WSJ: ‘Crypto Might Have an Insider Trading Problem’ (Yours Truly: ‘Ya Think?’)

Ben Foldy and Caitlin Ostroff, reporting for the WSJ (News+):

Over six days last August, one crypto wallet amassed a stake of $360,000 worth of Gnosis coins, a token tied to an effort to build blockchain-based prediction markets. On the seventh day, Binance — the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume — said in a blog post that it would list Gnosis, allowing it to be traded among its users.

Token listings add both liquidity and a stamp of legitimacy to the token, and often provide a boost to a token’s trading price. The price of Gnosis rose sharply, from around $300 to $410 within an hour. The value of Gnosis traded that day surged to more than seven times its seven-day average.

Four minutes after Binance’s announcement, the wallet began selling down its stake, liquidating it entirely in just over four hours for slightly more than $500,000 — netting a profit of about $140,000 and a return of roughly 40%, according to an analysis performed by Argus Inc., a firm that offers companies software to manage employee trading. The same wallet demonstrated similar patterns of buying tokens before their listings and selling quickly after with at least three other tokens.

It is almost criminally gracious for the Journal to put “might” in the headline for this piece. The whole point of these markets is to bilk suckers with rug-pulls, insider trading, and other scams.

Sunday, 22 May 2022