Pump: Everything to Know

By  Beluga Research August 15, 2023

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  • A cryptocurrency pump is a sudden and significant increase in the price of a digital asset, often driven by coordinated buying to create artificial hype and profit
  • Cryptocurrency pumps have a long history of artificially inflating prices, often leaving investors with significant losses
  • While regulatory measures have been introduced to combat market manipulation, pump and dump schemes still occur, mainly through social media platforms
  • These follow a pattern where organizers select a target cryptocurrency, create buying frenzy and then sell off holdings, leaving latecomers with depreciating assets


A cryptocurrency pump is a sudden and significant increase in the price of a digital asset, often driven by coordinated buying to create artificial hype and profit Cryptocurrency pumps are a form of market manipulation that takes advantage of the relatively low liquidity and unregulated nature of the crypto market. They are typically orchestrated by organized groups or individuals who aim to inflate the price of a particular cryptocurrency to generate profits for themselves. These pumps often target low-cap or less popular cryptocurrencies, as they are more susceptible to manipulation due to their lower trading volumes and liquidity.

A Brief History

The history of cryptocurrency pumps dates back to the early days of bitcoin and the emergence of altcoins. In the early years, when the market was less mature and regulations were virtually non-existent, pump and dump schemes were prevalent. These schemes involved artificially inflating the price of a cryptocurrency through coordinated buying, and then selling off their holdings once the price reached a peak. These activities often left unsuspecting investors with substantial losses.

With the growth of the crypto market, regulatory measures have been introduced to combat market manipulation. However, pumps still occur, albeit in different forms. Social media platforms, such as Telegram and Discord, have become popular channels for organizing pump and dump schemes. These groups coordinate their actions, often using misleading information and hype to attract other investors and create a buying frenzy.

Pump: Everything to Know

A cryptocurrency pump typically follows a well-defined pattern. The organizers of a pump group select a target cryptocurrency and announce it to their members, often with claims of future price appreciation and potential profits. Members of the group are instructed to buy the cryptocurrency at a specific time, creating a surge in demand and driving up price. As the price rises, the organizers start selling their holdings, taking profits along the way. Eventually, the price reaches a peak, and the organizers exit their positions, causing the price to plummet. This leaves latecomers to the pump holding depreciating assets.

Several factors contribute to the success of a pump. The size and influence of the group organizing the pump play a crucial role in attracting enough participants to generate significant buying pressure. Additionally, the timing of the pump is essential, as the organizers aim to create a sense of urgency and excitement among participants, encouraging them to buy quickly before the price rises further. Furthermore, the use of social media platforms allows these groups to reach a large audience and coordinate their actions effectively.

Getting Started

To grasp the concept of cryptocurrency pumps, it's essential to understand the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies. Unlike traditional financial systems that are governed by centralized authorities, cryptocurrencies operate on decentralized networks called blockchains. These blockchains utilize cryptographic techniques to secure transactions and maintain a transparent ledger of all transactions.

Cryptocurrency markets are highly volatile, and their prices can fluctuate rapidly. This volatility, combined with the absence of strict regulations, creates an environment where pumps can occur. Pumps are typically organized through online platforms, social media groups or messaging apps where participants coordinate their buying activities to drive up the price of a specific cryptocurrency.

Unique Aspects

Several unique aspects contribute to the occurrence of cryptocurrency pumps. First, the relatively low liquidity of certain cryptocurrencies makes them more susceptible to price manipulation. Illiquid markets allow a small group of participants to exert more significant influence over the price, as buying activity can have a more substantial impact on the overall market.

Second, the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies makes it challenging to regulate or prevent pump-and-dump schemes. While regulatory bodies can take action against fraudulent activities in traditional financial markets, cryptocurrencies operate outside their jurisdiction. This lack of oversight enables malicious actors to exploit unsuspecting investors by artificially inflating the price and then selling their holdings at a profit before the price collapses.

Third, the pseudonymous nature of cryptocurrency transactions makes it difficult to trace the identities of individuals involved in pump-and-dump schemes. Participants can operate under aliases or hide behind anonymous accounts, making it harder to hold them accountable for their actions.


  • Potential for High Returns - Participating in a successful pump can result in substantial profits if investors manage to buy in early and sell at the peak.
  • Quick Profit Opportunities - Pumps can unfold rapidly, offering the potential for quick gains within a short period.
  • Increased Liquidity - Pumps can inject liquidity into a particular cryptocurrency, making it easier to buy and sell during the price surge.
  • Enhanced Market Awareness - Cryptocurrency pumps often attract attention and media coverage, increasing awareness and exposure for the project.
  • Fostering Community Spirit - Pumps can bring together like-minded individuals who share an interest in a particular cryptocurrency, fostering a sense of community and collaboration.


  • High Risk - Cryptocurrency pumps are inherently risky endeavors. The price surge is often short-lived, and those who fail to sell at the right time can experience significant losses.
  • Unpredictability - It can be challenging to predict when a pump will occur, making it difficult for the average investor to participate effectively.
  • Market Manipulation - Pumps can be orchestrated by groups seeking to manipulate the market for their own gain, leaving unsuspecting participants at a disadvantage.
  • Lack of Fundamental Value - Pumps are often driven by hype and speculation rather than the underlying fundamentals of a cryptocurrency project, which can lead to inflated prices that are not sustainable.
  • Negative Repercussions - When a pump ends, the subsequent dump can result in a sharp price decline, causing substantial losses for those who bought in at the peak.