The augur price doubled on Tuesday in what may be a coordinated pump-and-dump — or at least a case of FOMO run wild.
Augur, of course, is a much-anticipated decentralized prediction market that was bootstrapped through a token sale in 2015 — long before the initial coin offering (ICO) craze broke out this past summer — and is approaching its official release.
Like most cryptocurrencies, the price of augur tokens (REP) steadily rose steadily against the dollar throughout 2017, masking a steep decline against the value of bitcoin. In late November, however, the augur price turned a corner, and it has spent the past three weeks gaining value against bitcoin — effectively doubling its USD value to $40 from $20.
Against the backdrop of this general uptrend, the augur price posted a meteoric rally on Tuesday, rising as high as $105 less than a day after piercing the $50 mark for the first time. At the time of writing, the augur price was trading at $93, representing a single-day increase of 102 percent and providing the token with a $1 billion market cap.
A plurality of REP volume is concentrated on Bittrex, where it continues to trade at a $4 premium over the global average, and it is here that the charts make today’s movement appear suspiciously akin to a pump-and-dump.
Early Tuesday morning, REP was trading below 400,000 satoshis. Shortly before 9:00 ET, augur inexplicably rose above 1.1 million satoshis and then immediately plunged to 800,000 satoshis. Over the next several hours, the augur price declined further still, eventually leveling out at 560,000 satoshis at the time of writing.
The thesis that the movement is the product of market manipulation is supported by the fact that there does not appear to be any other plausible trigger for the rally. While it is true that the platform is nearing release — an event that will likely lead to a significant increase in value — the last project development update was published on December 13, and it does not contain any news that would justify a rally of this degree, much less one that would occur six days after the fact.
Write to Josiah Wilmoth at josiah.wilmoth(at)cryptocoinsnews.com.
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