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Market Manipulation Continues to Persist in the Crypto World

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The Wall Street Journal stated that in the crypto world, market manipulation remains flourishing. It said to have identified around 100 groups that offer “trading signals” on chat apps such as Discord and Telegram. Trading signals are a type of service usually related to pump-and-dumps. WJS said that in total, there are 175 “pump and dump” schemes that were identified from January to late July.

The schemes involved 121 varying digital coins. The coins displayed sudden price pike while also showing a sudden plummet only minutes after. WJS’s report mentioned such coins as cloakcoin, stealth, version, agrello, granitecoin, and pesetacoin. Of all the pump-and-dump groups that the Wall Street Journal examined, the largest group is known to be the “Big Pump Signal.” The group is said to have a Telegram channel with over 74,000 members.

Reports say that the group has already initiated 26 pumps since December. The pumps trading activity’s totalled to around $222 million USD. On July 1, the followers of the group started purchasing the token called cloakcoin. Since then, its price on Binance jumped at 50% to $5.77 but then after two minutes, its price dropped to nearly a dollar. The trades executed around that time were 6700 and worth $1.7 million in total.

The hour before that, there was virtually not a single trade. After that, one user said he’d made around $1,400 during that pump even without the need to go big. Many of the pump-and-dump groups charge their members a monthly fee of around $50 to $250. If not, the service needs to be preached by the members so they can have access to available trading information and advantages that the group offer.

One of the oldest types of fraud present in financial markets, pump-and-dump schemes exists even in crypto markets. It can occur when traders talk up a certain assets’ price before cashing in on them. It can also happen when a group of traders bands together to purchase an asset. In the process, they drive up the asset’s price. When it reached the price targeted by the pumpers, they urgently sell then leave behind the traders they unknowingly bought in.

Many traditional financial markets have already outlawed this scheme. Still, they continue to exist to some degree. For this reason, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regularly goes after the groups doing pump-and-dump schemes. They are particularly vigilant with the very small groups called micro-cap stocks. In crypto markets, regulators are still unable to bring up any case against these particular fraudsters.

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Sydney Ifergan

Sydney has 20+ years commercial experience and has spent the last 10 years working in the online marketing arena and was the CMO for a large FX brokerage.

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