My Strange Journey In The Crypto World Is Creating Hype Coins

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When I did a little experiment recently for an article highlighting a corner of the cryptocurrency world, I knew I had created something that would live on after the piece was published. But what happened still surprised me.

As a London-based business reporter, I have been riveted in recent months by the growing popularity of so-called hype coins. These are the low-market, volatile cousins ​​of Bitcoin, the gray beard of the cryptocurrency world. There are more than 70,000 of these coins, with Klaytn, Chiliz, Helium, and other names you’ve never heard of, and several dozen new ones are created every day.

At first glance, the hype coin phenomenon is one of the most surprising financial sprees in history. At least if you went bankrupt during the tulip craze of the 17th century, you might have some tulips on hand. Hype coins have no intrinsic value. But investors and venture capitalists loved them. More than 80 of them have a market capitalization of over $1 billion.

To enlighten the readers and myself i made my own hype token. I spent about $1,000 of The New York Times’ money – yes, I cleared that expenditure first with the editors and discussed the legal issues of this project with Times attorneys – to create and promote it.

I christened it Idiot Coin. The name was just part of an effort to discourage anyone from hoping that it would become a “moon” or rise in value. I wanted this thing to go under, and for very solid legal reasons. Two lawyers specializing in cryptocurrency law told me that hype coins are securities and anyone marketing one with the intent to get rich could get unwanted attention from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

I earned 21 million Idiot Coins and put seven million on sale. This is where I’m really trying to sabotage this attempt. New crypto developers will start trading by putting money into a “liquidity pool”. The details here get complicated, but suffice it to say, most coinmakers pour around $10,000 into their pools. I put in 30 dollars.

Basically I created a car with two gulps of gas, max. The aim was to show how easy it is to make and promote a completely useless commodity. Then I would watch that meta fade away. That didn’t happen.

After the article was published on the Internet, several dozen people came. In the Idiot Coin account on Telegram, an encrypted messaging platform. He started making a handful of hilarious memes. Someone named DragonX posted a picture of a big-eyed toddler voicing a window, under the words “Wen.” [sic] I won’t lick windows, I’m buying Idiot Coins!”

Others were eager for the coin to make a fortune. “Let’s go to that stupid moon!” IceMaster0x wrote. There will never be moons, I continued to respond to possible boosters. This hasn’t stopped a few dozen people from collecting coins, often hundreds of thousands.

On the morning of August 10, the total market value of the coin was about $6,000. By that evening, it had increased 10 times. By the next afternoon, nearly all the coins were sold and the market cap reached $108,000. It fell, then rose to a new high. By Monday afternoon, it was stuck at $68,000.

Selling the coins will likely lower the price. This humble pot can disappear in a few crazy minutes. But if the increase continues, the money will go to charities.

For now, an interesting friendship has formed on Idiot Coin’s Telegram account, with voices and opinions from around the world. (Shout out to Rusty from Kazakhstan.) “Only buy if you’re stupid” reads an ever-published meme. Some suggest strategies that can cause the coin to appreciate. Others argue that such a concept is off-brand for a currency called Idiot Coin.

As I write this, I have no idea what will happen next. What is certain is that some people will invest in almost any venture, even one that is designed to fail.

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