Wikipedia and Digital Currencies: Interplay Between Collective Attention and Market Performance

Abeer ElBahrawy, Laura Alessandretti, Andrea Baronchelli

The production and consumption of information about Bitcoin and other digital-, or 'crypto'-, currencies have grown together with their market capitalisation. However, a systematic investigation of the relationship between online attention and market dynamics, across multiple digital currencies, is still lacking. Here, we quantify the interplay between the attention towards digital currencies in Wikipedia and their market performance. We consider the entire edit history of currency-related pages, and their view history from July 2015. First, we quantify the evolution of the cryptocurrency presence in Wikipedia by analysing the editorial activity and the network of co-edited pages. We find that a small community of tightly connected editors is responsible for most of the production of information about cryptocurrencies in Wikipedia. Then, we show that a simple trading strategy informed by Wikipedia views performs better, in terms of returns on investment, than classic baseline strategies for most of the covered period. Our results contribute to the recent literature on the interplay between online information and investment markets, and we anticipate it will be of interest for researchers as well as investors.

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