CryptoWatch: People are buying bitcoin — because their horoscope said so

The stars are aligning for big gains in bitcoin, astrologers claim, and some investors are actually following that out-of-this-world advice.

When Chicago-based investor Marcus Thomas first heard about cryptocurrency in 2017, he was skeptical. “I couldn’t understand how something digital could have any value like the dollar, gold or silver,” he said.

But he has since invested more than $11,000 in cryptocurrencies — in part because astrologers said it was a good idea. People who track the zodiac say the movement of the planet Uranus — which represents revolution and change — from Aries into Taurus this week is a good sign for cryptocurrencies. Thomas and starry-eyed others say they’re moving money into crypto to get in on the potential action.

Astrology, which holds that the position of planets rules our destinies, is of course not based on science. But to some, it sheds just as much light on how to invest in the unpredictable cryptocurrency sector as any market forecast for the notoriously erratic currency could. Many crypto investors are novices who are known to make decisions based on Reddit threads and gut instinct. So perhaps, it’s not such a surprise that something as contentious as horoscopes and something as risky as crypto would go hand-in-hand.

Thomas first started to buy into astrology during the 2008 financial crisis, when many horoscopes he read seemed to predict financial and social shifts. Uranus shifts every seven years, and its last shift into Aries (a sign known for individuality and activism) coincided with social movements like the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and Black Lives Matter — proof to him that there was a correlation. With a move into Taurus, which represents finances and resources, Uranus is marking a new era for crypto, he believes.

“I knew then that astrology may not be an exact science but it has the ability to predict trends by casting a big net focusing on certain themes in present day,” he said. “Uranus in Taurus — until 2026 [represents] revolutionary innovations in areas of finance, climate, banking, farming and other earth-related things.”

Ex-NFL football player Ricky Williams made headlines earlier this month for the same reason: he bought cryptocurrencies because, he says, Uranus moving into Taurus means a financial shake-up is on the horizon. Raki Brown, a London-based cryptocurrency trader, said he invests based on significant zodiac changes as well as moves in his own chart.

“My dad studied astrology and I’ve been learning about for roughly 20 years, working on my own theory behind why it works,” he said. “Astrology to me is like alchemy was before it became chemistry due to the scientific method being applied.”

Raymond Merriman, president of Arizona-based Merriman Market Analyst — which bases market timing services for independent traders on astrological and other factors — said he expects bitcoin BTCUSD, -1.42%   to fall to a new low before March 6, 2019, because Uranus will bounce back into Aries later this year before moving fully into Taurus on March 6. He told his clients they should not buy bitcoin unless it drops below 77% of its high of nearly $20,000 in December 2017. Bitcoin was worth $8,200 when this story was published, but Merriman expects it to drop to between $4,400 and $1,300 based astrology alone.

“In the next few years, there are going to be major changes in currency valuations and leadership, and new forms of currency,” he told MarketWatch.

Merriman believes planetary movements have predicted previous financial shifts in the past, noting that the last time Uranus was in Taurus coincided with the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement, which tied the dollar to the price of gold. During the dot-com boom of the late 90s and early 2000s, Uranus was in Aquarius — a sign of “new ideas and machines.” From 2003 to 2010, Uranus was in Pisces, bringing with it a boom in the oil industry, according to Merriman.

The astrologer-investor said he recognizes many people are skeptical of zodiac-inspired investments. But he said more traders rely on astrology to invest than many people realize. He estimated 20% of investors at large make decisions based on horoscopes — a figure based on his own hunches about human nature rather than a formal survey. More than half of young adults believe astrology is a science. Merriman himself has more than 1,000 clients and has been in the business for more than 40 years.

“It doesn’t worry me that this is one of the best-kept secrets at this time,” he said. “If you look at correlation of planetary cycles with human activity, you’d be amazed.”

Annabel Gat, an International Society for Astrological Research-certified astrologer who writes for VICE media women’s website Broadly, recently encouraged readers to explore cryptocurrencies as Uranus moves into Taurus this week.

“Uranus is the planet of innovation, invention, change and technology,” she said. “Whenever it does something big in the sky like change signs, we know something exciting and unexpected is about to happen.”

Gat did not go as far as suggesting people actually invest in cryptocurrencies. In fact, most astrologers don’t. Founders of popular astrology app Co-star told MarketWatch they shy away from any kind of financial advice because it can have major effects on people’s lives. Still, Gat noted, it’s a good a time as ever to learn more about cryptocurrencies.

“Understanding and getting acquainted with cryptocurrency is great to do right now, because over the next seven years or so a lot is going to change,” she said.

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