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GameStop FOMO inspires a new wave of Crypto Pump-and-Dumps

GameStop FOMO inspires a new wave of Crypto Pump-and-Dumps

Discord is the perfect vehicle for these pumps, as a semi-public forum that allows users to advertise servers extensively, allowing users to discuss strategy and coordinate strategy. I’ve been a Discord user for a long time, and anecdotally I’ve seen a tremendous increase in activity. Between early April and May, I received 47 invitations to join crypto pump groups through Discord. Eight of the groups have more than 20,000 members; the largest has more than 80,000. Some moderators on these servers say people who call people “advertisers” pay people to send invitations to Discord users, sometimes including crypto gifts.

New members receive FAQs that describe 2,000 percent of the pumps and the potential to earn hundreds or thousands. That is not necessarily the reality. “The Discord server is a casino. As the saying goes, ‘The house always wins,’ and they are the house, ”says 21-year-old Thomas Hurley, a member of the Discord servers’ crypto pump. with one.He never made much profit, but others did.When he began to look more closely at some of the commercial pages of the market for these coins from sites like Hurley Binance, he noticed some interesting patterns.

“A few seconds before the pumped-out coin was announced, it was going to be an awful lot,” he says. He seemed to be aware that one had bought a lot of coins beforehand, greatly increasing his ability to make a profit by selling early. Hurley never had a chance.

He is not alone. A 2018 study Among the telegram-based pump groups they found that five minutes before the pump signal (before the coin was revealed), the price of the designated coin had dropped by about 5 percent. Then, on average, only investors who bought in the first 20 seconds after the pump could win. Today, sources say crypto pumps are moving so fast that fans are ordering bots to buy and sell coins based on Discord ads. The owner of a Pump It Up server says he lost hundreds of dollars because he didn’t use a bot because he could buy and sell it in milliseconds. The experience prompted him to make his team in February.

“Crypto pumps catch people who aren’t so well informed in space,” says Josh Kamps, a doctoral student at University College London, studying crypto fraud. Those who knew GameStop late wanted to jump to the next big thing. Kamps noted, anecdotally, that a bunch of low-availability alt-coins were created at the time, and said they were “quite designed for pumping.” For example, he says pump groups are approaching the Shiba Inu coin (or SHIB). One WallStreetBets pump team knockout announces that SHIB has won more than 4 times. In the last 24 hours, the meme coin has had a trading volume of more than $ 6.1 billion.

“Discord supports a wide range of personal finance discussions, including cryptocurrencies, investment clubs and day traders, and encourages the creative use of our platform, as long as nothing jeopardizes our values ​​or illegal activities,” Discord said. spokespersons in an email Cable. Discord users were warned to carefully research the tips they receive on the Internet.

Crypto pump schemes fall into a gray legal field. “There is a lot of debate about whether or not we see cryptocurrencies as values,” says Donghwa Shin, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the author of the 2018 study. Pump spills are illegal for securities, but not for cryptocurrencies. “That’s why there are no clear regulations,” he says. Shin thinks it’s time to change that. According to his research, the liquidity and value of these currencies increase in cryptocurrencies, where pump-and-dumps are prohibited. In addition to improving the market, it would be a greater challenge for the small parts of those who organize these pumps — those who make their money consistently — to take advantage of others.

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