The Crypto Trading Hamster Continues to Best Humans
Like many people, Mr Goxx is dabbling in cryptocurrency, hoping to strike it rich.
He’s notable for two reasons: first, he is making money, with his lifetime career performance up about 20% – beating many professional traders and funds.
Second, Mr Goxx is a hamster.
The business-minded rodent has a trading office attached to his regular cage. Every day, when he enters the office, a livestream starts on Twitch, and his Twitter account lets followers know: Mr Goxx has started a trading session.
By running in his “intention wheel”, he selects which cryptocurrency he’d like to trade, as the wheel spins through the different options. His office floor has two tunnels nearby: one for buy, one for sell.
Every time he runs through a tunnel, the electronics wired to his office complete a trade according to Mr Goxx’s desires.
The minds behind the furry financier are two men in their 30s, from Germany.
“We felt that everything keeps getting more expensive these days and building savings is super-hard to achieve with high rents to pay,” they said.
“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.”
Mr Goxx’s name is itself a nod to the potential disasters of the crypto market. A company called Mt Gox was once the biggest crypto exchange on the planet – until it was compromised and hundreds of thousands of bitcoin stolen, making the company file for bankruptcy.
The first month was rough. Mr Goxx started on 12 June with €326 (£278), placing an order for Stellar (XLM). One month and 95 orders later, Goxx Capital was down 7.3%.
But as of 27 September, the intrepid trader’s career performance is up 19.41%.
That beats not only the return on major stock markets such as the FTSE 100 or the Dow Jones but also the performance of investing supremo Warren Buffet’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, according to calculations by crypto news site Protos.
And even in the crypto market itself, Mr Goxx has at times come out slightly ahead of Bitcoin, the biggest of the currencies.
To be clear, Goxx Capital is not a real investment firm – and Mr Goxx’s human partners are keen to stress with every tweet it should not be taken as investment advice.
But the duo behind Mr Goxx prefer to stay anonymous.
Cryptocurrencies were “very controversial topics” and “as with almost any topic discussed on the internet these day, it feels as though discussions can become heated and uncivil quite quickly”, they told BBC News.
And they prefer Mr Goxx to be the face of their “light-hearted side project”.
It started as a hobby project during the “corona madness that hit our lives”.
Mr Goxx’s owner, a lecturer and prototyping specialist, says he likes to spark people’s interest in new technologies, sometimes with humour.
The other human involved, a programmer, has been his best friend since university.
And the pair, who live hundreds of kilometres away from each other, “kind of reunited” working remotely on Goxx Capital.
The rodent’s random trades are receiving a lot of interest from people, both online and in real life.
“Since my hamster took on his business, I got everyone around me asking for more information about this whole crypto thing,” Mr Goxx’s owner told BBC News, “mainly people that will normally run away if they’d hear the word ‘blockchain’.”
Almost everything on Mr Goxx’s trading floor is homemade, except for a few code snippets (libraries) the friends have made use of.
The office is fully automated, using a wide range of technology including software scripting, microcontrollers, single-board computers, computer-aided design, 3D printing, laser-cutting, and more.
All of which made for “a rather complex setup”, the human creators said.
But there are plans to expand.
“We have many features in mind that would make the whole thing much more fun to watch and would mean even more space for Mr Goxx to play around in,” they said.
But Mr Goxx, like a true successful executive, keeps his own hours. The portal between his regular cage remains open except when he needs to stay put for cleaning, so he can clock off at any time.
And avid watchers must wait for the next livestream notification: “Mr Goxx is in the office.”