The Butterfly “Affect”: impact of development practices on cryptocurrency prices
Imperial College Business School, London, UK
2 Brunel University London, London, UK
3 DIEE, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
4 DMI, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
5 UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies, London, UK
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 13 July 2020
Published online: 23 July 2020
The network of developers in distributed ledgers and blockchains open source projects is essential to maintaining the platform: understanding the structure of their exchanges, analysing their activity and its quality (e.g. issues resolution times, politeness in comments) is important to determine how “healthy” and efficient a project is. The quality of a project affects the trust in the platform, and therefore the value of the digital tokens exchanged over it.
In this paper, we investigate whether developers’ emotions can effectively provide insights that can improve the prediction of the price of tokens. We consider developers’ comments and activity for two major blockchain projects, namely Ethereum and Bitcoin, extracted from Github. We measure sentiment and emotions (joy, love, anger, etc.) of the developers’ comments over time, and test the corresponding time series (i.e. the affect time series) for correlations and causality with the Bitcoin/Ethereum time series of prices. Our analysis shows the existence of a Granger-causality between the time series of developers’ emotions and Bitcoin/Ethereum price. Moreover, using an artificial recurrent neural network (LSTM), we can show that the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE)—associated with the prediction of the prices of cryptocurrencies—significantly decreases when including the affect time series.
Key words: Blockchain / Open source software development / Data mining
© The Author(s), 2020