Updated in August 2021: For posterity, before you humble yourself before what might seem like an experienced legacy senpai, I invite you to read the now defunct Weiss Crypto Blog on the Wayback Machine to see some prime shitcoin shilling from times way before Dog Money and generally loads of being totally wrong.
Weiss Ratings is the US leading independent rating agency of financial institutions. They are due to publish their letter grades rating of several cryptocurrencies on January 24 at 8 AM UTC.
Weiss will rate not only the market leaders such as BTC or ETH but they will also analyze the altcoins that are the flavour of the month - potentially overhyped vaporware. In their announcement they mentioned cryptocoins such as Ripple, Cardano, Stellar, EOS, TRON or Bitcoin Gold but they also added many other cryptocurrencies will be included.
Traders expect the ratings to be rather negative, in the best case scenario negative only for cryptocoins that are mainly valued based on promising tech backed by nothing more than a cute landing page. However, the headline on weissratings.com actually explains the grades are meant to identify the most promising cryptocurrencies which goes to show how one-sided marketing still runs the crypto show in 2018. Some traders are naturally expecting a fresh dose of turmoil in the currently choppy markets.
This post will be updated later with new information.
- The free preview can be found here
- Full report in PDF downloaded from wcy.weissratings.com/media (now defunct)
BTC: C+ “fair but full blocks™”
ETH: B “good because readily upgradeable”
Novacoin (D) and SaluS (D) are “weak”
STEEM B- “moderate strength in all key factors”
Week after the report, on January 31st, Weiss Ratings sent out a newsletter declaring overall victory:
Your timing for getting our alerts couldn’t be better.
Last week, we caused global outrage with our C+ rating for Bitcoin. We were cursed, ridiculed and laughed at. One group even tried to mount a cyberattack against our Weiss Ratings website.
But yesterday, the price of Bitcoin plunged from $10,908 to $9,723. Nearly 11% in just 13 hours.
Crashes of 10% or more in a single day are not uncommon. They happen pretty frequently, actually. […] That’s why most bitcoin lovers are long-term buy-and-hodlers. […] “Bah! We don’t care,” say Bitcoin veterans.
No word about how the rest of the market moved along with bitcoin. They could have added a note saying something like “this coin we gave a green rating to retraced as well but only this much, plus on the 1D timeframe it kept above the MA which could signify stronger market”. That would also support their sales objective while they would come off as a serious business. They opted for a simple exuberant exclamation though.
Breaking Down Old News
For those who subscribed for the email notification from Weiss Ratings, there was an email quite late in the day when the report had already leaked. The subject read “Korean Cyberattack Fails to Foil Crypto-Ratings Release”. The email went to explain why the website was down for most of the day: a surge of visitors and an attack or two, the usuall stuff. At Weiss, they threw more money on the problem (“our staff instantly expanded its server capacity on the cloud many times over”) which is probably impressive in finance circles but rarely smart when it comes to system administration. In this case it apparently didn’t work either but everyone gave them a break once the PDF was found unprotected in a marketing folder somewhere (the link is now redirected as it probably should have been the whole time). So, were they even a bit aware what kind of thing they were getting into? Or did they expect that Reddit, 4chan and Kakao will each delegate a single representative to take care of the news distribution while the rest of the crowd will obediently refrain from F5-ing weissratings.com? This is the internet, people. Look down from your ivory tower.
Now for the ratings. The best ratings (B - “good”) were given to smart-contract platforms made to host apps: ADA, EOS, ETH, NEO, STEEM. As for Bitcoin, they criticized that it has “no immediate mechanism for promptly upgrading its software code”. Given that all public cryptocurrencies use the same mechanism for upgrades of the code (it is called Github), do they really mean that Bitcoin is not a value investment because there is not a CEO in charge? I thought this would be a bit off base.
Either way, something should be said about the system of the ratings before the internet forgets: The report is supposed to only touch the fundamentals, it is meant as rating of the current investment opportunity. For those who purchase the full paper, the ratings will be updated regularly. Maybe that sounds familiar already? Some figures: out of the 74 cryptocurrencies rated by Weiss these are the coins that have 30-day change at or over 25% - ADA, XCP, ETN, EOS, ETH, NLG, IOC, NEBL, NEO, NXS, QRK, XRB, XRP, SKY, SMART, STEEM, XLM. Out of those, Ripple and Stellar are the only two coins that have over a billion USD market cap and didn’t get a green grade.
Coin / Mkt Cap [B USD] * ADA 16 XCP 0.14 ETN 0.73 * EOS 9 * ETH 103 NLG 0.10 IOC 0.08 NEBL 0.27 * NEO 9 NXS 0.33 QRK 0.01 XRB 1.7 XRP 51 SKY 0.21 SMART 0.44 * STEEM 1.6 XLM 10.5
So, they are giving us the coins that are already hyped up on a market that is not super-thin. Essentially, this kind of rating is a polished equivalent of your social media altcoin picks group, with each green square being a toned-down version of statements like “TRX abt mewn, get in now for the pamp!!!”, in other words information freely obtainable from every trollbox.
Is that wrong? Well I thought this whole event was a good comedy but not wrong really. The profits that every random South Korean highschool kid made on cryptocurrencies must be hard to ignore for the legacy folks, and if there is more of them focusing on Mastering Shitcoins™ while disregarding the “money-like” cryptocurrencies such as LTC or XMR, maybe we will finally see some decoupling of the charts.