Thomson Reuters is to track and analyse chatter about bitcoin on hundreds of news and social media websites to help investors looking for an edge in trading the world's biggest cryptocurrency. 

A new version of its MarketPsych Indices, which it runs in conjunction with behavioural economics research firm MarketPsych Data, will scan over 400 websites - many specific to cryptocurrencies - to capture market-moving sentiment and themes. 

Digging through market chatter and analysing online sentiment has long proven popular among traders of traditional asset classes. 

The boom in the prices of cryptocurrencies in recent years has spurred a huge online industry where individuals exchange trading ideas in forums and news websites report on the latest developments in the industry. 

Many analysts have linked online activity, for example Google searches for "bitcoin", with the price of the best-known cryptocurrency. 

"News and social media are driving the investment and risk management process more than ever with the continuing rise of passive and quant-driven trading," said Austin Burkett, Global Head of Quant and Feeds at Thomson Reuters. 

Bitcoin's price gained more than 1,300% last year as investors piled in, and since peaking at close to $20,000 in December has lost more than half its value.

 It was trading at around $9,600 on the Luxembourg-Bitstamp exchange today.