Fuquay-Varina, N.C. — A 19-year-old East Carolina University junior has quickly gained national attention as a leading analyst of bitcoin.
William Clemente’s ability to break down cryptocurrency markets has already garnered him tens of thousands of followers on social media.
“Part of me is kind of in disbelief sometimes when I look at it,” Clemente said Tuesday. “I obviously now feel more responsible because more people are watching me.”
When ECU sent him home to Fuquay-Varina last year at the start of the pandemic, he looked for a hobby and started reading up on bitcoin for the first time.
“From there, I really just went down the rabbit hole of podcasts on bitcoin, all the content on bitcoin on Twitter and YouTube, you name it,” he said.
Clemente was intrigued by cryptocurrency, which has exploded in popularity in recent years, particularly because, unlike any other financial security, every dollar spent and held in bitcoin can be tracked on a worldwide ledger called the blockchain.
“Tracking these different movements of the investors on the blockchain is really useful and unlike anything,” he said. “You can’t do that with stocks or bonds or anything else. It kind of led me to this whole aspect of the data.”
Clemente started mapping the market’s ups and downs like an investment analyst and posting his work on social media.
Months later, he now has close to 200,000 followers on Twitter, and on Monday, he was given a shout out on CNBC as a leading expert on bitcoin.
“It’s pretty surreal,” he said. “Part of me is just trying to stay level-headed and not let it get to me because I think, when you start to get complacent and start to feel like you’ve made it, I guess, that’s when you run into some trouble.”
Along with the positive attention, some people have still been quick to dismiss his work because of his age.
“I completely understand it,” Clemente said. “I’ve taken two finance classes, and you know, I don’t even have any hair on my face. So, you know I completely get that.”
But he’s focused on seeing how far cryptocurrency could take him in the years to come.
“I’m trying to be more conservative in terms of the content I’m pushing out because I know I have all these eyeballs on me,” he said. “I can’t just, like, post memes on Twitter anymore because I have a more professional audience that’s following me.”