How do you get into the business of market manipulation? It's easy if you try.
Alexey Andryunin, a 20-year-old college student from Moscow, became a sensation after he quite openly told CoinDesk how his company was helping little-known token projects get traction via inflated trading volumes.
He spoke with CoinDesk about the business of market manipulation and explained why he believes the current market rules make manipulation inevitable. Now we have a full video interview with this token mastermind.
“I’m 20. I got into the crypto business when I was 18," he said. "I was studying at the university, there were some problems in my family, let’s put it this way, and I needed money. I got an entry-level job at a crypto startup. The main part of my salary was in tokens, I trusted that startup, I knew absolutely nothing about the crypto industry."
At that startup, Andryunin was in charge of listing tokens on exchanges and on CoinMarketCap. He soon realized he was in a tough spot.
“CoinMarketCap at the time required the daily volume as high as $100,000 to list a token, and those exchanges gave us pennies, absolutely nothing – like, $100, $200, $300 – and that was not so bad as it was right after our ICO,” he said.
The team realized they needed to fake it until they made it. So, Andryunin and his friend made their first trading bot.
“We would create a buy order from one account, a sell order form another account, they would meet inside of the spread where there were no other orders," he said.
The bot helped the startup get their token listed on larger exchanges and CoinMarketCap, but Alexey soon realized he and his friend could build their own business. One day, instead of his regular university volleyball training session, Alexey went to a crypto event in Moscow and met his first partner who helped create his company, Gotbit.
“Our product now is providing the full control over the token’s market: the volume, the price, the liquidity, and making money on the price movements," he said.
The clients were small token projects with an ICO. They wanted to calm their investors and look a bit better on exchanges. In a couple of years, Gotbit helped 28 projects look legitimate. It was not the only player on the field, Andryunin said:
Andryunin is bearish on the market as a whole.
He said the industry itself created the market conditions in which the projects can’t get on the serious platforms without artificial volumes.
“In the crypto world, if a token is not on CoinMarketCap that project doesn’t exist, right? Without our service, or a service like ours, or without a real trading volume, which well-known projects can command, you can’t get on CoinMarketCap," he said, adding:
And the end is near. Andryunin believes that the industry is getting more regulated: ICOs are now over, and new clients are hard to find.
The answer? Gotbit’s team is exploring other opportunities. However, he said he was happy to tell us about his “questionable” business in order to share a real story of how the market once was.
Alexey Andryunin image via CoinDesk video
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