Apollo Currency reminded us of the good old days of cryptocurrency this week by climbing 300% in a week and then dumping 50% within four hours. The price action comes off the back of months’ worth of warnings from one investor that the team was engaging in a pump and dump scheme, which the CEO has since called “preposterous”.
The All-in-One Coin
Apollo Currency, the self-titled “world’s fastest, most private coin” has only been around since last summer, yet has already enjoyed some wild swings in price. Supported by John McAfee, who is very open about his cash-for-promotion business, the ‘all-in-one’ coin has conducted a massive marketing campaign resulting in pieces in Forbes, the LA Times and Reuters, leading to the price increasing four-fold around the time of the articles. Concerns began to arise, particularly from Reddit user MerleRemple, that the team were driving the price up in order to sell in large volume:
I’m not usually one to call out projects so harshly like this, but I feel terrible for the innocent people that are all going to get burned by the pump-and-dump happening now by holding their coins as the price drops into the ground.
24 hours later the price had halved by 50%, with MerleRemple claiming that a small number of mass sales (hundreds of millions of coins) from team wallets had brought the price crashing down, constituting a team pump and dump. Arguments continued on social media as to whether this was indeed a team-instituted plan or just standard profit taking, with one investor claiming that “Everything in this reddit article is false and there isn’t a dump happening”. Other investors came out of the woodwork to report their own problems with the project, including a failed airdrop.
Apollo’s CEO Responds
Apollo CEO Stephen McCullah responded Wednesday with an in-depth response to the claims, saying that accusations of a team-led pump and dump were “absolutely preposterous…because the Foundation would never sell via exchanges…”. McCullah states that the author must “really have a grudge towards Apollo Foundation”, and systematically dismisses many of the claims made, calling some “absolutely ridiculous” and “greatly exaggerated”. Where the truth lies in this matter seems open to individual interpretation, but it is highly likely that we have not heard the last of this particular debate.