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  1. Key Takeaways Chatter and hype about NFTs in online communities mirrored sales trends in March and April 2021, peaking in the second week of March and falling sharply thereafter. 46% of online discussions about NFTs were positive, compared to only 12% that were negative. NBA Top Shot garnered the most total positive mentions in online NFT communities of any NFT-related platform, company, or person. The Rise of the NFT Since the first digital work of art was linked to a certificate of ownership back in 2014, the NFT (non-fungible token) market has experienced a huge boom, especially in the last year. In March 2021 alone, worldwide sales of NFTs amounted to a total of over $100 million, dwarfing sales in all previous years combined. An explosion of crypto-art-centered online communities accompanied by prolific media coverage gave distinction to this new platform for digital artists and creatives, but has the interest been sustained? Read on to see a breakdown of NFT hype over the past year. A Brief History of the Non-Fungible Token The term NFT entered popular usage in 2017. To put it simply, an NFT is a digital token that certifies an asset (whether it's a video, photo, or other form of digital material) to be unique, which makes the digital asset a collectible item. Even if the photo or video can be copied, the NFT validates ownership of the piece and verifies its authenticity. They are generally encoded with similar software used for cryptocurrencies and often bought and sold online using cryptos. NFTs became more widely known to the general population in 2020. One of the biggest triggers of the public's sudden interest in NFTs was the launch of the NBA Top Shot collection at the end of 2020, which enabled fans to purchase and collect NBA moments featuring their favorite player or team, just like trading cards or other collectible sports items. On the NBA Top Shot trading platform, where fans can buy, sell, and trade these assets, some NFTs sell for over $250,000. Musicians, such as Grimes, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and others, also contributed to the sharp rise of NFTs by putting various items up for sale. Grimes sold several pieces of digital art for a total of over $6 million. Other artists and celebrities who recently offered NFTs for sale include top models Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne, TV star Ellen DeGeneres, and skateboarder Tony Hawk. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, auctioned his first tweet on the social media platform from March 2006, and the highest bidder took it for $2.9 million in a highly publicized sale in March 2021. The 2020-2021 NFT Popularity Boom The popularity of NFTs grew steadily throughout 2020 and peaked in March 2021, when NFT sales experienced a huge surge worldwide. The popularity of NFTs in online communities can easily be correlated to sales numbers for the same period. The previously mentioned peak in the second week of March 2021 was caused by a Christie's auction that saw the NFT of a piece by artist Beeple auctioned for $69 million. During this same week, Reddit posts related to NFTs reached a volume of over 3,500. As NFT sales declined in the following week, so did the interest of online communities. However, the number of mentions since this drop is still much higher than it was at the end of 2020, showing that there has been increased interest in NFTs over the first half of 2021 overall. How Do Online Communities Feel About NFTs? This growing interest in NFTs is reflected by a generally positive sentiment toward them in online communities. Only 12% of posts expressed negative feelings toward NFTs, while 46% actively supported them. NBA Top Shot receives a lot of mentions with one of the highest percentages for positive feedback. This very popular platform clearly contributes significantly to the public's interest and overall approval of NFTs. OpenSea, the most mentioned platform on our chart, is one of the largest vendors of NFTs. The platform offers items in various categories such as music, art, and sport. Users can also sell their own NFTs, so OpenSea doubles as a marketplace – and a very popular one at that, with sales reaching $160 million in June 2021. Earlier in the year, musician Shawn Mendes used OpenSea to sell over $600,000 worth of digital clothing intended for users' avatars. CryptoSwap Finance had the highest percentage of positive mentions with 81%. This recently launched platform does not sell NFTs like OpenSea but rather specializes in crypto-trade and exchange, as well as crypto-farming and staking. NFTs in the Media NFTs have also been increasingly featured in the headlines of major media outlets, and these articles play an important role in fueling the public's interest. In recent months, renowned publications such as Forbes, Business Insider, and The Guardian helped to shine the spotlight on NFTs and bring them to the attention of a much larger audience. Media interest peaked toward the end of March 2021, a couple of weeks after the sharp increase of posts and mentions witnessed in online communities, as well as some of the biggest NFT sales. Over the last year, hundreds of articles with headlines related to NFTs have been published. Headlines from notable publications include the following: "Are NFT Purchases Real? The Dollars Are." (The New York Times) "NFT Art Marketplace Sets New Records" (Forbes) "NFT sales volume soared to $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021, as artists, celebrities and even Twitter and CNN joined the crypto craze" (Business Insider) Media Sentiment Regarding NFTs Looking at the wide coverage of NFTs over the last few months, the overall sentiment seems a little more mixed among journalists and media publications than the general public. An analysis of published articles in the last year shows that 31% were positive, 14% were negative, and the majority remaining neutral. The Street and Benzinga have offered the most extensive coverage, with around 400 articles on NFTs each over the past 12 months. Forbes and Business Insider have also published plenty of NFT-related content, with Business Insider being the media outlet with the largest percentage of positive articles on the topic. Looking at the type of publications that extensively cover NFTs, the topic clearly sparks interest first and foremost in the financial and business sectors. This is because NFTs are not collected solely for bragging rights or the buyer's enjoyment; they are often also purchased as an investment that will gain value over time. Several articles discuss NFTs from an investor's perspective, including this one from popular magazine Rolling Stone. However, with mainstream publications such as The New York Times and Billboard also writing regularly about NFTs, the subject is swiftly reaching a broader audience. The Next Wave of NFTs NFTs have seen a sharp rise in interest from both the general public and the media in the last year, thanks to significant signal-boosting from celebrities, news platforms, and respected artistic institutions. And although public interest may have waned somewhat from its March 2021 peak, sustained media coverage and community enthusiasm suggest that the crypto art market will continue to provide space for digital artists to thrive for years to come. Are you interested in joining an investing-style community of your own? GamblersPick offers opportunities for connection with people from all over the world who share your interests and excitement and are available to weigh in on whatever investments you may be considering. You'll also find news, guides, casino information, and many other resources. Head to GamblersPick today to check it out. Methodology and Limitations To analyze buzz and hype about NFTs in online communities, we scraped five of the most popular NFT-related subreddits for posts between July 2020 and July 2021: r/NFT, r/NFTsMarketplace, r/NFTExchange, r/nbatopshot, and r/CryptoArt. For some of these communities, posts not tagged as discussion or posts tagged as sales listings or advertisements were excluded. Our sample included more than 31,000 posts. To evaluate media coverage of the topic, we analyzed over 3,000 headlines from 143 online publications for mentions of NFTs and NFT-related topics. Sentiment analysis for all posts and headlines was performed using VADER. Posts on NFT-related subreddits were unavailable for the dates March 17–27th and April 9–14th of 2021. Sentiment analysis in this project is meant to convey the approximate attitude of the populations analyzed, not that of the general public or artists. Fair Use Statement Think your friends and family might want to brush up on their NFT knowledge? Feel free to share these findings – we only ask that you do so for noncommercial use and that you provide a link back to this page so the contributors can earn credit for their work.
  2. Exploring How Investors Are Managing cryptocurrencies in Today's World [Survey] To save or to spend crypto? That is very much the question for many investors today. As they invest more, they are often forgoing other purchases – some of them essential. Many have even started to accumulate debt in order to buy more crypto or avoid selling it. In order to get to the bottom of what the cryptocurrency craze is really costing Americans, we spoke to 1,000 people on the topic. Crypto investors shared the amount they had, how they were financing the holding, and what they had given up in order to maintain the investment. Responses showed interesting differences across genders and generations. To see how different demographics and Americans as a whole are maintaining their crypto portfolios, keep reading. Trade-Offs for Holding On to Cryptocurrency The total cost of cryptocurrency is more than just a dollar amount. It also includes the cost of the things you can't afford to buy if you choose to keep your money invested. The first part of this study looks at how much cryptocurrency respondents are holding, on average, as well as the top things they're choosing to forgo paying for in order to hold on to that investment. Diamond hands are as expensive as they sound. On average, Americans reported currently holding $1,707 of cryptocurrency each but often admitted that they wouldn't touch that money even if a necessary bill or critical payment came up. More than 1 in 10 stopped saving for an emergency to buy crypto, while the same amount said they had skipped out on a purchase that would have genuinely improved their life. Millennials were the most likely to skip saving for their retirement or miss credit card payments to hold onto their existing crypto stashes. That said, the majority of credit card debt is currently held by Generation X, so perhaps millennials have slightly more wiggle room here. Baby boomers, though unlikely to take on debt for cryptocurrency, also had the highest average value already saved up. Affording More Cryptocurrency So how exactly did Americans come to own their roughly $1,700 worth of cryptocurrency? The next part of our study asked respondents how they purchased their crypto, how much they had to borrow, and what they plan on doing in the future to perhaps buy more. Cryptocurrency may well be one of the reasons that many Americans have credit card debt in the first place: 1 in 4 respondents said they purchased cryptocurrency with credit instead of cash. And, in spite of holding only $1,707 worth of crypto, respondents had borrowed nearly $500 more than that to afford it, whether from the bank or from friends and family. Twenty-one percent of respondents planned on accumulating consumer debt in the future to afford more cryptocurrency. The investment gender gap also appears to continue over from traditional investments into cryptocurrency. Men were planning to invest an average of $1,988 into cryptocurrency this upcoming year – $878 more than women. Men were also more likely to borrow in order to add more crypto to their personal rosters. However, while men were more likely to borrow in general, generational breakdowns show that Gen Xer and Baby boomer women had borrowed more on average than men of the same age. Reasons for Holding Respondents had clearly made some drastic financial decisions in order to stay involved with digital currencies. This part of our study asks about their reasons for doing so and the sources they were most commonly influenced by. People taking on debt or avoiding critical purchases may ultimately have the last laugh: Three-quarters of people holding on to cryptocurrency said they believed it has much more value to gain. About a third of respondents said they held on to their cryptocurrency simply to maintain a diverse portfolio. Decisions on how and when to invest were made mostly after consulting Reddit, with over a third of crypto holders getting their information there. While not all information on the site is verified, the world has recently seen the power that Reddit can have over the financial industry. The only source more influential was a single individual – Elon Musk –whose tweets have been known to impact Bitcoin greatly. In one instance, a tweet from Musk plummeted the price of Bitcoin to below $30,000 – a low for this fluctuating currency. Planning Ahead Looking forward, respondents had already laid out some cryptocurrency-related plans. Our study concludes with a look at their anticipated future actions and what they feel willing to sell in order to buy even more digital currency. On average, respondents planned on maintaining their crypto balances for another five years. That said, enormous increases in price would certainly sway a few to start selling. Overall, respondents agreed that a 61% price increase in bitcoin could cause them to sell. Baby boomers, however, had the highest threshold for selling: This generation wanted a 65% increase before they sold. Respondents were highly unwilling to sell all of their crypto, even in exchange for some pretty valuable things. Only a third said they would sell all of their crypto in exchange for a new home. Considering that the average house price in the U.S. is roughly $287,000, and the respondents we spoke to had fewer than $2,000 worth of crypto, this speaks to an incredibly high anticipated rate of return. Gen Z, however, had many respondents agreeing that they would get rid of all of their cryptocurrency if it would cover their student loan debt. Cryptocurrency Costs Respondents proved that there are more costs involved in investing in cryptocurrency than just the dollar amount. They were often investing in lieu of life-improving purchases, paying down credit card bills, or even covering medical expenses. Men and baby boomers were the most likely to borrow in order to continue financing crypto. In the future, most anticipated doubling down on aggressive decisions like these. Few would sell everything even for a new home or being able to quit their jobs. Of course, they felt their decisions were the right ones, as three-fourths said their primary motivation was an anticipation of a solid return on investment. For most, a 61% price increase would cause them to sell what they had. For others, diamond hands were the most valuable asset of all. Methodology and Limitations We surveyed 1,000 crypto investors on their behavior while investing. Among them, 60% were men, 39% were women, and 1% identified as nonbinary. For generational breakdowns, the sample sizes were: Baby boomers: 135 Generation X: 212 Millennials: 442 Generation Z: 206 Other: 5 For short, open-ended questions, outliers were removed. To help ensure that all respondents took our survey seriously, they were required to identify and correctly answer an attention-check question. These data rely on self-reporting by the respondents and are only exploratory. Issues with self-reported responses include, but aren't limited to, the following: exaggeration, selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and bias. All values are based on estimation. Fair Use Statement As the cryptocurrency conversation grows in pace and fervor, data-based information becomes more important than ever. If you or your followers would be interested in this type of information, you are welcome to share it. Just be sure your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page.
  3. Key Takeaways: 45% of respondents had heard of Dogecoin, and 27.6% had invested in it. 30% of respondents believed that Dogecoin was the new Bitcoin. 48.8% of respondents regretted investing in Reddit-hyped stocks, while 40% regretted investing in Dogecoin. More than half of respondents were familiar with NFTs, while 40.5% had invested in NFTs. From Dogecoin to NFTs Bitcoin has been discounted before and still has its critics but always seems to come out on top. Even after years of disappointment, the digital currency came back stronger than ever. And with investing becoming more accessible to masses of people instead of the wealthy elite, we all want to know: What's the future of digital currency? As we saw with the GameStop story, large influxes of micro-investors have scale-tipping abilities comparable to those of established hedge funds. To better understand these scale-tippers, which we now know can hugely sway trading prices, we got to asking. More than 1,000 people across the country recently participated in our crypto trend research. They shared with us their opinions on everything from Reddit’s influence to Dogecoin and NFTs. If you're interested in what the average American was planning to do with these investment opportunities, keep reading. Determining the Future of Dogecoin Dogecoin was actually started as a joke in 2013 based on a popular Shiba Inu meme. But as we know today, jokes have power in the markets. Our study kicks off with a look at Dogecoin, how many Americans have heard of it, and how they feel about Elon Musk involving himself. While most people had heard of Dogecoin through social media (33.7%) or conversations with friends and family (21.7%), Elon Musk was single-handedly popularizing the coin as well. Eighteen percent of respondents had first heard of Dogecoin because of news covering Elon Musk's-related tweets. Most respondents either approved of or didn't care when it came to Musk's Doge-related information. Musk's tweets show enormous support for Dogecoin. When asked if he wanted the coin available for purchase on Coinbase, he tweeted with a resounding "Yes!" moving Dogecoin almost 10% north. Even if he meant it as a joke, we can say Dogecoin is at least considered a safer bet than the lottery –most respondents agreed that they would purchase Dogecoin over a lottery ticket, all costs being equal. Looking Forward to Dogecoin With Dogecoin getting so much attention on social media and from Elon Musk, we wanted to know what respondents felt the future of the currency was. They told us where they thought the price would go, what they would invest, and how it would compare to Bitcoin. People are placing a premium on Dogecoin's meaning in their life. Instead of investing "just for fun" or even to have a safe, reliable investment, the majority of Dogecoin purchasers see this as their chance to truly "get rich." They evidently have massive faith in the price of Dogecoin to soar, as they intended to get this rich with an average investment of $227. If Dogecoin goes up to $1 by the end of the year, however, which 23% of people thought it will, that $227 investment could be worth quite a lot, as the coin is hovering around a worth of just 5 cents at the time of writing of this article. Even with these high hopes, most people didn't see the coin as taking over Bitcoin's place. Instead, most felt Bitcoin would maintain its dominant stance in the cryptomarket. Buying With Bitcoin and Digital currencies Digital currencies like Bitcoin are supposed to be exactly that: currency, or money with which to buy things. We next asked our respondents which retailers they wish accepted Dogecoin as payment. Most people thought it would be a perk for Amazon to accept Dogecoin as payment. While other stores were considered, 41.1% of respondents said they didn't really want any stores to accept Dogecoin. Evidently, the value often lay elsewhere. When asked, however, to consider what they would do were Amazon to release their own digital currency, the resounding answer was to invest. Sixty-four percent of respondents agreed that they would invest in Amazon's cryptocurrency. Fortunately for this group, Amazon's digital currency appears to be in the works. Trusting in Reddit The conversation around investing today often now leads to discourse about Reddit and memes. The next part of our study asks people what their response was to Reddit hypes and what investments they had chosen because of the platform's information. Similarly to an Elon Musk tweet, a group of Redditors also has the power to run up the price of alt coins (like Doge) when they put their mind (and money) to it. Even though it's highly associated with meme-style investing, the Reddit community's power has certainly been proven this year. It is not at all uncommon for digital investors today to use Reddit to inform their investments as well. Reddit's influence became unignorable with the GameStop phenomenon. The little guys from the internet were finally taking on the big hedge funds on Wall Street – and they were winning. GameStop was still the number one investment people made who took Reddit recommendations. Next was BlackBerry, which 31% of people also invested in because of Reddit. While BlackBerry was one of the biggest winners from the initial GameStop frenzy, this stock didn't have as large of a short interest as GameStop, making it harder to maintain the squeeze. The stock has fallen from $30 to around $9. Even though people were much more likely to invest in Reddit stocks than they were Dogecoin, they were also much more likely to regret the investment. While 48.8% of respondents said they regretted their Reddit-informed stock purchases, only 40% said the same thing about Dogecoin. While most planned to shed their Reddit investments within the next six months, perhaps they had higher hopes for Dogecoin still. Non-Fungible Tokens Chances are the acronym NFT has come across your radar more than once recently. NFT stands for non-fungible token. "Non-fungible" means that it's unique and can't be replaced –unlike Bitcoin, which can be replaced for another Bitcoin. NFTs, like truly one-of-a-kind trading cards, are part of the Ethereum blockchain at their highest level, though some others have implemented their own forms of NFTs. The last part of our study asks respondents to weigh in on this ongoing NFT boom. Just under half of respondents had even heard of Ethereum, though slightly more had heard of NFTs (which derive from Ethereum typically). While nearly a third couldn't provide the definition for NFTs, a whopping 61.7% of respondents planned to invest in them shortly. Women expressed particular interest in the opportunity, with 66.1% planning to invest in 2021. While millennials were most familiar with NFTs, almost a third of baby boomers knew the concept as well. NFTs made mainstream news when Beeple's NFT sold for over $60 million at auction – the most expensive NFT sold … so far. Trading and Trusting Even expert traders will tell you there's no way to predict the stock market. That said, there are certainly signposts and indications along the way. In today's Reddit-influenced and digital-informed markets, some of those signposts may be the communities that have arisen. With micro-investors banning together on such massive scales for the first time, the evidence compiled here from everyday Americans may actually indicate where digital currency trends may go. There's still optimism around Dogecoin and cryptocurrency and less hype around Reddit stocks and meme choices. That said, respondents weren't willing to sell everything just yet. If you're interested in having an investing-style community of your own, GamblersPick is the place for you. People from all over the world who share your interests and excitement are available to weigh in on whatever investments you may be considering. You'll also find news, guides, casino information, and whatever you may need related to money and fun! Head to GamblersPick today to check it out. Methodology This study uses data from a survey of 1,001 respondents familiar with cryptocurrencies located in the U.S. Survey respondents were gathered through the Amazon Mechanical Turk survey platform where they were presented with a series of questions, including attention-check and disqualification questions. 59.3% of respondents identified as men, while 40.7% identified as women. Participants incorrectly answering any attention-check question had their answers disqualified. This study has a 3% margin of error on a 95% confidence interval. 5.9% of respondents were Gen Zers, 60.8% millennials, 22.6% Gen Xers, and 10.7% baby boomers. Please note that survey responses are self-reported and are subject to issues, such as exaggeration, recency bias, and telescoping. Fair Use Statement Feeling the frenzy building in yourself as well? Community and sharing information is all part of it. Feel free to share this article, just be sure your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page.
  4. Wallstreet is one of the most respected trading markets in the world. Thousands of professional investors read the markets and ply their trade daily, often making a fortune in the process. It’s usually unheard of for independent small traders to ever get one-up on these giants of the trade industry. In fact, the pros often refer to these indie investors as ‘’dumb money’’, as they are usually destined to lose against the highly compensated analysts and traders who work the stocks for a living. Any investment can be a risky game, especially when high-risk decisions are made without giving thought to the fact that independent traders may not be as ‘’dumb’’ as everyone thinks. In fact, some share shorting practices have come back to bite prominent hedge funders, resulting in a massive $20 billion loss for Wallstreet. What is Shorting of Stocks? Before starting, it is vital that readers understand what “Shorting Stock” is, as this investment term forms the basis for the entire debacle. When an investor decides to short stocks, it means that they borrow stock from a broker without actually paying for it. They then sell the stock with the gamble that its price will fall. Once the contracted time period is up, they must buy the stock back at the current market price. Quick Fact: Shorting is a risky bet. When buying and selling stocks regularly, you only stand to lose up to 100% of your money. When shorting stocks, you could lose far more, depending on the growth of the stock before you manage to buy it back. Hedge funders will often do this if they feel the stocks will drop. This way they eventually pay the broker a lower price after having already made a profit on the deal. Often, these bets pay off, making the investors millions in the process. You Reddit Here Reddit is a social news platform where users can post news pieces and blog posts about various topics that are close to their hearts. Readers can then upvote or downvote their posts, which will either leave them trending as ‘hot news’ or see the posts dwindle away in a short time. Some Sub-Reddit pages deal specifically with certain industries, such as gaming, politics, and investments. It is on the Sub-Reddit page ‘’WallStreetBets’’ that the story begins to unfold with a series of posts that trended well thanks to popular appeal. The year 2020 and the Coronavirus Pandemic was very hard on businesses. GameStop, a chain video gaming store in the USA, went through really dark times, seeing their stock prices drop significantly. Hedge funders saw this as an opportunity to short their stock, as it seemed like there was no way back for the gaming company. They first borrowed and then sold the stocks at between $4 and $11 a share (which is what they were worth last year) with the aim of buying them back cheaper at a later stage. Traders from WallStreetBets noticed that the GameStop stock was moving and recognised that institutional investors were hedging funds and shorting stock on GameStop shares. Using the voice afforded them by Reddit, they urged their communities and friends to buy up as much stock as they could and gang up on the investors, who they believed, had “too much power in the market”. Quick Fact: WallStreetBets is no small community. They boast a current followership of around 3 million readers and supporters. Well, the plan worked and GameStop’s value grew by an astronomical 2000% in a matter of weeks, leaving the hedgers with the need to pay back massively inflated prices on stocks that were borrowed, resulting in losses of up to $20 billion. The stock price of GameStop rose to over $350 at its peak but has nestled back down to $225 as of the 2nd of February 2021. Curbing the Severity by a Margin As a result of the massively volatile swings in the market, trading houses may halt trading on certain stocks to protect their interests. Exchanges halt trading fairly regularly, often because they are required to have a certain percentage of capital on hand to support public trading on their platforms on any given day. If trades become unexpectantly volatile, they will shut shop on those trades for a few minutes or hours as a way to ‘steady the ship’. Free investment app, Robinhood, came under great backlash when they halted trades on GameStop and various other stocks towards the end of January 2021, due to tapped credit lines. While individual investors accused the exchange of collusion with the corrupt, the company called for compassion and apologised for their need to restrict these trades. Chief Executive of Robinhood, Vlad Tenev said: "We understand our customers are upset, we're doing what we can to re-enable buying in these names. We want to be clear in the communications, and I own that we should have been out there a little bit sooner." The trade halts have annoyed many potential investors and have led to high profile celebrities shaming the exchange publically. Two of their customers have even sued them for damages as a result of the restrictive trading. While Robinhood was not the only exchange to halt trading on GameStop and several other trades, it has received the greatest backlash thanks to its popularity in the market space among smaller traders and independent marketers. It is, however, the market instigators that should be most concerned right now! Reddit Readers Beware The SEC is keeping a close eye on this entire debacle. It is not the exchanges that run the risk of penalty, as much as the Reddit instigators. While there is no official statement by the regulator that they are investigating suspicious behaviour linked to market manipulation, it could raise its ugly head. Quick Fact: Market Manipulation happens when someone tries to create excitement and generate activity in a particular stock for the purpose of luring buyers to purchase shares and drive-up the price. If the SEC regulator sees fit, they could launch an investigation to ascertain whether the new GameStop investors that incited the crowds via social media were involved in a pump-and-dump scheme. Whereby they would have hyped up the community, driven up the prices, and then sold their stocks off the back of a manipulated market for massive gains. An investigation would also have to cover whether false or misleading statements were made to drive up the stock price. If found to be the case, this would result in a fraud charge. Finding a Balance For a long time, professionals in Wall Street have looked down their noses at independent investors. Their derogatory terms ought perhaps to be changed, as the community and its hobby-investors have certainly shown that the mighty can fall and have showcased that not only smaller investors can take “dumb money” bets.
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