Financial ratings agency Weiss has just released its much-hyped cryptocurrency review. The eagerly-anticipated report rates 74 of the most popular cryptocurrencies on the market, scoring them from A to D. Such was the level of interest in the report, the company’s website was knocked offline as interest peaked on Wednesday morning. Weiss Ratings include some controversial scores for currencies such as bitcoin and ethereum that are sure to spark debate.
Crypto’s Award Season Arrives
Independent ratings agency Weiss Ratings was onto a winner the moment it announced it would be scrutinizing the cryptocurrency markets. Crypto enthusiasts were intrigued to see what an agency from the realm of traditional finance would make of their topsy-turvy and volatile world, in which meme coins can attain $1 billion market caps and tokens for vaporware projects can soar higher still. Wall Street was also keen to see what Weiss Ratings had to make of the crypto markets, and specifically which coins they would legitimize and which they would shun.
Weiss So Serious
According to Weiss Ratings, bitcoin scores a C+ (“fair”) while ethereum earns a B (“good”), and steem a B-. That’s right: steem scores higher than bitcoin. No cryptocurrency earns the highest possible rating of an A. In a report issued today, the company explained: “A grade of A or B can also be interpreted as the investment rating equivalent of “buy.” At the same time, investors should not be overly alarmed by a C rating.” Electing not to invoke crypto’s most famous meme, they continued: “It is a passing grade, and for investors, implies the equivalent of ‘hold.’” Grades of D and E, are the equivalent of a sell, with the release citing crypto minnows Novacoin and Salus as examples of a D.
Predictably, the few coins that gained the Weiss Ratings seal of approval today have jumped in price, with cardano and neo two of the big winners. Each was awarded a B minus (second only to ethereum and eos) and recorded double digit growth over the past 24 hours. The vast majority of coins on the list including bitcoin (C+) and bitcoin cash (C-) received average scores.
Twas the Night Before Weissmas
The night before cryptocurrency’s Weiss Ratings were published, traders on 4chan’s /biz/ message board speculated over how their anointed coins would fare and debated the extent to which Weiss’ winners would pump off the good news. In advance of Weiss Ratings publishing the data, a number of purportedly leaked copies surfaced on the web. Some were evidently fakes, designed to manipulate market prices, but others were genuine. Depending on which version you read, NEM was either a B++ or a D and IOTA was either a C or a B+.
Rate and Hate
Explaining the thinking behind the ratings system, Dr Martin Weiss told CNBC: “We have built a computer model that looks at cryptocurrencies from many different angles and proves a rational, rigorous and reasoned research that investors need so desperately in this space”.
These criteria include a Risk Index, Reward Index, Technology Index and Fundamentals Index. These categories will be nothing new to crypto traders who’ve been accustomed to assessing coins in this manner for years. They don’t need Weiss Ratings’ ringing endorsement to understand these matters, but are shrewd enough to appreciate that the spotlight this sheds on the chosen cryptocurrencies will do their valuation no harm. “All else being equal, as a cryptocurrency overcomes its individual challenges, it’s likely to be upgraded promptly,” concludes the report.
Weiss Ratings was founded in 1971 and the agency has since gone on to rate more than 55,000 institutions and investments. While the accuracy of its cryptocurrency report is a matter of some debate, its very existence gives greater credibility to crypto assets in the eye of the masses.