The Weiss Ratings agency, one of the oldest professional and financial grading services in the US, released its much-anticipated cryptocurrency ratings today. Advertising the new crypto-related grades as the first of their kind, the Palm Beach, Florida company announced its plans to begin rating cryptocurrencies last week on the Weiss Ratings website.
And upon their official release today, January 24th, they were met with less fanfare and more controversy.
The official report has Bitcoin coming in with a “fair” C+ rating, for while grandaddy crypto “gets excellent scores for security and widespread adoption,” nonetheless, “it is encountering major network bottlenecks, causing delays and high transactions costs.”
Ethereum, on the other hand, was given a “good” B grade, as “the second most widely adopted cryptocurrency, benefits from more readily upgradable technology and better speed, despite some bottlenecks.”
The only other coins to receive a B- or B rating include Cardano, EOS, Neo, and Steem, while most coins garnered C-, C, or C+ “fair” grades in the same vein as Bitcoin. There were a few poor performers in the group with D ratings, including PotCoin and Matchpool, but none of the 74 rated coins aced Weiss’ initial review as not a single one was given an A for “excellent.”
In a CNBC Squawk Box interview, Martin D. Weiss revealed that the firm looks at a number of factors when evaluating a crypto’s worth including investment risk/reward, technology, and the likelihood of adoption.
“You can have a great technology index — all the pieces are in place for a very nice, strong currency — but unless it’s actually reality-tested in the marketplace, it may not succeed, and that’s what this last, fourth index tests,” he said in the interview.
In Other News, Ratings Meet Obstacles, a Disgruntled Community
On the eve of the ratings’ inauguration, Weiss Ratings’ website fell prey to a distributed denial of service attack, a Weiss Ratings Team blog post reveals. The DDoS attack, which Weiss claims originated from Korea, left the site out-of-order into the morning of January 24th.
“Weiss Ratings staff was up all night last night fending off denial of service attacks from Korea, as evidenced by numerous mentions on Korean social media of a concerted call to bring down the Weiss Ratings website”
Martin D. Weiss believes that the attack was coordinated as “an attempt to thwart [the ratings’] release today,” because “commentary on social media expressed considerable fear [the agency was] about to release negative ratings on their preferred currencies.”
To add fuel to the fire, fake copies of the report began circulating online bearing a January 25th release date instead of the actual January 24th date. In addition, the fraudulent copy appears to have been drafted on Microsoft Excel, and it gives Tron an A++ rating, while Weiss Ratings highest grade is A+.
Weiss Ratings took to Twitter to warn consumers of the fake ratings, urging them to only trust the information displayed on their cryptocurrency ratings subdomain.
Urgent consumer alert: Beware of fake cryptocurrency ratings posted on Twitter accounts and the Internet. The only true Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings are at https://t.co/ec61TcJlDE
— Weiss Ratings (@WeissRatings) January 24, 2018
Meanwhile, crypto community members are none too impressed with the ratings. Reddit posts have challenged the rationale behind why Cardano, which only has a whitepaper, or EOS, which is still in test net, received comparable ratings to Ethereum. Even more baffling, they find, is the fact that the majority of the ecosystem was given a C rating, the same rating Dogecoin, a project whose own founder labeled as a joke, received.
A Caveat to Our Readers
Allegations have surfaced that the official report is a scam and that the order webpage for the report’s subscription is a domain set up by hackers to dupe unawares investors into paying for a fake service.
At this point, we can neither confirm nor deny these allegations, but CoinSquare recently updated an article on their coverage of the ratings that claims Weiss has confirmed the legitimacy of both the ratings and the subscription service.
CNBC has also published a story on the ratings, so Coin Central felt as though there was enough in the realm of validity to go forward with this story. That said, we encourage investors to conduct their own research before moving forward with Weiss’ cryptocurrency ratings subscription service. Further, we think it wise to wait to see if Weiss comes out with more official, transparent announcements on the matter.
A copy of the ratings currently accepted as official can be found here.
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