March 12, 2018 / 9:03 AM / 8 months ago

Thomson Reuters launches bitcoin sentiment gauge for crypto traders

LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) - Thomson Reuters Corp is to track and analyse chatter about bitcoin on hundreds of news and social media websites to help investors looking for an edge in trading the world's biggest cryptocurrency, the company said on Monday.

A new version of its MarketPsych Indices, which it runs in conjunction with MarketPsych Data LLC, a behavioural economics research firm, will scan over 400 websites, many specific to cryptocurrencies, to capture market-moving sentiment and themes, Thomson Reuters said in a statement.

Digging through market chatter and analysing online sentiment has long proven popular among traders of traditional asset classes.

The boom in the prices of cryptocurrencies in recent years has spurred a huge online industry where individuals exchange trading ideas in forums and news websites report on the latest developments in the industry.

Many analysts have linked online activity, for example Google searches for "bitcoin", with the price of the best-known cryptocurrency.

"News and social media are driving the investment and risk management process more than ever with the continuing rise of passive and quant-driven trading," said Austin Burkett, Global Head of Quant and Feeds, Thomson Reuters.

Bitcoin's price gained more than 1,300 percent last year as investors piled in, and since peaking at close to $20,000 in December has lost more than half its value. It was trading at around $9,600 on the Luxembourg-Bitstamp exchange on Monday . (Reporting by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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