Pump Dump Repeat: Aurora (AOA) Displays Some Impossible Price Patterns

Ethereum-based altcoin Aurora (AOA) has shown some very strange trading patterns this past week. The following screengrab of AOA’s weekly chart tells the story better than I ever could.

One Crazy Week – AOA in Flux

Here’s the past seven days of Aurora’s market movements:

The first and largest spike on the chart shows AOA more than doubling, from $0.025439 up to $0.057912 – a 127% increase. That’s certainly unexpected, but not unprecedented, and many examples of such ridiculous spikes can be found within Hacked’s archives.

But then the same thing happened the next day, and the next – to lessening degrees, right through the week. At the same time, daily volume data showed highly irregular trading patterns, with peaks and troughs coinciding with those of the token price.

We caught the start of this occurrence last week when AOA spiked 100% and inserted itself among the top-forty cryptocurrencies by market cap. However, it was a mystery then, and remains so today.

The official Aurora Telegram channel recently posted a weekly update which landed right before AOA’s 127% spike commenced. In it we learn about the ongoing progress of Aurora’s mainnet development (40% complete), and its smart contract development (40%) complete.

That’s the kind of information that might result in a small price bump under normal circumstances. But it doesn’t explain AOA’s recent fluctuations.

What is Aurora?

Aurora commenced trading in mid-2018, and like most (but not all) coins born in the bear market, it had nowhere to go but down. The project is self-described as holding the mission of:

“…creating bright and colorful blockchain world with fast-working contracts that facilitate easy development of applications on the blockchain. The team strives to allow businesses from disparate industries to cooperate using the distribution of a fixed supply of the underlying currency AOA as a means of ensuring the speed and functionality of the consensus mechanism.”

From the all-time high of $0.061119, AOA subsequently dropped to an all-time low of $0.004147 – a 93.2% decrease.

The token has a history of strange price movements. Last September AOA gained over 250% in four days. All of the price movement came from one exchange – Kucoin. In the days following the spike, AOA lost 55% of its value in a flash.

Etherscan shows over 100,000 addresses holding AOA – a relatively large figure for an altcoin barely a year old. A glance at the holders list reveals the top five addresses to be in possession of 56% of the token supply. However, none of the tokens in those addresses have been moved in almost a year.

Aurora Price – AOA/USD

On the day, AOA had just spiked again, and was soon in the midst of one of its regular retreats. It spiked 47% late on Monday night, before losing 25% of those gains immediately afterwards.

I have no familiarity with the small exchanges Aurora is listed on, but have serious doubts as to whether anyone is actually profiting from these spikes – except the person initiating them.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum 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.