LunarCRUSH CEO Joe Vezzani Discusses Crypto’s Data Deficit and Finding Truth in Blockchain
Joe Vezzani understands how data move markets. The LunarCRUSH CEO sat down with us to talk about everything from the difference between the quantitative and qualitative value in cryptocurrency research, to the tandem nature of ML and AI in data sets.
Question: You’re a platform that covers cryptocurrency using machine learning and AI. Have you ever thought about using blockchain, and how blockchain would interact with the AI and ML you already have in your tech stack? Do you ever get criticism for not using a blockchain?
We have modeled scenarios in which a blockchain makes sense for our business. We believe the flight to unsustained blockchain models is the cause of what we saw happen in 2018. This was a healthy and needed cycle, more people learned about the decentralized economy in that time than any other time in history. However, we recommend utilizing blockchain when it is the “right” application. We saw a gap in transparency at-scale and thus LunarCRUSH was created.
The combination of blockchain, AI, ML is seamless in our roadmap. There is no better way to organize and find pattern recognition in massive data sets than through ML. But you have to remember it’s all about training. As we design the future of LunarCRUSH, we will be creatively combining these technologies through social at scale.
We have never received criticism for not using blockchain, if anything, the pure community applauded our decision.
Question: What data metric on your platform is most unique to LunarCRUSH? Why is that particular metric so important?
It is a close tie between our Galaxy Score™ and LunarCRUSH ALTrank™. If I had to choose over the last month, ALTrank has been our most unique metric. During a period where Bitcoin has moved sharply down from $10k levels to $8k levels, ALTrank cast light on projects like $LINK, who have ranked high. At the time of writing, it is ranked #2 on our platform. ALTrank combines an altcoins’ performance against Bitcoin along with our social indicators allowing projects with consistent community building which implies long-term value.
Question: Does the cryptocurrency industry do a good job with research? Why or why not?
Crypto-research is hard, in a budding market where too many folks were claiming to be experts, people end up tracking what’s in their Twitter feed or Reddit channels. And how could they possibly understand what is happening when there are over 3,000 posts an hour on Bitcoin alone.
Short answer: it’s getting better.
The crypto-winter of 2018 was a needed event to flush out folks who were not seriously passionate about dedicating their career towards building a decentralized economy. This has allowed the emergence of companies who are diving into research head first and going deeper than surface level. Like any other industry we have the typical narrative’s across the market led by some of our louder and important voices at the tip of the spear like CZ, Novo, Pomp, Muneeb/Ryan and Travis.
Then you have the folks who are laying the groundwork for the important work below the fold. Companies like Delphi Digital creating long-form content are ultra important to create transparency and confidence to move institutions from interest to acceptance.
I’m bullish on research. Which is going to be vital. We speak with some of the world’s largest funds who are still apprehensive. We need the mid-sized funds to lead us to the next level up. Right now the crypto market is simply too small for major players. There are funds that want to place $5B bets long on Bitcoin, but they cannot make that move today.
Question: Is qualitative or quantitative insight more important in cryptocurrency? How do the two types of insight work together on your platform?
Absolutely both. Psychology and emotion have and will always play a major role in capital markets. The combination of crypto being a decentralized, global market that runs 24/7, our ability to say what we want to the world through social media channels and chat platforms, Youtube and Blogs, along with the advances in machine learning and AI – the data is organized so that qualitative insights at scale are finally able to be accessed.
An example of both on LunarCRUSH would be to look at the recent dip in Bitcoin from $10k levels to $8k levels. Quantitatively we saw a huge dip in social activity from September 14-22. Typical Bitcoin mentions in a day are in the 30k-50k range. We saw major outliers on the low side. In the 9/14 – 9/22 time period we never saw over 20k mentions a day, with mentions falling as low as 12k a day. From a qualitative side, the LunarCRUSH Galaxy Score for Bitcoin fell from 78 on 9/12 down to 41 on 9/16. The Galaxy Score is combining the social volume with sentiment analysis. Bearish sentiment drags down our scores. Meaning we had a combination of quantitatively low volumes along with qualitatively bearish sentiment. Brings those together and it’s fuel for large investors to take a break, and possibly trigger a 20% pullback.
Question: How has being a GHV portfolio company helped your development?
Working with GHV has been a delight. They have a vast network within the blockchain and crypto industry, and for start-up companies like ours, it’s been massively helpful to tap into that. We’ve accelerated our growth and made smarter strategic decisions on our approach to building a long term business to serve the crypto industry as a whole. At the end of the day, you want to build your company with people who are equally as passionate as you are, have built companies from scratch before, and who are kind and gracious. Josef, Alon, and Drew possess all of these qualities in spades.
Question: What’s next for LC as a company? How do you foresee it growing in the next year?
Our stated mission is to find truth and share it. In today’s world, truth can be elusive. For the decentralized economy and it’s long-term sustainability, our focus as a company continues to be on surfacing important projects creating new protocols that are solving major problems in today’s world, and to share those with the community quickly and truthfully. This emerges from a business perspective as we see a gap in the next leg up to institutional asset managers. Our growth comes at the heels of the industry and we are focused on providing for mid to large sized funds, cryptocurrency exchanges, and retail investors.For more information about LunarCRUSH, check out the website or follow the team’s progress on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.