XRP rallied hard on Saturday in a move similar to a crowd pump recently observed in out-of-favor stocks such as GameStop.
The cryptocurrency jumped 56% to $0.50944 to hit the highest level since Dec. 22, according to CoinDesk 20 data. That was the biggest single-day percentage gain since Dec. 21, 2017.
The double-digit price rise was likely fueled by members of a Telegram-based group called Buy & Hold XRP (t.me/pumpxrp), which came into existence on Saturday. The group's membership hit Telegram's 200,000 ceiling within the first 24 hours, forcing a migration to a new official channel with a similar title but a different link (t.me/pumpxrpofficial).
"Traditional Crypto-Pump groups are being copied and legitimized by WallStreetBets-style crowd-pumps, and are now turning their burning gaze from dogecoin to XRP," Jehan Chu, co-founder and managing partner at Hong Kong-based Kenetic Capital, told CoinDesk.
Classic pump and dump tactics are not new to crypto, particularly for XRP, which has a strong army of followers. However, their morale may have been boosted by a group of amateur day traders based on a Reddit forum called WallStreetBets, who recently launched a coordinated buying attack on the video game retailer GameStop (GME), triggering a short squeeze and inflicting heavy losses for hedge funds.
GameStop surged nearly 400% last week, extending the preceding week's 83% rise and attracting unwanted attention from regulators. Meanwhile, the meme-based cryptocurrency dogecoin surged 800% a day before XRP's price pump. The data suggests the crowd buying tactics are returning to their home turf, having democratized the legacy markets.
It remains to be seen if the Buy & Hold XRP group members remain faithful to the group's title by holding the cryptocurrency.
At press time, XRP is changing hands near $0.45. The price rise has erased a significant chunk of the plunge from $0.55 to $0.20 observed following the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's filing a lawsuit against Ripple Labs in late December.
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