PEPE Token Soars to $500M Market Cap as Meme Coin Fever Grips Crypto Traders

PEPE derivatives will be listed on BitMEX with up to 50x leverage.

AccessTimeIconMay 2, 2023 at 1:23 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 26, 2024 at 2:24 p.m. UTC
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PEPE, the token that sprouted out of the "pepe the frog" meme, has rocketed to a $502 million market cap following a 2,100% rise since it was issued last month.

According to Ethereum block explorer etherscan, PEPE has around 75,000 holders with several wallets – excluding centralized exchanges – holding in excess of $5 million worth of the tokens.

The PEPE token surged by a 350% over the weekend alone, and derivatives exchange BitMEX on Tuesday said it is listing perpetual swaps for the token, which will allow traders to trade the volatile asset with as much as 50 times leverage.

While hype around the meme token continues to build, some early investors have been cashing out. One trader sold $2 million worth of the token using MetaMask swaps. They ended up losing $350,000 as they were hit with 25% slippage due to minimal liquidity.

Another trader temporarily tanked the price of PEPE by almost 50% as they cashed out $678,000 worth of the token.

PEPE's price action is reminiscent of dogecoin over the years, with intense volatility being caused by an absence of liquidity or sustainable demand. The price of dogecoin dramatically fell on numerous occasions when hype began to subside. In this case, PEPE could face sell pressure when derivative markets go live as traders attempt to capitalize on a trend that has historically ebbed and flowed.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.

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Oliver Knight

Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.


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