categories and tallies up the positive tweets and negative tweets, with a graph that shows sentiment in real time. Roma built the app on Node.js and Meteor. Sygnals is plugged into Twitter’s API and scrapes it for tweets with the word “Bitcoin” in them, and uses natural language processing to perform sentiment analysis.

“I looked at Google Trends for cryptocurrency for a year and then mapped that on a chart with the price of Bitcoin and the price looked almost identical, and I said, Wow,” Roma explained. “So I decided to make this tool that listens for all the tweets about Bitcoin and measures the sentiment based on the words people are saying.”

On Tuesday, positive sentiment was outpacing negative sentiment by nearly half. Top keywords have been “join,” “want,” “safe” and “free.” Negative words are more diffuse in their usage, but “ban” and “fraud” are among the leaders. As of midday Tuesday, Bitcoin is up more than 4 percent since this morning.

The Angle app by David Roma.

The Angle app by David Roma. (Screenshots)


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