Introducing The Sentieo Crypto Tracker: Follow Cryptocurrency News and Stay Updated on Your Investments

Nine months ago, in the early days of what has been an incredibly volatile presidential administration, we put out the Trump Tracker to keep track of what companies were saying about President Trump. Today, as the world goes crazy for cryptocurrencies, the Sentieo team is excited to introduce the Crypto Tracker. It’s a bot that constantly scans new public financial documents for mentions of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. These documents include all SEC filings, earnings call transcripts, investor presentations, press releases, and more. The bot instantly surfaces new mentions of cryptocurrency as soon as they’re published, while intelligent queries automatically sort them into topics like bitcoin, ripple, ethereum, ICOs and more.

Anyone interested in following the cryptocurrency impact on public companies can engage with the Crypto Tracker by checking the dedicated website, following the @cryptotrackerbot Twitter account, or signing up for a daily email alert on the site.

Is Cryptocurrency Just a Bubble?

Some experts believe in the truly disruptive power of cryptocurrency, including MIT researchers who argued earlier this year in a Harvard Business Review article that “[blockchain] will do to the banking system what the Internet did to media.” However, other prominent financial leaders have called bitcoin a “bubble”, including Ray Dalio (who runs the largest hedge fund in the world), Jamie Dimon (who runs the largest bank in the US), Warren Buffett (the fourth richest person in the world), and Robert Shiller (Nobel-prize winning economist).

The Crypto Boom

We’ve been keeping our eye on cryptocurrency using our research platform, Sentieo. For example, we used Sentieo Document Search to search mentions of cryptocurrency and its synonyms across earnings call transcripts and press releases over the last two years. Then we used Plotter to quickly graph these mentions so we could easily see trends. Mentions have steadily increased over time, with a huge spike during the week of November 27th, when Bitcoin’s value reached a high of $9,721 and was worth more than seven times an ounce of gold. Since then, it has been a crazy ride, and companies continue to talk about cryptocurrency in filings, transcripts, and press releases.

Sentieo - Plotter crypto mentions

The Crypto Leaders

The cryptocurrency leaders are constantly changing, with the top 5 or so surpassing and falling behind each other depending on the day.

Bitcoin is likely the most well-known cryptocurrency, released first as an open-source software in 2009 by an unknown person (or group of people) with the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoins can be used to make purchases anonymously. They are not tied to any country, nor subject to regulation, making international payments with Bitcoin simple to execute and inexpensive.

LiteCoin describes itself as a peer-to-peer Internet currency that enables instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world. It is an open source, global payment network that is fully decentralized without any central authorities. It was also released as an open source software in 2011 by former Google employee, Charlie Lee.

Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference. These apps run on a custom built blockchain, a shared global infrastructure that can move value around and represent the ownership of property. Ethereum was initially proposed in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin.

We used Sentieo to graph the price increases of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and a fourth currency called Ripple over the past year. Towards the end of November and into December, each currency spikes so rapidly the graph is hard to read. Cryptocurrencies are growing so fast that “exponential” doesn’t even appropriately describe the growth rate.

crypto prices

We also used Sentieo Mosaic to look at the popularity of Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum over the past year as expressed by Twitter Mentions and Google Search trends. This graph also becomes unusable toward December due to rapid growth, but Sentieo users can drill in further to find correlations between these trends and crypto prices. 

Sentieo Plotter twitter google crypto

We’ll be continuing to get updates from the Crypto Tracker through the end of the year and 2018, to see if crypto is just a bubble — and if so, when it will burst.


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Netflix to Ramp Up Original Content as Disney Buys Fox for $52.4 Billion

CCO of Netflix Ted Sarandos

Ted Sarandos, (Netflix’s Chief Content Officer), had his annual chat at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference last Tuesday, touching on a number of items, including: the recent success of the Netflix original show “Stranger Things,” Netflix’s continued international expansion, and the impact of licensed content partnerships. We used Sentieo to analyze the transcript and chart Netflix’s viewership trends.

We ran a sentiment analysis of Sarandos’ transcripts at this conference over the past few years (see below). The analysis indicates continued optimism this year, at a similar level to that of last year.

Transcript Sentiment for NFLX

We then cross-checked management sentiment with Sentieo Mosaic data to see how Q4 is progressing for Netflix. In the chart below, see that YoY data for Netflix’s Google Trends (green), Alexa Website Visits (red), and Twitter Mentions (light blue) have led to major inflections in Global Subscriber Growth (purple). Analysts expect Q4 subscription growth of 22.6%, a significant deceleration from Q3’s 25.9% level. The data here looks bullish: notice that Google, Alexa, and Twitter data are suggesting a continuation of current growth rates while consensus expects a big deceleration for subscriber growth.

Netflix subscribers

So what’s driving this? For starters, “Mindhunter” and “Stranger Things 2” were both released in early Q4. The chart below shows that Season 2 of “Stranger Things” was a breakaway success, with its Twitter Mentions handily eclipsing those of Season 1 as well as all historical releases of other popular shows “House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black,” and “Narcos.”

netflix stranger things

Sarandos confirmed this success in his comments at the UBS conference, where he highlighted the show’s popularity as “one of the biggest entertainment phenomena on the planet.”

Netflix CCO

Notice Sarnados’ emphasis on the global nature of Netflix’s original content hits. When overlaying the “Stranger Things” Twitter data (orange) against Netflix Google Trends data in the United States (blue) and Google Trends international (green,) you see that the impact to the US was significantly larger and that the needle barely moved for international.

netflix viewers

This goes to show that localized, original language content is the key to continued international penetration. Sarandos mentioned Spanish-speaking countries nine times during the call and was particularly excited about the show “Ingobernable.”

netflix COO

The data corroborates the “Ingobernale” Season 1 release, which yielded a significant jump in Google Trends data in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and others. Previous releases of “Narcos” have had a similar effect.

netflix content

Most of Sarandos’ commentary was around original content, and he even set a 2019 target of a 50-50 mix between original and licensed. There has also been plenty of discussion on Disney’s termination of their Netflix partnership agreement and planned launch of their own streaming service — especially with this week’s purchase of FOX assets. However, one of Sarandos’ quotes stood out on his distinction between some of that older television and movie content as not necessarily being a decisive draw to or away from Netflix:

netflix COO

Sarandos is clearly pre-empting the risk of DIS+FOX, indicating that the most frequently viewed series are what really drive performance.

Netflix is looking towards a future of more original content, based off its wild success of “Stranger Things” and other original shows. The service is also expanding its horizons beyond the U.S. with a focus on localized, multiple language shows. While Sarandos seemed to shrug off any concern about the merger and the potential lack of older content that it currently receives from its partnership with Disney (DIS), we think the greatest concern is that the company’s next slate of original content doesn’t match up to the last batch. If Sarandos fails to continually “reinforce the excitement of it”, Netflix could cede its massive gains over the past few years. It remains to be seen whether Disney’s acquisition of Fox poses a real threat with a new streaming service competitor to Netflix.

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