The bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices continue to drop, and now new research has potentially identified that this may well be the result of mass market manipulation.
Wall Street Journal (WSJ) writers Paul Vigna and Shane Shifflett claim to have found 175 coordinated cryptocurrency “pump and dump” groups, who have manipulated the markets throughout 2018 costing other investors millions.
The article they have released is on the WSJ official website entitled “Some Traders Are Talking Up Cryptocurrencies, Then Dumping Them, Costing Others Millions”, in which they have analysed data and online commincations between traders throughout 2018 (January to July) and have identified 121 coins which have been allegedly affected via these pump and dump groups.
“A pump-and-dump scheme is one of the oldest types of market fraud: Traders talk up the price of an asset before dumping it for a profit and leaving fooled investors with shrunken shares.”
Research has shown that the price has been manipulated 0n major exchanges including Binance, in which coins which have had barely any prior movement have seen sudden steep price rises, followed by equally steep declines. The findings claim that over 50% of the coins which were saupposedly used for the “pump and dump” ended up at a lower price than they began at. Meaning those not involved were left out of pocket.
Pump and Dump to blame for the market decline?
One of the major issues with the cryptocurrency market is that it is not regulated at all, while this is argued as one of the benefits of crypto it has also led to this situation.
Pumping and dumping stocks has been illegal since 1930’s in the United States, because their is no regulation it appears that a number of groups have taken full advantage of this. But is it to blame for the decline in the markets.
The markets have dropped significantly throughout 2018, and it has been reported that these pump and dump groups have made $825 million, this money has then potentially left the markets being sold into fiat. However, the knock on effect could also be that investors who have lost money as a result of the pump and dump schemes have then panic sold, or sold at a loss which is further money leaving the markets.
Vigna and Shiffett say the biggest offender they found was “Big Pump Signal,” a group with 74 000 followers on Signal and a maxed out account at Discord, a messaging app.
It has been reported that the ‘Big Pump Signal’ group coordinated, “26 pump operations that saw $222 million in trades.” The announced dates’, times’ and the exchange.
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