Welcome to the special 100th edition of BCG Chainmail.
To "celebrate" the occasion:
Our inaugural edition of curated links went out on April 22nd, 2016. Since then, our weekly newsletter has been opened an average of 504 times per week, with an average of 76 articles per week clicked.
Using natural language processing, we parsed 958 articles, consisting of 1,072,238 words, to look for trends and insights from this specific, curated body of content.
1) Bank Mentions
The first question we asked was, what was the most actively mentioned bank out of the article set?
The data is below, with JP Morgan being the most frequently mentioned bank. Their Quorum project, led by Amber Baldet, has received a good deal of coverage over the years (of note, there was speculation last month that they may be spinning off the project):
2) Bank Sentiment
Are bank efforts related to blockchain being covered positively or negatively?
Using sentiment analysis, we looked at sentiment scores related to bank mentions. The scores range from -1 to +1, with +1 being the highest possible positive score (note: as most bank mentions are generally favorable, all the average sentiment scores were above 0).
The bank that appeared to be covered the most favorably was BNP Paribas. Santander saw the biggest increase in positive sentiment from 2016 to 2018, while JP Morgan saw the only negative change in sentiment (admittedly it was from a very high 2016 score).
3) Pilot Programs and Proof-of-Concepts
Industry analysts are regularly seeking out concrete product releases using blockchain technologies. We tracked down mentions of pilot programs and Proof of Concepts (PoCs) being launched by banks.
JP Morgan was the the most active bank in this regard. However, when looking at instances of pilot programs against overall mentions, Santander had the highest ratio, meaning articles about Santander were more likely to be about pilot programs and products (versus hiring, consortium, and other news) than any other bank.
4) People / Influencer Mentions
There have been a number of strong personalities in the blockchain news, and the frequency data was fairly predictable.
A few fun notes related to the blockchain influencers:
There was a spike of interest on Satoshi Nakomoto right around our launch, while the "is Craig Wright the real Satoshi?" speculation was at its peak. A piece to save for your archives was this London Review of Books longread, The Satoshi Affair, which, clocking in at 35,612 words, is also the longest article to appear in a Chainmail. (*note: mentions of Satoshi from this article were removed from totals to normalize data)
Finally, the influential blockchain thinker Naval Ravikant first appeared in a Chainmail on June 29th, 2017 with this incredible 36 tweet series.
5) Policymaker Mentions
Central banks and regulators have been key players in the evolution of the blockchain industry. Out of a number of global leaders, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was the most frequently mentioned policymaking entity in Chainmail.
As issues like ICO regulation and taxation came to the forefront, we saw a major uptick in mentions in the Fall of 2017.
Therehas been a generally optimistic tone coloring blockchain articles during the life of Chainmail, but we were genuinely surprised to see a steadily increasing positive sentiment score across all articles through late 2017.
We've plotted the sentiment graph against the price of ETH, and will let our readers know if we are one day accepting money for a Chainmail-backtested crypto-hedge fund
User Click Data
NLP and Sentiment Analysis aside, some of the most interesting data is simply from which articles Chainmail readers clicked on.
"If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late." - Reid Hoffman
A special thank you to our readers for continuing to open this newsletter even after the painful writing and design that were part of our inaugural edition!
About this Newsletter:
This newsletter is curated and edited for Time Inc. International by The Edge Group - a data-driven news curation service that helps thousands of executives create fully personalized newsfeeds to keep them informed in a professional capacity.
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