One of the perennial arguments about stock market trading is whether the markets can be predicted—or whether you'd be better-off just randomly picking some stocks and hoping for the best. The latter is a very basic summation of the random walk hypothesis (opens in new tab), a foundational financial theory still argued-over today, and has prompted many fun experiments over the years about what methods of stock-picking can outperform professional traders.
And so to cryptocurrency which now has the financial theory hero it deserves: Mr. Goxx the hamster (thanks, Protos). This enterprising rodent is the subject of a livestream (opens in new tab) wherein it 'selects' various crypto stocks using a hamster wheel, then chooses to 'buy' or 'sell' depending on which tunnel it chooses afterwards.
Mr Goxx's name is a reference to one of the biggest scandals in cryptocurrency history: the company Mt Gox was at one point the biggest crypto market in the world, before hackers stole hundreds of thousands of bitcoin.
"Unlike other hamsters, [Mr. Goxx] owns a fully automated high-tech trading office, directly connected to his normal hamster-friendly home (he can enter and leave it whenever he wants)," says the Twitch profile. "By running in the wheel, Mr. Goxx is able to select certain assets and by entering one of the tunnels, he decides whether to place a buy or sell order, which is then sent over to a real trading platform via API (yes, real money involved)."
Here is a diagram of the trading floor, named the Goxx box.
When Mr. Goxx chooses to buy a cryptocurrency, the habitat triggers a $20 purchase in that crypto. When he chooses to sell a stock, all of the holdings are liquidated. This is a no-holds-barred hamster.
Mr. Goxx prefers the night shifts (the setup has a night vision camera that uses indirect IR light), and his wheely sound approach saw his initial stake of $390 currently up 20% at around $468. The rodent investment fund had been doing even better until the recent fluctuations in the value of Bitcoin (after China declared all cryptocurrencies illegal), at one point sitting pretty on $580. As even our furry friends have to learn, what goes up can also come down.
Still, a 20% increase in under three months (Mr. Goxx began trading in June 2021) is nothing to be sniffed at. It beats out the performance of the FTSE 100, Dow Jones, and even the likes of Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway.
I have instructed my human business partner to get me a decent computer setup for my office. Best of all: It's safe to eat 🐹 #hamster #Crypto #CryptoNews #trading pic.twitter.com/O3kXJjXV9YJuly 16, 2021
The BBC spoke to the two German men behind Mr. Goxx, who wished to remain anonymous, but said:
"We felt that everything keeps getting more expensive these days and building savings is super-hard to achieve with high rents to pay. It seems like most people from our generation see no other chance than throwing a lot of their savings on the crypto market, without having a clue what's going on there.
"We were joking about whether my hamster would be able to make smarter investment decisions than we humans do."
At the moment the answer seems to be yes, though I'm sure Mr. Goxx isn't giving Warren Buffett any sleepless nights. The hamster has its own subreddit (opens in new tab) and can also be found on twitter (opens in new tab), where the funniest thing is that the project's creators have to constantly remind people that the hamster is not really qualified to give financial advice.