Online Propaganda Group Tactics, Explained

A couple of weeks ago, I became the target of an online propaganda group defending the interests of Ripple, called the XRP Army. After studying their Twitter activity, I figured out their tactics, and came up with a way to identify the group’s members. Then, I applied my process to other online groups. This is what I’ve learned about online propaganda groups (OPGs).

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The #XRPArmy, Explained

The moment I posted my first piece about Ripple and XRP, my Twitter feed became flooded with rebuttals, counter-arguments, and plain old insults. I discovered that most of these messages came from a group of Twitter accounts who identify themselves as the “XRP Army”. I became so fascinated by their tactics and energy, that I decided to dedicate a whole investigative piece to this curious group of crypto fanatics.

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David Schwartz: Ripple’s Odd Chief Swindler

In September last year, shortly after David Schwartz became Ripple Labs’ CTO, Forbes ran a flattering piece about him, titled “Ripple’s Trillion-Dollar Man”. A transparent attempt at promoting Ripple, XRP, and David Schwartz himself, this article gave un a rare insight into David’s story, and involvement in Ripple.

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How Ripple Is Screwing XRP Bagholders

Ripple the company’s existence evolves around denying that it has anything to do with Ripple the coin. It’s obvious that they are inextricably linked, first because they are both called “Ripple”, and then because Ripple the company owns the majority of Ripple coins. However, their whole business model is dependent on XRP, the Ripple coin, not being legally associated to the Ripple company. Here’s why.

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Ripple’s Lie About Its Santander Partnership

I got a lot of heat for my last piece, “Ripple’s “200+ Institutional Clients” Claim Is A Scam“. Scores of Ripple fanboys and Twitter bots accused me of cherry-picking the noise, and ignoring the legitimate heavyweights in Ripple’s long list of clients. Well, let’s look into the true nature Ripple’s most impressive “partnership”: the international banking giant Santander.

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Ripple’s “200+ Institutional Clients” Claim Is A Scam

Ripple is scraping the bottom of the barrel, trying to make it look like someone is using its “technology”. Its “partnerships” are nothing but non-binding promises of maybe one day have a look at its platform, and the “financial institutions” that supposedly use Ripple are just one-page websites without a product.

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Russian Government About To 51% Attack Ethereum

After reading Daily Hodl’s piece about how Russia is about to ditch US dollars for Bitcoin, I decided to investigate the matter. The tweet by Vladislav Ginko implying that the Russian government is about to invest most of it foreign currency reserve holdings into Bitcoin, turned out to be a decoy. Kremlin is about to get into crypto, big time – but it wants to cover its tracks.

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Bitcoin Extreme Price Move Tracker

To give you an image of how often Bitcoin’s intraday price is out of whack, I’ve pieced together this simple Javascript tool that annotates every 1-minute candle that’s longer than 5 standard deviations, or “sigmas”.

It’s a small follow-up to my last piece, “Price Moves Show Bitcoin Is A Penny Stock“. It’s dynamic, too, so you can come back whenever you like a re-check what’s going on.

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Price Moves Show Bitcoin Is A Penny Stock

“The Bart” is a commonly known pattern in Bitcoin charts, to the point of having become a meme on Twitter and reddit. It’s a figure formed by sudden moves in Bitcoin price, followed by period of relative calm.

“The Bart” has become a joke among Bitcoin critics, who point to the Bart as evidence that crypto exchanges manipulate prices to burn margin traders. To see if that’s true, I’ve performed a statistical analysis of Bitcoin candlestick distribution, and compared it to that of a blue-chip stock: IBM.

My conclusion? Bitcoin price moves appear out of whack because all the liquidity is fake. Bitcoin is in reality a penny stock, with 2% bid-ask spreads.

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Why Is Bitcoin Worth Anything At All, Part II

In the first part of this long post, I’ve identified three instances where Bitcoin was used for transactions, namely: pizza, drugs, and ICOs. I’ve postulated that the transactional nature of Bitcoin doesn’t confer it any long-term value, but instead creates speculative bubbles due to long transaction periods, and the price inelasticity of demand for transactions.

In this second part, I’ll first outline why it’s nonsensical to fantasise about Bitcoin becoming a widespread currency in its current form, basically debunking Saifedean Ammous’ arguments inspired from the Austrian School of Economics. Then, I’ll consider its potential as a launchpad for new, innovative financial instruments – a feature that is indeed promising, although still a dream.

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