manipulated Archives -
In January, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the so-called ‘XRP army’ harassing Ryan Selkis, the cofounder of cryptocurrency data startup Messari. A recent data analysis has now alleged that the XRP army of shills is compromised of thousands of bots trying to sway market sentiment across social media channels like Twitter.
Thousands of XRP Bots and Fake Ripple Shills Have Infested Twitter, Researcher Claims
When people discuss Ripple Labs and the XRP digital currency, the conversation can sometimes turn ugly and controversial. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have noticed on platforms such as Twitter that if someone says something negative about Ripple or XRP, they are swarmed by Ripple supporters. The cofounder of Messari, Ryan Selkis, otherwise known as @twobitidiot, recently detailed how he was harassed by XRP supporters who called his home phone number. Now, a few reports from independent researchers have concluded that there are thousands of phony accounts or bots on social media being used to manipulate XRP sentiment. In fact, Geoff Golberg has spent a lot of time studying XRP-related bots and phony accounts on Twitter and first revealed his findings last year.
“Astroturfing = the deceptive tactic of simulating grassroots support for a product, cause, etc., undertaken by people or organizations with an interest in shaping public opinion,” explained Golberg after sharing his data. “There are various types of graphs I use and analyses I conduct — It’s quite manual and requires lots of time.” One particular Twitter account called ‘@Giantgox’ raised Golberg’s curiosity as many bots showed signs of being tethered to the Twitter account.
Golberg’s analysis continued:
Every dot/node is a Twitter account which is following and/or being followed by Giantgox.
Golberg Continues to Share His Data Despite Threats
Last year, Golberg wrote about his investigation in great detail, which uncovered around 8,000 suspected phony XRP accounts on Twitter. The researcher also claims he made a bet with Ripple’s CTO, David Schwartz. In the post called “Dissecting a key (Twitter) account from the XRP Army,” Golberg says that Schwartz told him that if “there’s a real problem” the CTO would be “willing to deploy resources to investigate it.” However, since Golberg began sharing his data sets and analysis, he claims Schwartz has turned silent about his alleged promise. “There’s been crickets from Schwartz since I shared data outlining the magnitude of the XRP/Ripple astroturfing efforts,” Golberg tweeted.
— geoff golberg (@geoffgolberg) March 10, 2019
Besides the Giantgox account, Golberg also found questionable data tied to another popular XRP-related Twitter account, ‘@Xrptrump,’ which has roughly 30,000 followers. While sharing his data, Golberg emphasized: “The large highlighted cluster is comprised of 8.2K accounts which follow Xrptrump — Take a look at this spreadsheet for yourself — do these look like real accounts?” The researcher’s seething critique of the allegedly manufactured support added:
The majority of Xrptrump’s followers are inauthentic accounts/accounts that have zero interest in XRP (large clusters, for example) — XRP army manufactures support.
According to the researcher, and similarly to Ryan Selkis’ experience, Golberg was harassed by the XRP army. After sharing his studies concerning the magnitude of alleged Ripple bots, the researcher received a message from a Twitter account that said: “Who can kill him?” He then reported the account to Twitter and the social media company told Golberg that the person did not violate Twitter’s harassment guidelines. Two days later, the account holder messaged Golberg directly and apologized for the threat and the account owner also deleted the profile. Despite this, the harrying and intimidation will not stop Golberg from sharing his research and analysis. “I eat XRP army shills for breakfast,” Golberg proclaimed.
What do you think about the XRP army and the accusations of bots and manufactured Ripple/XRP support? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Geoff Golberg, Shutterstock, Twitter, and Pixabay.
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Bitpico, a controversial mischief-maker within the world of bitcoin, has allegedly rage-quit BTC altogether. The pseudonymous entity, who has previously caught attention for stress-testing the Bitcoin Cash network and trying to keep Segwit2x alive, has now reportedly washed his hands of Bitcoin core altogether. There remains the possibility, however, that it’s merely the latest publicity stunt from a notorious troll.
Bitpico Allegedly Rage Quits on Bitcoin Core
Bitpico was last in the news six weeks ago, when we reported that his crew were stress-testing the Bitcoin Cash network – and not out of love for it. Bitpico has made no secret of his dislike for BCH, but now it appears he’s fallen out of love with BTC too. In a tweet that strongly reeked of a hack or publicity stunt, Bitpico wrote on August 4: “We are no longer bullish on #bitcoin $ btc & dumped all @ 8300 USD. We’ve put our farm up for sale also. Why? We no longer want to participate in the worlds most manipulated commodity. Bitcoin is now just a shit show. Good luck!”
The claim caught the attention of the crypto community, but was met with short shrift:
Others have speculated that Bitpico was a Bitcoin Cash shill all along, and that his team’s failure to successfully topple the BCH network was an attempt to demonstrate its strength, citing his sudden dismissal of BTC as proof.
Bitpico Deletes All Tweets
In addition to defiantly declaring BTC to be the world’s “most manipulated commodity”, and claiming to have sold his coins at the recent top, Bitpico went on to delete all his remaining tweets. He also updated his Twitter bio, reaffirming his opinion that “Bitcoin is fully manipulated shit show. Just say no.” If Bitpico was seeking to catch attention by throwing his toys out the pram, he certainly succeeded. Few people are prepared to take his claims seriously however.
Bitpico has a history of making threats and then never following through with them. As previously reported by news.Bitcoin.com: “[In November] Bitpico explained that his team was carrying out the Segwit2x fork whether people liked it or not and claimed to have 30 percent of the hashrate…Following Bitpico’s threats this past November, nothing ever happened, and his 30 percent of hashrate never came to fruition.” He also previously threatened to DDoS the Lightning Network, but once again, nothing happened.
It’s possible that Bitpico’s non-existent hashrate, sloppy coding, and ineffectual DDoS army is accompanied by shoddy infosec, resulting in his Twitter account being hacked. It seems likelier, though, that he’ll return in a few days, promoting a new agenda with equally lackluster results.
Do you think Bitpico has really sold all his BTC? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Twitter.
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The post Bitpico Cashes Out, Claiming BTC to Be “World’s Most Manipulated Commodity” appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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