Blockchain News

The $PEPE Story: Is the Party Over?

$PEPE memecoin, born from the depths of internet culture, skyrocketed to astonishing heights, leaving investors awe-struck and fortunes in its wake. But as quickly as it ascended, $PEPE began a dramatic descent.

In a year that saw a steady influx of cryptocurrencies into the market, only a handful managed to capture the spotlight. Among the myriad coins that emerged, a select few soared to astonishing heights before plummeting back to reality. 

Despite this intriguing landscape of highs and lows, one meme coin surged to prominence, capturing the cryptocurrency community's attention. This is the story of $PEPE, a meme coin that lit up the digital sphere and left a trail of fortunes in its wake.

To give an idea, one investor, known by the pseudonym dimethyltryptamine.eth, took a leap of faith three weeks prior, investing a mere $250 to acquire trillions of $PEPE tokens. What followed was nothing short of astonishing. In a few weeks, the value of dimethyltryptamine.eth's tokens skyrocketed, showering them with a staggering $1.02 million in profits, according to Decrypt, an almost unbelievable 5,000,000% gain.

Source: PEPE Twitter

The Power of $PEPE: Memes and Market Capitalization

The uniqueness of PEPE can be attributed, in large part, to its association with the infamous "pepe the frog" meme, an emblematic symbol within the cryptocurrency community. Created by an anonymous team, PEPE is a meme coin without utility features. It operates as an ERC-20 token with a maximum supply of 420.69 trillion, making its debut in last April. 

The project's primary objective? To dethrone Dogecoin ($DOGE) from its meme coin throne through a relentless marketing campaign orchestrated by the dedicated Pepe community across various social media platforms. 

At the time of writing, PEPE boasts a market capitalization of $312 million, which once soared past a staggering $1.5 billion at its zenith.

In weeks, its trading volume surpassed that of many established cryptocurrencies. Despite the impressive trading volume, the price of this meme coin initially remained stable in mid-April, a remarkable feat during a bear market for a meme coin.

Traders were brimming with excitement near the end of April as whispers of a Binance listing circulated. The prevailing sentiment was that a listing on the world's premier cryptocurrency exchange would propel $PEPE to the moon, igniting an explosive price surge. By May 5, $PEPE's market value had soared to a staggering $1.542 billion following its April 16 launch, according to CoinGecko.

$PEPE marketcap (Source:CoinGecko)

The Subsequent Decline

Yet, as the initial excitement surrounding a potential Binance listing dissipated and traders seized their profits, $PEPE's meteoric rise took a drastic downturn. In June, it suffered a loss of half its value, a decline that persisted with little interruption in the following months.

Although this was a blow for the PEPE community, it was not the only one. Amid $PEPE's meteoric rise and subsequent fall, a single transaction shook the foundation of this meme coin's journey, plunging it into a downward spiral that left investors puzzled and alarmed.

The Multi-Sig Mystery

On Aug. 24, the crypto community was shocked by unsettling news: a multi-signature $PEPE wallet, originally designed to require five signatures for access, had mysteriously been altered to grant access with just two signatures. This unexpected development created a chain reaction that would have profound consequences for the $PEPE ecosystem.

Around 16 trillion $PEPE tokens were swiftly transferred from the compromised wallet to centralized exchanges (CEXs), and the move raised more questions than answers. Official $PEPE sources remained silent, leaving investors and enthusiasts in the dark. 

Uncertainty surrounding the transaction sent shockwaves through the $PEPE community, causing traders to sell their holdings before the flood of tokens hit.

In less than 24 hours of the event, the repercussions of the suspicious transaction became painfully evident. $PEPE's price plummeted, shedding a staggering $100 million from its market capitalization. The once-promising meme coin found itself on the verge of a steep decline as the fallout from the incident reverberated throughout the cryptocurrency world.

Unraveling the Mystery

What had initially appeared as a security breach took an unexpected turn. In fact, the alteration had been made intentionally by the some of the PEPE members team rather than exploited by malicious hackers.

According to a series of tweets posted on Aug. 26 by the official Pepe Twitter profile, the multi-sig transfer was not an act of theft but a calculated manoeuvre. The tweets painted a picture of "inner strife" within the $PEPE team, characterizing certain former members as individuals driven by ego and greed.

The explanation provided clarified that these "bad actors" had effectively stolen the 16 trillion tokens transferred from the multi-sig wallet. 

They had then de-permissioned themselves from the wallet, leaving behind a cryptic message: "the multi-sig has been updated, you are now in full control." Subsequently, they deleted their social media accounts, seemingly vanishing into thin air. It was revealed that most stolen tokens had been swiftly dumped onto centralized exchanges, particularly OKX and Binance.

Despite the attempts to ease concerns, the market remained skeptical. Many investors questioned the official narrative and speculated that the team had orchestrated the sale to profit from the event. The aftermath of the transaction cast a long shadow over the $PEPE project, raising doubts about its ability to regain the trust that had been eroded in the wake of these events.

The charts, too, painted a grim picture, suggesting that $PEPE was struggling to recover from the damage inflicted by the suspicious transaction. 

$PEPE price chart for last 90 days (Source:CoinGecko)

Apparently, $PEPE hourly trading volume also took a hit after the story was revealed.

$PEPE hourly trading volume (Source: Dune Analytics)

The Uncertainty of $PEPE and the Memecoin Landscape

It becomes abundantly clear that, like many of its quirky counterparts, $PEPE thrives on the edge of unpredictability as we explore its tumultuous journey. 

Yet, in the realm of meme coins, volatility is a constant companion. These digital assets ride the rollercoaster of hype, soaring to incredible heights before plunging into the depths of the underworld. Investing in such assets is risky, with substantial asset losses lurking at every misstep.

The potential for Pepecoin (PEPE), or any cryptocurrency, for that matter, to ascend to market leadership depends on a variety of factors. Technology, adoption, the unwavering support of a fervent community, practical use cases, and the ever-fickle realm of market sentiment all play integral roles in this high-stakes crypto drama.

Meme coin mania in 2023 reached a peak, and $PEPE emerged as a central character in this captivating narrative. It epitomized the allure of an epic crypto story, where individuals made fortunes overnight, all driven by a token that offered little more than a passionate community and a dark sense of humor. However, since the multi-sig wallet incident, $PEPE's price has gone into a downward spiral.

In the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency landscape, the fate of $PEPE remains uncertain, hanging in the balance as it navigates the turbulent waters of market sentiment. 

Worth noting, PEPE Telegram was hacked on Sept. 9. The Twitter account of PEPE has been largely inactive since then.

The lesson here is clear - exercise caution and due diligence when treading into meme coins. The potential for gains is enticing, but the risks cannot be ignored. 

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