Cryptos With Dirty Faces: Bytecoin (BCN) Pumps 28% Amid Downturn

Bytecoin (BCN) continued its unexpected revival of late, marking up 28% gains while all else around it plunged. Bitcoin lost its $8,500 footing and fell to the $8,200 range; while Ethereum sunk back to the high $240’s after flirting with $280 just hours previously.

Bytecoin’s gravity defying pump comes as a major surprise – its BCN coin lost over 98% of its value between May and December of 2018. Major exchanges delisted the coin, and fears of an exit plan by the team members weren’t eased by numerous scam accusations – backed up by stacks of amateur internet research.

Bytecoin Revived: BCN/USD

From the daily low of $0.000859, the BCN price shot up to $0.001101 in the space of a few hours.

That would have been a six-month high to date, were it not for a similar unexpected spike that happened earlier in the month. As you can see, the dollar value of the BCN has been tossed around like a ragdoll this past month. Meanwhile its value relative to Bitcoin has plummeted.

Despite being listed on just a handful of exchanges, and even fewer real exchanges, Bytecoin had gained almost 70% for Q2 by Thursday evening.

A History of Scammery – Putin, Fake Accounts, Pre-Mined Coins and Emojis

Suspicion fell on Bytecoin in 2014 during the first year of its launch. A highly merited Bitcointalk forum post lays out Bytecoin’s long and confounding history. The ‘founder’, DStrange, essentially stumbled upon the coins during an accident when trying to mine a Bitcoin clone by the same name.

According to user BDRatings, DStrange quickly packaged up his unexpected findings and called it Bytecoin. The post details how first-time accounts suddenly appeared hailing Bytecoin as looking very much like “Satoshi’s second project”.

Some suspected all the enthusiastic posters of being the same person. They all showed a strange mutual interest in Russia, Putin and the Crimea annexation conflict of the time. Furthermore, despite claiming to be U.S nationals, all of them used the Russian standard for the smiley-face emoji, which looks like “)” instead of 🙂

The reason for this apparently has to do with Russian keyboards, which don’t prioritize the colon as much as Western counterparts. This telltale sign pops up again later in Bytecoin’s story.

After failing to start a rumour that Satoshi Nakamoto was involved with Bytecoin, the user/users all vanished for the next four years.

Round 2 – Fake People, Voice Modifiers, More Russians

By 2017, after years of radio silence, a new ‘community manager’ appeared on Bytecoin social media channels. Jenny Goldberg was now in charge, and despite claiming to be a U.S national living in Barcelona, she also used the Russian emoji standard in her posts.

Crypto news media were curious to know where the new overseer came from, and managed to snag a telephone interview which can be heard here. At the risk of turning a crypto price roundup into a spy story, listen yourself and tell me that’s not a Russian speaking through a voice modulator.

Things continued their strange trajectory when ‘Jenny’ organized a Bytecoin conference in Barcelona which turned out to be fake. Even by that point, there were still hopeful 57 attendees willing to take a punt on BCN – a reminder that these scams often begin on the internet, then turn outward and target those who don’t benefit from the internet’s knowledge base.

Amid most of this the value of BCN was plummeting, although it did record a new all-time high well into May 2018. That may have something to do with 82% of its 184 billion coin supply being pre-mined, and the developers pumping the coin at their discretion.

Such a large pre-mine being in the hands of unknown Russians, voice-modulated Jenny, or any other unidentified entity, makes it hard to believe Bytecoin’s current pump is being caused by anything other than manipulation.

Yet BCN’s revival is proof that in the crypto market, a rising tide really does lift all boats, no matter how many holes are in them. Hopefully the Bytecoin saga fizzles out without much more nonsense. But with the website now showing a completely different set of team members, we could soon be in for round three.

Disclaimer; The author owns Bitcoin, Zcash and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Charts via CoinMarketCap.

Greg Thomson is a freelance writer who contributes to leading cryptocurrency and blockchain publications like CCN, Hacked, and others.