Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index Explained

What if there was a way to know the collective sentiment of investors in the cryptocurrency market? This will be especially helpful in a market as volatile as the cryptocurrency markets. This is where a Bitcoin fear and greed index indicator comes in. It is an indicator that tracks several metrics in the Bitcoin market to determine what the overall sentiment is. In today’s article, we will take a look at what exactly the Bitcoin fear and greed index is and how it can help cryptocurrency investors navigate the uncertainty of the highly volatile cryptocurrency markets.

Disclaimer: We want to emphasize that this is not financial advice. Cryptocurrencies operate in a volatile market, where values can drastically fluctuate in a blink of an eye. It is imperative to conduct thorough research and seek guidance from a qualified financial advisor before investing.

Table Of Contents
    Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index

    Fomo and Fud

    In the dynamic realm of the cryptocurrency market, two predominant driving forces wield significant influence over coin prices—fear and greed. These psychological factors underpin the market's behavior, molding investor decisions and shaping price trajectories. Fear and greed manifest in distinct ways, giving rise to the terms "FOMO" and "FUD," each encapsulating a unique facet of market sentiment.

    FOMO, an acronym for "Fear Of Missing Out," characterizes a market phenomenon that transpires when the value of a cryptocurrency surges upward. During such periods, optimism runs high, and investors eagerly plunge into the market with the belief that the upward trajectory will persist. The prevailing sentiment is one of confidence in the prevailing trend, leading to a collective rush to invest and capitalize on potential gains. This fervor emanates from a pervasive apprehension of missing out on the opportunity at hand.

    Conversely, FUD, which stands for "Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt," materializes when cryptocurrency prices plummet. In these instances, investors grapple with a sense of panic, driven by the fear of losing the value they've invested in their crypto holdings. The resulting anxiety prompts a surge in sell-offs as individuals seek to mitigate potential losses. This mass selling exacerbates the decline in prices, instigating a cycle of uncertainty. During times of FUD, skepticism pervades the market, casting doubt on the potential for price recovery. This skepticism is often exacerbated by the appearance of skeptics and naysayers who amplify the aura of doubt, amplifying the selling pressure.

    In essence, the interplay between FOMO and FUD characterizes the intricate dance of investor psychology in the cryptocurrency market, orchestrating shifts in sentiment that influence price movements. Whether propelled by the allure of potential gains or the apprehension of losses, these emotional drivers underscore the volatility and dynamism inherent to the world of digital assets.

    Bitcoin as the Cryptocurrency Gold Standard

    In historical financial systems, the value of government-issued currencies was intricately tied to their respective gold reserves, establishing what was known as the gold standard. This arrangement meant that a nation's currency held value based on the quantity of gold coins and bars held in its reserves. A government with substantial gold reserves possessed a currency of greater value, while those with fewer reserves had a currency of lesser value. This system provided stability and a tangible benchmark for evaluating the worth of fiat currencies. However, modern economic paradigms have moved beyond the gold standard, and the value of fiat currencies is now determined by a complex interplay of factors within a government's domain of control.

    Interestingly, a similar parallel can be drawn in the realm of cryptocurrency markets. Bitcoin, the pioneer and flag-bearer of the crypto landscape, has assumed a role analogous to the gold standard of yesteryears. Just as gold once served as the underpinning for determining the value of traditional currencies, Bitcoin's price dynamics now wield a significant influence over the valuation of other cryptocurrencies. When the value of Bitcoin experiences an upswing, this trend often cascades to other cryptocurrencies, leading them to follow suit. Conversely, a dip in Bitcoin's price tends to have a ripple effect, causing a downward trajectory in the broader cryptocurrency market.

    While Bitcoin lacks the stable value characteristic of gold, its towering prominence and widespread recognition within the market ecosystem distinguish it as the preeminent cryptocurrency. Its name resonates with even the most casual observers, setting it apart from lesser-known coins like SUSHI or ADA. This fame translates to a considerable concentration of funds within the cryptocurrency market being allocated to Bitcoin. Consequently, any fluctuations in Bitcoin's price reverberate across the market due to the sheer volume of funds involved. This phenomenon renders Bitcoin's price trajectory an often-imitated blueprint for the broader market's movements.

    Having delved into the historical context of the gold standard and the parallel role of Bitcoin in the cryptocurrency market, we can now explore the concept of the cryptocurrency fear and greed index.

    The Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index Explained

    As you may recall, the Bitcoin fear and greed index is an indicator that tracks the overall investor sentiment in the Bitcoin market. Basically, it is a way to track if people are optimistic or fearful of what will happen in the market. If people are fearful of what will happen in the market, they will sell their cryptocurrency holdings so that they don’t lose any of the value that they invested in cryptocurrencies when the prices fall. On the other hand, if people are optimistic of what will happen in the cryptocurrency market, they will increase the amount of cryptocurrency that they have in their investment portfolio with the hope of increasing the value invested as prices rise.

    The Bitcoin fear and greed index is a helpful tool to gauge what might happen in the market as it takes a look at several market metrics. Let’s take a look at what Bitcoin market metrics are used for the market’s fear and greed indicator.

    Metrics Used to Calculate the Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index

    At the moment, there is only an index for Bitcoin since it is like the gold standard in the cryptocurrency space. Building on this, other metrics have been included to calculate the market index. These metrics include volatility, market momentum/volume, social media, dominance, and trends.


    This is calculated from the volatility and maximum drawdown of Bitcoin’s price compared to the 30-day and 90-day average volatility. There is enthusiasm in the market if volatility increases.

    Market Momentum/Volume

    Similar to the volatility calculation, market momentum/volume is based on momentum and trading volume. The 30-day and 90-day moving averages are compared. If there is a lot of volume on the buy side it shows a lot of investor greed and the market is booming at this point.

     Social Media

    This is calculated using the hashtag for each cryptocurrency and looks at the rate and number of responses for each hashtag.


    The market cap of a cryptocurrency can be used to determine a cryptocurrency’s dominance. The more dominant a cryptocurrency is, the more influence its price movements will have on the rest of the market’s prices.


    A couple of trends can be used for this analysis. The main trend used for a fear and greed index however is how many times Bitcoin-related keywords were included in online searches. If the number of these searches increases, then it means that there is an increased interest in the cryptocurrency market.

    So how does the fear and greed indicator actually work? Let’s take a look at how to read a cryptocurrency fear and greed index.

    Reading the Fear and Greed Index

    The Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index operates on a scale ranging from 0 to 100, effectively measuring the prevailing sentiment in the cryptocurrency market. A lower score within this range signals a prevailing sense of fear among investors, resulting in an increased tendency to sell their holdings. Consequently, this heightened selling activity precipitates a decline in market prices. Conversely, a higher score denotes elevated levels of greed within the market, with a surge in purchasing activities surrounding cryptocurrencies. This surge in demand for Bitcoin often catalyzes a thriving cryptocurrency market environment.

    The index offers nuanced insights into the market sentiment. Scores spanning from 0 to 24 indicate a state of extreme fear, reflective of heightened apprehension among investors. Within the range of 25 to 49, the sentiment still skews towards fear, though not to an extreme extent. A score of 50 signifies a neutral market sentiment. As the score progresses from 51 to 74, it signifies a shift towards greed among investors, indicating an increased appetite for cryptocurrency investment. Finally, a score from 75 to 100 points to a state of pronounced greed in the market, illustrating an intense desire for cryptocurrency acquisition.

    Historically, the market has demonstrated a pattern where extreme conditions, as indicated by the index, tend to moderate and revert towards the opposing extreme. For instance, during phases of extreme fear (scores between 0 and 24), the index tends to ascend as the market gradually transitions towards a state of pronounced greed. Conversely, in instances of extreme greed signaled by the cryptocurrency fear and greed indicator, a correction towards the opposite end of the spectrum is often observed.


    The Bitcoin fear and greed indicator is a technical indicator that helps investors in the cryptocurrency markets know what the overall sentiment is in the market taking Bitcoin as the base, that is; if investors are fearful or greedy in the market. It’s a useful tool to help investors gain a better understanding of what may happen to prices in the near future.

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    I'm a filmmaker with extensive training in multiple sectors of content creation whose films have been shown all over the world. I have also served as a speaker and jury member in multiple events. Nonetheless, in recent years, I became extremely disappointed with the course of the art world in general, and as consequence, I've developed an interest in topics I believed would become crucial for the future, namely, cybersecurity, self-education, web design, and investing in various assets, such as cryptocurrencies. All those events have driven me to launch RushRadar.