In another reality, Bill Noble would be just another guy in a suit behind a big desk at the Fed or the SEC, probably muttering negative incantations like “crypto is bad.”
It certainly has its track record: JP Morgan, UBS, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs. But this is Noble in an evil mirror dimension. In our world, he’s a real crypto guy, talking to me in a bike shirt in the back of the room. He turned to the dark side and joined the rebels.
He is known for his popular YouTube podcasts and television appearances. He is currently a Senior Market Analyst at Token Metrics.
Wall Street career
While studying economics (1987-1991) at Rutgers University in New Jersey, he managed to land one of two in-demand internships at the time at JP Morgan’s FX desk on Wall Street. Noble started when commercial technology was primitive and many analyzes were done by hand on paper. In August 1990, he was put in charge of the desk while everyone went on vacation, “‘Since nothing happens in August, let the boy fill in.” Then Iraq invaded Kuwait and all kinds of madness broke out in the markets.
“The price volatility seemed so extreme to me. I had no idea how anyone was tracking this. So I went to the technical analyst who was attached to the currency unit. I said, ‘I bet that everyone comes to you for help trying to figure it out.”
“He says, ‘Actually, no one does.’ So he gave me John Murphy’s book of letters [Charting Made Easy] and took me out to eat sushi. And I was off to the races from there using graphics.”
During his years of progression through the conventional environment of Wall Street, he became an expert technical analyst, which he combined with the writing of reports on different markets. During Black Swan crashes and events, such as the 1998 implosion of Long Term Capital Management, which nearly took the Western financial world by storm, Noble was the go-to guy. “I’m like a firefighter: when everyone is running out of the burning building, I run in,” he jokes.
From stocks and bonds to crypto analysis
In 2017, he became intrigued by cryptography. He went to a Bitcoin conference in Austin, Texas and started making charts for Ether by hand, which eventually turned into a giant scroll as the price went up and down. Then he met early Bitcoin adopter Charlie Schrem walking through an airport (who has had a crypto career with dramatic ups and downs, even serving time in prison related to the implosion of the Silk Road market). They came together at crypto.IQ, a consulting service with the goal of improving cryptocurrency analysis with stocks, bonds, interest rates and other leading data, something no one else was doing at the time.
In September 2019, Noble joined Token Metrics as a Senior Market Analyst. Led by CEO Ian Balina, the subscription service provides retail traders with AI-based insights, combined with the work of analysts researching the volatile cryptocurrency markets to help make profitable trades regardless of overall conditions.
He explains that he puts an “artificial intelligence system together with my chart. You actually have a quantitative research product, an institutional quantitative research product that we can deliver to retail, which, you know, we don’t it’s, it’s not really there. I mean, there are data providers and services, but, you know, we can give you tools that you can use yourself. And we have the best analysts that look at everything from macro charts up to NFT.
As I recall, the Sterling crash is usually the start of the contagion. $GBP he has always been the canary in the coal mine. #DXY
— Bill Noble (@crypto_noble) September 26, 2022
Noble has 17,600 followers on Twitter, a popular YouTube channel, and is an in-demand guest analyst on crypto TV, with his Tony Soprano-esque, no-nonsense New Jersey accent.
It grows with the volatility of crypto: “It’s 10% more or 10% every day,” he says. “I don’t have to wait five years between crises. I actually only have to wait about 45 minutes.”
Noble emphasizes that you need to be very flexible in cryptographic technical analysis and not be tied to a single methodology. Amazingly, he looks to the distant past for his core systems: “Gann works really well [William Gann, an influential early charting pioneer]. I find that the systems, Wyckoff is another, anything that worked in the early 20th century, when stocks were the wild west, and there were 50 publicly traded car companies. [work well]. I find Fibonacci useful too; Tom DeMark’s work is excellent.”
The current state of the market
Taking a contrarian stance, he sees the current crypto winter as having a long-term benefit: cleaning up the market and liquidating terrible projects.
“The previous rise was fueled by a massive liquidity push by central banks. Then, when central banks had to come up with liquidity, you had the ‘crack of 2008’ in crypto. Speculative assets that would never have having increased to begin with, they went back to zero.”
Noble predicts that for the cryptoeconomy, we can see the beginning of spring, a resumption of growth, after the fall, like the many crises that it overcame in the conventional financial markets, such as in 2008 or 1987. He points out that several gurus as Warren Buffett wrote on the Internet and Amazon after the 2002 crash. Buffett told CNBC in 2019 that he had been “an idiot not to buy” Amazon stock in the past.
“Bear markets are good times to do your homework because Mr. Market is now deciding who will win and who will lose.” He is bullish on Ethereum as the backbone of Web3. “Web3 is the next Internet, connected by Ethereum and Polkadot.”
Noble is also bullish on privacy coins and approves of US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden’s quotes: “One day, your wealth could be held against you.” The push by central banks towards centralized digital currencies, which will mean all transactions will be monitored by Big Brother, will create a push for privacy coins like Zcash. “Privacy coins will go from being for hackers to being for regular people.”
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Psychology of commerce
Psychology plays an important role in trading. Noble explains that many of the best traders exercise early in the morning to prepare for the stress of trading.
“It’s really about emotional management,” he says. “They also established a research framework and adhere to it. You have to have a method or a style, and you have to study to get there.”
He explains that legendary trader Bill Williams (who invented numerous indicators, including Awesome oscillatorthe Alligator indicator and the Market facilitation index) he had his students do three pages of “stream of consciousness” writing before he let them trade, to clear their heads of emotional and intellectual blocks to trading. Noble encourages people to read Williams’ book, Commercial chaos.
Noble recommends that more emotional investors should take a long-term approach rather than the intense ups and downs of day trading. Hold a portfolio for a significant amount of time and only make a few trades per month or year. With yield farming, you’ll still get a return on your investment.
And of course, if you can hang on, then Noble says that in the long run, the future is bright.
“During a tightening cycle, crypto will get hurt, just like anything else, but as the tightening cycle ends, crypto is the future of money.”