Halvening skeptics are (quickly) taking over. Good for BTC?

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May 5, 2020


  • Our social media data suggests an increasingly bearish outlook on the pre-halvening price action. We break down the emerging narratives below.
  • Assets covered: Bitcoin
  • Metrics used: Social trends, Social sentiment, Social data feed

Everyone and their crypto-leaning mother seem to have a theory about the upcoming BTC halvening.

The event has brought bulls, bears and all other financial critters out of the woodwork, weighing in on what is - depending on who you ask - setting up to be the most important episode in Bitcoin’s history, or one very unremarkable Tuesday.

So exactly a week removed from the halvening, i say it’s high time we fire up our social listening tools and eavesdrop a bit on the ongoing halvening debate.

Who’s winning? Lambo bulls? FUD crowd? Let’s find out!

First stop - our Social Trends tool, which calculates the amount of mentions of any word (or words) on crypto-specific social media. Here are the results for the mentions of ‘halving’ or ‘halvening’ over the last 3 months:

Amount of 'halvening' or 'halving' mentions on crypto social media, last 3 months (Source: Sanbase)

So far, the halvening mentions spiked 4 different times over the last 90 days:

  1. 1. During Black Thursday (along with mentions of ‘buy’, ‘bounceback’, and a bunch of other bullish keywords)

  1. 2.The first time BTC broke $7000 after the crash. Presumably lots of “this is it! halvening pump is starting!”. Unsurprisingly, BTC fell back below $7k soon after.

  1. 3. Right as BTC was approaching $9k. Once again, it was the same script: bullish sentiment was overflowing, moonboys were out in full force. Similar to last time, BTC has remained in consolidation mode ever since.

  1. 4. Today!

Yes - the halvening is the talk of the town once again. Only this time, the mood feels...different. Let’s explore.

Next stop, our social sentiment metrics, which monitor the amount of positive vs negative mentions of all coins in our database.

The Bitcoin-related sentiment was sky-high on most social media channels in last week’s run up to $9k. Since then, however, we’ve seen the mood cooling down.

This is most visible on Telegram, which recorded a 3-month high in bullish BTC sentiment during last week, only to decline dramatically since the move above $9k:

Bitcoin-related sentiment on Telegram, last year (Source: Santiment)

The telegram crowd seems to highly object to the size/speed of BTC’s last push up, and is now quickly approaching neutral, even bearish moods.

The same pattern repeats, for the most part, on other social channels we track. As you can see below, major crypto subreddits have been growing increasingly confident in Bitcoin ever since Black Thursday.

That all changed in the past week, however, as the crowd seems to have made a complete 180 and is now firmly in the ‘ambivalent’ territory.

Bitcoin-related sentiment on Telegram, last year (Source: Santiment)

Finally, it was crypto Twitter that recorded the largest spike in positive Bitcoin-related sentiment over the last month, but even here we’re seeing a steady decline in the bullish overtones ever since the $9k pump:

Bitcoin-related sentiment on Telegram, last year (Source: Santiment)

In a word, our sentiment algorithm suggests that the crowd is turning increasingly sheepish about the upcoming halvening, and Bitcoin’s short-term PA.

But these are all lines on the chart. How about analyzing some real-time halvening discussions?

Final step, our Social Data Feed, which lets you muse over the actual messages that Santiment has collected from over 1000 social media channels.

So let’s check on some of the recent ‘halvening’ mentions picked up by our system:

A small snippet of our Social Data Feed for mentions of 'halvening' (Source: Sandata)

As you might expect, we’ve recorded hundreds of new comments and messages mentioning ‘halvening’ and ‘halving’ in the last 24 hours alone.

I read all of them. Here’s what I learned:

1. The crowd appears deeply divided on the impact of the halvening, its size and direction.

While there’s still a lot of overzealous moon calls, they’re now being watered down with references to halvening as a whale trap, ‘fools gold’ and even ‘fake news’.

“So much hype about halvening....only the whales marketing this”, one message reads. Another commenter laments those that stocked up on BTC in the run up to the event:

”Imagine all the fools who bought just to get dumped on because of muh halvening”

Here’s a quick table I made outlining some of the comments showing bearish, ambivalent and bullish moods among the social crowd:

At this point, I’d say the bears are just inching out the bulls. But the momentum definitely feels on the side of the bears: a lot of people seem to think we’re headed for a correction pre-halvening.

2. Halvening predictions are becoming more and more ‘meta’

While some are just now sharing their feelings on the halvening, an increasing number of comments is already betting against the ‘established’ crowd consensus.

The trouble is - not everyone agrees on what that ‘consensus’ is:

“I think consensus is that correction will be post halvening. So opposite to that could be correction now and bull post halvening”

Others, however, are reading the crowd differently:

“I'm playing with the following thoughts”, says one comment. ”The crowd consensus is "correction before the halvening and eventually mooning thereafter" - as we know, crowd is always wrong - that means that the sequence of events will be different “

In a similar vein, another user predicts the complete opposite of the dominant pre- and post-halvening moods:

“The most common sentiment I see lately is either very bullish for halvening, or a surefire dump after halvening… me thinks a decent dump happens here before halvening, and then a rally days before.“

And it just gets more and more meta from there. For example, the fact that the above person feels this way is prompting the below person to expect the exact opposite:

“Literally the only reason I'm expecting we will not dump on the halving is because that is what most people seem to believe we will do“

In conclusion, we’re seeing a new wave of ‘halvening’ chatter within a crypto community - this time, painted with a much somber mood. Much of the crowd is now sensing an imminent correction, which is prompting some ‘crowd whisperers’ to expect an imminent pump instead.

This, paired with the fact that all of the previous spikes in ‘halvening’ talks earmarked major shifts in Bitcoin’s price action, suggests that we may well be headed for some major Bitcoin volatility in the next 7 days. Fun times!

Where do you think we’re headed pre-halvening? Let me know

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May 5, 2020

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