The Fear And Greed Index: Understanding The Terminology

Jun 7, 2023, 11:11PM
5 min, 17 sec READ
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Cryptocurrency trading is becoming more popular nowadays, with people feeling more comfortable with their knowledge of the market.

Moreover, people finally stopped approaching cryptocurrency volatility as a negative factor. Instead, many perceive it as an opportunity.

There are tons of useful market analysis tools that help traders determine valuable assets, invest in valuable coins and gain profit. One such tool is the fear and greed index. This article explains in detail what does fear and greed index mean and how to use it with cryptocurrency trading. 

Fear And Greed Index: What Is It?

The fear and greed index is a popular tool investors use to figure out investor sentiment. It's a measure of the market participants' emotions that reveals whether investors are optimistic (greed) or pessimistic (fear). The index is calculated by using several variables that include the following:

  • Stock market volatility. 
  • Market momentum. 
  • Trading volume.

Traders may also use other indications representing investor emotion within a chosen market. The fear and greed index has a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 signifying extreme fear and 100 indicating extreme greed. A score of 50 reflects a neutral attitude. Extreme levels of fear or greed might foreshadow a potential market reversal. Hence the index is frequently utilized as a contrarian indicator.

The fear and greed index isn’t ideal because several unreliable factors often influence it. Some of the least reliable ones include market news, economic statistics, and geopolitical events. However, it can be a beneficial tool for investors to calculate market sentiment and make informed investment decisions.

One of the main advantages of the fear and greed index is its quick and easy approach to calculating overall market sentiment. It's especially important for investors who are unable to actively follow the market daily. Thus, this index allows them to determine whether the market is usually optimistic or pessimistic and make a logical decision by using several other tools.

Another advantage of the fear and greed index is that it can be used to predict probable market reversals. For example, if the index demonstrates excessive greed, it may signal that the market is overvalued and needs a correction. If the index demonstrates severe levels of fear, it may be a signal that the market is undervalued and can offer profit opportunities.

Fear And Greed Index In Cryptocurrency Trading

The fear and greed index is actively used in crypto trading to evaluate market sentiment. The indicator is especially useful in the volatile and rapidly changing world of digital currencies, where market sentiment can move quickly and unexpectedly.

In virtual currency trading, the parameters used to calculate the fear and greed index are identical to those employed in traditional markets. For example, the index may consider the volatility of popular coins like Bitcoin or Dash, trading volumes, social media mood, and other measures of investor sentiment.

The role that news and social media play in determining market mood is one important difference between the fear and greed index in crypto trading and traditional stock markets. The cryptocurrency markets are heavily influenced by hype and news that circulate via social media and other channels. 

Thus, in cryptocurrency trading, the fear and greed index may place greater emphasis on social media mood and other online indicators than traditional stock market indices. Typically, many crypto investors are heavily influenced by big corporations and experts hyping up coins on social networks, which should be considered when calculating this index.

The fear and greed index can help cryptocurrency traders obtain a sense of the market's general attitude and make informed decisions about their investments. For example, if the index demonstrates extreme greed toward a specific crypto coin, it may suggest that the market may drop. In contrast, if the index displays extreme fear of a specific crypto asset, a trader may use other tools and indexes to see if it's possibly the beginning of a new trend and the price will increase. 

However, it is important to keep in mind that the fear and greed index is just one tool among many that traders can use to make investment decisions. It should not be relied upon as the sole indicator of market sentiment, and traders should always conduct their own research and analysis before making any investment decisions. It's especially vital in the world of cryptocurrency trading. 

Do's And Don'ts When Using Fear And Greed Index

As mentioned, the fear and greed index is not the sole solution to use when trading cryptocurrency. Thus, the first "don't" is to rely on this index alone. However, let's start from the beginning and check out what are the "do's" when it comes to using the index when trading crypto.


  • Be aware of the index's limitations. The fear and greed index is not perfect, and it doesn't always precisely reflects market patterns or investor mood.
  • Combine the index with other tools. Investors should use the fear and greed index with other techniques, such as technical analysis, fundamental analysis, and other tools, to make informed investment decisions.
  • Keep a long-term perspective. The fear and greed index can be useful for short-term trading decisions, simply to determine whether the market is worth attention. However, when making investment decisions, it's crucial to maintain a long-term perspective in mind. Before making any trades, investors should examine their investment objectives and risk tolerance.
  • Use the index as one of several tools. The index is a useful instrument for measuring the general market sentiment, but it shouldn't be used as the only indicator of market trends.


  • Ignore the fundamental or technical analyses. While the index is a useful tool for making short-term trading decisions, investors should not overlook fundamental technical analyses. Understanding an asset's or market's underlying fundamentals is crucial for making informed investment decisions.
  • React excessively to extreme readings (extreme fear or extreme greed). Extreme readings can indicate prospective market developments, but investors should not overreact to these levels. They should instead use results as a starting point for future research.
  • Trade impulsively depending on the index. The tool can be useful for general investment decisions but doesn't depend on the index alone. Traders should use the index to develop their overall trading strategy.

To sum up, the index is perfect as a starting point. However, you should combine it with other techniques to make informed trading decisions.

Disclaimer: information contained herein is provided without considering your personal circumstances, therefore should not be construed as financial advice, investment recommendation or an offer of, or solicitation for, any transactions in cryptocurrencies.