Weiss Ratings, a veteran firm dedicated to analyzing investments, was the first such institution to publish ratings for cryptocurrencies. Based on what the company calls a, “groundbreaking model that analyzes thousands of data points on each coin’s trading patterns, technology, and usage,” it has drawn the ire of many crypto aficionados after its first release for the low scores it gave most coins.
The Weiss Ratings Scale
A = excellent
B = good
C = fair
D = weak
E = very weak
A plus or minus sign indicates the upper third or lower third of a grade range, respectively.
Risk shows the downside potential investors should be aware of, reflecting price volatility and magnitude of recent declines. At top of scale, “Excellent” = relatively minor risk. At bottom of scale, “Very Weak” = major risk.
Reward indicates profit potential based mostly on price momentum and recent returns to investors. According to Weiss, it’s a strong tool for short-term trading, especially in trending markets and investors should focus on the overall rating.
Decred: Risk/Reward C+, Overall Grade B
Decred was rated quite highly in both columns (Investment Risk/Reward and Technology/Adoption) – not a single coin was rated higher than B overall, and C+ is as high as it goes in risk/reward. The project is working on creating a perfected version of Bitcoin: “Decred is Bitcoin as it should have been,” according to a blog post written by the company. ZILLIQA: Risk/Reward C+, Overall Grade B-
ZILLIQA is lagging behind Decred due to their lower grade overall. The project is a new blockchain platform that is designed to scale in an open, permission-less distributed network securely. The core feature that makes ZILLIQA scalable is sharding – dividing the network into several smaller component networks (called shards) capable of processing transactions in parallel.
CloakCoin: Risk/Reward C, Overall Grade C
Sitting firmly in the middle, with both grades at a C, CloakCoin provides a transaction system with “guaranteed fungibility”. Their aim is to offer true anonymity in place of pseudonymity offered by Bitcoin, for example. It operates on a transaction system called Enigma.
Skycoin: Risk/Reward C, Overall Grade C+
Dubbed the “most advanced blockchain platform in the world” by its team, Skycoin’s platform is supposed to be completely secure, infinitely scalable, and ISP (internet service provider) independent. According to their official subreddit, “Skycoin is more than a cryptocurrency. It’s the fuel that drives Skywire, the new distributed internet. Users receive Skycoins for distributing services across Skywire and supporting peer-to-peer networking.”
Groestlcoin: Risk/Reward C, Overall Grade C-
Groestlcoin is a privacy-oriented coin that boasts almost zero fees. Operating almost exactly the same as many other cryptocurrencies, its website only explains that it uses a distributed ledger (which they helpfully explain is called the blockchain) and operates on a peer-to-peer model.
Not to leave the technology/adoption section unseen: it actually had the highest score of A- for Cardano and EOS, followed by a B+ for Steem, Ripple and NEO. Interestingly, the ratings don’t always correlate: coins can have drastically different grades across different sections – a relatively high risk/reward section can be accompanied by a catastrophically low technology/adoption grade.
The top five coins by market cap did not fare as well as these in the risk/reward section, and the overall grades did not see a single A grade – as a matter of fact, not a single B+ was to be seen either. Bitcoin, for example, corrected its previous C+ grade to B- now. Risk/reward was low at D+, whereas Technology/adoption rates the largest coin at B.
Ethereum, meanwhile, is slightly better only at a single thing: it has an overall grade of B- as well, risk/reward is C- and technology/adoption is B. Ripple is also at B- overall, with risk/reward at D+ and technology/adoption at a high B+. Bitcoin Cash is lower than its predecessors: all three categories are set at C-. This now leaves us with EOS, arguably rated the best of the top five by market cap: overall is B, risk/reward is a paltry C-, whereas technology/adoption is A-.
From the whole list of dozens of cryptocurrencies, only three coins got B a overall reating: Cardano, Decred and EOS. And here is a B- list: Bitcoin, Bitshares, Ethereum, IOTA, NEO, Ontology, Ripple, Steem, Stellar Lumens, TRON, ZILLIQA. Other coins got lower than B grades.
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