The Twitter bot REKT shares liquidation events from the cryptocurrency exchange Bitmex.
The account is part of a larger trend, where people leverage the open nature of the blockchain to troll each other, watch trends, and see where the money is moving.
Bot accounts have become an important part of this space, since they automatically publish important events.
If you’re not a cryptocurrency expert, it’s hard to tell what the tweets mean.
“Liquidated long on XBTUSD,” a recent one reads. “Sell 13,480 @ 11861 🔥 ~ Multi kill.”
The tweet is from an account called REKT, an unofficial bot that tracks when users lose a ton of money on the popular Bitmex cryptocurrency exchange and tweets it out. The name “REKT” is an in-joke among gamers and cryptocurrency enthusiasts alike, used when you get “wrecked” by an unfortunate turn of events.
A major virtue of cryptocurrency is that everybody can see the underlying blockchain, meaning it’s impossible to fake or forge a transaction — a record of the money move is right there, permanent and “immutable,” in blockchain parlance. So while each individual user is anonymous, it’s possible to see when a bad decision was made and somebody took a bath.
The REKT account is part schadenfreude, part warning: trading cryptocurrency is risky, and people can lose massive sums of money. On Bitmex, the risk is even higher since people are able to trade on margin, meaning they can borrow money from the exchange by putting down a bit of collateral.
If things go well, they stand to make a bunch of money — if the price of the token of choice goes up, they pocket the difference, less the loan they took from Bitmex. If the market turns against them, however, Bitmex can liquidate their position, keeping whatever collateral they put down and potentially even putting them in debt.
To add insult to injury, REKT automatically tweets out how much those users lost, along with funny phrases and emojis that indicate just how bad the loss was.
This tweet in particular meant that the user “went long” on a trade, buying the coin with the expectation to hang on and sell it later at a higher price. When the price dropped, Bitmex automatically cashed the user out — at a lower price than they originally bought it for.
Another bot account called Whale Alert, tracks the movement of large sums of bitcoin. Its tweets show large sums of money passing from one account to another, and eventually ending up on an exchange. As a complement to REKT, Whale Alert shows the massive sums of cryptocurrency that are moving around the whole ecosystem.
Even with the fortunes made and lost here, people seem to enjoy the spectacle: The REKT account has almost 46,000 followers, while Whale Alert is nearing 98,000.
One follower — prominent cryptocurrency trader Jacob Canfield— says the cryptocurrency community on Twitter — bots and all — is an important resource for traders and investors alike as a way to see how the market is moving.