In our previous blog we explained why Twitter has become such an influential platform. There is certainly no shortage of lists of the “Top X most influential cryptocurrency accounts on Twitter”. So why did we bother building our own?

Well, if you study those lists (and we have), you’ll notice that the majority offer no logic or reasoning as to how they’ve put them together. This is despite claims that they are  “the most influential crypto accounts that you absolutely must follow”.  This makes us uncomfortable in blindly placing our trust in them.

Why Build Our Own Lists?

It is important for us to adopt a more rigorous approach to establishing our own list of top twitter crypto influencers. But why?  Well partially, because it’s in our DNA.  Causality is a data analytics company whose sole purpose is to build analytical products for the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem.  More importantly, however, we recently came across a research paper that established that the sentiment of a group of Twitter key influencers had “significant predictive power to [stock] market movement.”  If this were true of the stock market, then logic suggested it would apply equally in the cryptocurrency market.

Cryptocurrency Sentiment Links

We already understood that there was a strong relationship between social media sentiment and financial market price movements.  Numerous independent and academic studies had demonstrated as much, which is one of the reasons why we built Causality’s cryptocurrency sentiment alert platform.  After all, professional investors & institutes on Wall Street have been using sentiment analysis to monitor financial markets for years. So why Cryptocurrency Sentiment Linksshouldn’t individual investors have access to similar sophisticated artificial intelligence-based tools.  What we particularly liked about this paper was that it highlighted another idea that we could adopt to potentially further refine and improve our crypto sentiment algorithms.

Harnessing the Predictive Power of Influential Twitter Accounts

The authors began by identifying a group of 50 “seed” users that were well-recognized investment experts. They then extended their defined twitter financial community to include all twitter accounts that followed those experts, and the followers’ followers. They then analyzed these 150,000 accounts and the relationships between the accounts to establish the 2,500 most critical nodes (accounts).

Establishing a Seed Group

We adopted a similar approach of using social network analysis to identify the most influential crypto twitter accounts.  We began by defining a “seed” user group. This group contained 76 twitter accounts that were most frequently included in the “top X crypto influencer” lists that we’d reviewed.  It included accounts for major crypto news sites, the biggest coins and crypto project. Also, the largest crypto exchanges, and 46 of the most famous cryptocurrency and blockchain experts.  These people need no introduction.  Think Vitalik Buterin, Charlie Lee,  Roger Ver, Andreas Antonopoulos. Also Brian Armstrong, Erik Voorhees, Barry Silbert , Tuur Demeester, Nick Szabo and Anthony Pompliano and you should get the picture.

Extending the Seed Group

We then extended our twitter crypto community to include all of the accounts that our 76 seed users were following.  Doing so grew our wider twitter community of interest to close to 110,000 distinct accounts.  We then analyzed the relationships between these accounts . By applying a strict set of filter criteria we were able to zero in on a set of 1,844 highly influential crypto twitter accounts.

Some Interesting Insights

In addition to further improving the performance of our cryptocurrency sentiment alerts this exercise also turned up some interesting insights:

  • Coindesk was the news service most followed by our influencers
  • Elon Musk was the most followed non crypto individual account
  • Surprisingly, despite having only half the number of twitter followers, Ethereum’s account was followed by more influencers than the Bitcoin account
  • On a lighter note, it transpires that five of our high influencers also have a slightly questionable taste in music…. they were following Taylor Swift after all !

In future blogs we will be sharing with you more of our research on the impact of key crypto influencers’ posts on the market.

Also published on Medium.