The Aftermath of the Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings

On January 24, investment ratings company Weiss Ratings released its ratings of 74 cryptocurrencies. While the list is only available for purchase, it was possible to access it for free under a specific subdomain on the company’s site, which allowed many individuals to download, share, and read the list.

While some individuals were elated to see strong ratings for their personal favorites, many more were infuriated and perplexed by the seemingly unresearched or even random grades given. Ethereum and EOS topped the ratings, each receiving a solid B, while Bitcoin was assigned an unimpressive C+.

Founded in 1971, Weiss Ratings has been a respected provider of investment ratings for decades. However, the reputation of the company seems to have diminished rapidly since its peak in the 1990s. Following a 2009 SEC settlement, Weiss Ratings has become, in the eyes of many, a service of questionable merit and legitimacy.

Unfortunately, the cryptocurrency ratings provided by the company are being similarly questioned. Many people are furious that Bitcoin received a lower grade than the B- assigned to Cardano, whose value is almost entirely derived from its whitepaper and team. Even more are enraged that established and respected projects like Counterparty, Monero, Stellar, and Lisk received the same solid C grade as meme coin Dogecoin and vaporware Verge.

Despite the inconsistencies in the report, some investors seem to have placed trades according to the ratings. Steem, which enjoyed a B- rating (and one of just five coins rated above a C+) saw an instant pump of over 30%, rising from US$4.30 to US$5.90. The coin has since continued to appreciate, and currently sits just below US$6.30.

No coin received a B+ or higher, and none were pegged with a D- or lower. Of the 74 coins listed, only 20 did not receive a letter grade of a C, with 5 coins seeing a B, and 15 ending up with a D. The letter grades range from A to E, with each letter corresponding to the “strength” of investment, from excellent (A) to very weak (E).

Perhaps the most unfair rating was assigned to GameCredits, whose atrocious D+ compares the coin to massive pump-and-dump Einsteinium, which received the same grade. Fortunately for GameCredits supporters, the poor rating did not seem to have any meaningful effect on its price. In fact, the coin has recently surged, and has even appreciated over 20% since the ratings went live.

While it was insulting that a project like GameCredits, which has four years of active development, a team of over 100 members, and heavyweight partnerships with industry leaders like Unity, received such an awful grade, supporters of the project appear largely unfazed.

While these ratings did not appear to have a major effect on the majority of coins listed, this event does have larger implications. The role of institutional investors has been a hot topic since more and more entities have entered the fray. If these ratings reflect the capability of institutional traders in the world of blockchain, then traditional investment experience plays a minute role in the ability of a cryptocurrency trader.