MILLIONS of Brits have jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon in recent years – but when is the right time to buy and sell?
According to Maren Altman, the answers could be written in the stars.
The 23-year-old uses astrology to inform her cryptocurrency trades and has been wildly successful.
And she now boasts over a million followers on TikTok who can’t get enough of her celestial takes.
Around 2.3million Brits own cryptoassets like Bitcoin, according to Financial Conduct Authority figures.
But with millions more buying into the tech around the world every year, countless influencers like Maren have built huge followings giving tips to investors.
But not everyone is convinced by her methods – Maren says some people treat her like she’s an “evil mastermind” and “capitalist cancer” profiting off an ancient spiritual system.
“I get way too much credit,” Maren tells Fabulous. “I just trade magic Internet beans and speak to myself.”
The way Maren uses astrology to divine Bitcoin’s fate works in almost the same way it would for a person.
Astrology charts the position of the planets at the time of a person’s birth and then compares that chart with where the celestial bodies are now, or where they’ll be at a future point in time.
Maren says the same principle of working can be applied to “anything that’s ever started” – which could be a company, a trip, or a cryptocurrency.
So when the first block of Bitcoin was mined on 3 January, 2009, astrologers can use that as the cryptocurrency’s “birthday”, and make readings accordingly.
Although Maren says she only started dabbling in crpyot investments 18 months ago, astrology had been a hobby of hers for years.
“I pretty much grew up alongside astrology,” Maren says. “I found it as a really young kid learning how to read. It was in the newspapers and I just grew up with it.”
She started making astrology videos on TikTok last year and, according to Maren, she gained a million followers in six months.
Maren gained notoriety for correctly predicting that Joe Biden would win the US election.
And now her videos on crypto have racked up hundreds of thousands of views too.
“That interest just blew up and alongside TikTok, it provided a great case study to put my money where my mouth was and actually see that I could profit and live off of that.”
How much profit has she made?
Maren has previously said that she makes a five-figure monthly income through her investments and side hustles but the number can “vary wildly”.
She’s not sure exactly how much she’s made from crypto investing specifically, but she estimates her portfolio is now worth 15 times more than what she started with.
It might sound mad, but traders have been looking to the heavens for market tips for decades.
Financial astrology has even been treated seriously by some major banks.
The Royal Bank of Scotland published a study in 2010 which found that trading according to lunar cycles could make a substantial difference to the amount an investor could make.
It found that if you’d put £1,000 into the S&P 500 – an American stock market index – in 1928 and left it until 2010, you’d have £63,846.
But if you’d followed a “proposed moon trading strategy” for the same period, the report claimed you’d have ended up with £1,502,689.
The strategy involved buying stocks on the new moon – when the moon is darkest – and then selling around two weeks later on the full moon.
Now Maren is following a similar strategy with buying and selling cryptocurrencies, and she says she’s not alone.
“There’s legitimately trading desks and traders that – they don’t even hide it, they just don’t have the opportunity to share – they’re using the same moon phase indicators that I do, and they see that correlation,” she says.
Maren says buying and selling alongside the moon has been her “most profitable trading strategy so far”.
Dr Ross Thompson, an accountancy and finance lecturer at Arden University, says technical analysts have been trying to predict the stock market for decades.
“Cryptocurrency movements are even more difficult to predict given their tremendous volatility and traders are scrambling around looking for methods and techniques to base their trading strategies on,” Dr Thompson tells The Sun.
“Not surprising then that some are looking at astrological cycles. I am not aware of any large-scale academic studies that have confirmed the accuracy of astrology in financial markets though.
“But there again, there is little to support the long-term effectiveness of technical analysis either.”
‘Is this a joke?’
Amassing legions of followers in a short space of time does come with some downsides.
“It’s not really crypto people, but there’s spiritual crazies out there who do physically come after you,” Maren says.
“I’m still adjusting. I’m a pretty serious person, but I can’t say that I have the thickest skin. I’m still working with professionals that can help my mindset around that.”
Even online, trolls delight in poking fun at Maren’s methods – one of the top comments on a crypto astrology video she uploaded in June read simply: “Is this a joke?”
“No one asks me in person: ‘Is this a joke?’” Maren says. “I’ve met a lot of pretty prominent people in the crypto space. They’re all very respectful.
“They’re sceptical on the level that they just don’t know how my process works. But it doesn’t take very long after hearing me speaking my opinions to see that this isn’t satire or a joke.”
And Maren has had even more blowback from the astrology community, particularly those who perceive her as using astrology for profit.
“I’ll see the quote tweets being like: ‘Oh my god! This capitalist cancer, you’re using astrology for this?!’” she says.
“I’d say that, given the way that I look and my pretty serious execution, it can be difficult to be charitable.”
But as Maren’s profits keeps ticking up, she’s not worried about the naysayers or those who don’t take financial astrology seriously.
“I think the main reason that people do get into astrology is the personality quiz aspect. You think it’s fun, you might not take it super seriously,” Maren says.
“But when you actually start studying it, there’s a lot of depth to it.”