Bitcoin fear and greed indicators help us understand the sentiments behind crypto markets. Investing in markets comes with enormous risk, but the clarity offered by these indicators can help us mitigate some of the risks. They provide us with clues as to possible upcoming trends. Although to some, this may appear to be mere guesswork, professional Crypto traders have been able to benefit significantly from this data.
Speculating in the crypto market is not only risky but also psychologically demanding. Therefore, it is not uncommon for investors to get emotional in the process. This fact led specialized traders to establish crypto fear and greed indexes. Such indicators reveal the market’s general sentiment to help traders determine when to take riskier positions and when to play it safe.
Both extreme fear or greed can lead to profitable opportunities. For example, when investors are getting too greedy, this often means that the market is about to experience a dip or a correction to more neutral levels. Like the Sage of Omaha (Warren Buffet) once said, “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”
Before we explore fear and greed indexes any further, let’s briefly review what indicator trading is in the first place. This trading method involves performing technical analysis with a variety of indicators to identify trends or actionable signals. Through well-crafted mathematical formulas or visual representations of data, indicators can reveal much about an asset’s price action. Traders use these signals to make predictions and open positions accordingly.
There are thousands of indicators available, with new ones coming up all the time. Unique strategies can be developed around a specific combination of indicators. However, for this piece, we will focus solely on the usage of fear and greed indexes.
Learn more about other Technical Indicators, head Over to Our Unique Technical Analyses on Bitcoin and the Crypto Markets
The History of Bitcoin Fear And Greed Indexes
Crypto fear and greed indexes derive from their traditional stock market counterparts. Greed, fear, and herd mentality are three elements that have always been present in all financial markets. The overwhelming presence of any emotion is usually a precursor to a bull or bear market. Analysts have always looked at fear or greed levels to hypothesize on the direction of the market. These indexes are also heavily researched to explore investor rationality.
Traditional Stock Fear And Greed Indexes
When it comes to stock trading, CNN’s Fear and Greed index is a widely used and recognized reference for traders. The index displays results on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being when traders are most alarmed and 100 when they’re most voracious. When market participants are greedy, stock prices tend to rise. When participants are fearful, large sell-offs lead to corresponding drops in prices.
How are Fear and Greed Measured in Traditional Markets?
Generally, the traditional fear and greed index is composed of six key indicators:
The market momentum indicator critically analyzes the ratio of stocks appreciating to the ones depreciating. It also explores the volume of shares nosediving versus the volume of shares skyrocketing. For example, examining how far the S&P 500 has risen or fallen in the last 100 days provides a good indication of momentum.
Stock Price Strength
The Stock Price Strength indicator looks at the number of stocks hitting highs against the number of those hitting lows within a period of 52 weeks.
Stock Market Options
The Stock Market Options indicator analyzes the ratio of “put” to “call” options. When “put” options fall behind “call” options, it connotes greed. However, when “put” options surpass “call” options, it signifies fear in the market.
Market Volatility Index (VIX)
This indicator is a real-time index that represents the market’s expectations for volatility over the next 30-day period. When the VIX is high, the index signals fear, but when stocks rise and the VIX drops, it indicates greed in the market.
Junk Bond Demand
This measures the rate at which traders invest in high-risk assets (referred to as junk bonds). When investors adopt this trading strategy, it is an indication of greed in the market.
Demand for safe-havens is a strong fear indicator. In times of uncertainty, investors seek to store their money in the least risky assets they can find. The Safe Haven Demand index measures the rate at which investors adopt safer strategies as they search for low-risk investments.
Each one of these indicators is measured on a scale of 0 to 100. The fear and greed index is then calculated as the average score of the six.
Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index Indicators
When it comes to crypto fear and greed indexes, Bitcoin dominates. This is because altcoin markets are highly correlated to Bitcoin’s movements. When the price of bitcoin surges, altcoins follow soon after. When Bitcoin’s price falls, so will most other altcoins’.
The Bitcoin fear and greed index can be calculated with the following components:
An unusual increase in volatility signifies extreme fear in the crypto market.
Consistently high trading volumes correspond to a greedy market.
Social Media- 15%
Twitter sentiment can be determined by measuring posts, mentions, and activity on crypto-related hashtags. An unusually high Twitter presence signifies a greedy market.
Many polls are conducted on various platforms, asking users how they feel about the current market.
Bitcoin Dominance: 10%
How much more money is flowing into BTC than other cryptos reveals how greedy or fearful investors feel about the asset.
Google Trends- 10%
Google trends data for various bitcoin-related search queries are incredibly indicative of how investors are feeling. For instance, a surge in search volume for “best bitcoin investment” is an obvious indicator of extreme greed.
Criticism of the Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index
The Bitcoin fear and greed index is not 100% accurate, nor is it always useful to make predictions with. In other words, it only shows current market sentiment, and any decisions on future investments will require other indicators. Additionally, though extreme greed or fear may signal an upcoming reversal, it is impossible to predict how long the market can stay in either of those conditions. As always, you must conduct your own research, practice, and backtest to ensure any strategy using this indicator is actually profitable.