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The collapse of the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange has been a speed bump for bitcoin, but the chaos has shed light on the opaque crypto-currency markets. Earlier this month, hackers published what is purported to be the exchange’s trading data from 2011 through November 2013 in an effort to publicly expose any malfeasance. (Some users have been able to confirm that their transactions are in the database because bitcoin addresses are public.)
The visual designers at Stamen took that database and visualized a trading history by type of user to help understand the kinds of people (and non-people) you meet at the bitcoin market. “These exploratory charts revealed so many intricate patterns and behaviors that we thought they would be compelling to publish with minimal analysis,” Kai Chang, on of the designers writes. ”Our hope was that viewers would imbue the MtGox traders with their own stories and narratives.”
Traders whose patterns look like this—an early start in the market followed by big sales at higher prices—bought low and sold high, living the bitcoin dream.
For every dream there is a nightmare, and traders whose charts look like this lived it: They bought big when bitcoin’s price was at its highest, just before the exchange (and prices) collapsed. There’s a lesson in that for every amateur investor.
Read about the other two at qz.com.