The PEPE meme coin, a cryptocurrency based on the popular internet frog character, experienced a 12% plunge in its price on Thursday after millions of dollars worth of tokens were transferred from a multisig wallet to various crypto exchanges. The multisig wallet, which holds a large portion of the token’s supply, also changed its transaction approval mechanism from requiring five out of eight signatures to only two out of eight, raising concerns among investors and observers.
What is PEPE and why is it important?
PEPE is a meme coin that was launched in 2016 as a tribute to the Pepe the Frog meme, which became a viral sensation on social media platforms such as Reddit, 4chan, and Twitter. The meme coin uses the Counterparty protocol, which allows users to create and trade custom tokens on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. PEPE has a fixed supply of 700 million tokens, of which 175 million are locked in a multisig wallet that is controlled by eight anonymous individuals who are known as the “Rare Pepe Foundation”.
The multisig wallet is one of the largest holders of PEPE tokens and has a significant influence on the market. According to CoinMarketCap, PEPE has a market capitalization of about $8.7 million and a daily trading volume of about $1.4 million as of August 24, 2023. The meme coin has attracted a loyal fan base who collect and trade digital cards featuring various versions of Pepe the Frog. Some of these cards are extremely rare and have sold for thousands of dollars in auctions.
What happened on Thursday?
On Thursday, August 24, 2023, around 12:00 PM UTC, the multisig wallet sent out over 16 trillion PEPE tokens to addresses associated with Binance, OXK, and Bybit, three major crypto exchanges. This was the first time that the multisig wallet had ever transferred any PEPE tokens since its creation in 2016. The amount of tokens sent out represented about 23% of the total supply and was worth about $2 million at the time.
The transfers coincided with a change in the transaction approval mechanism of the multisig wallet. Instead of requiring five out of eight signatures to authorize a transaction, the multisig wallet changed its threshold to only two out of eight signatures. This means that only two individuals out of the eight could decide to move the funds without consulting the others. This raised suspicions among some on-chain analysts and community members who questioned the motives and legitimacy of the transfers.
How did the market react?
The market reacted negatively to the news of the transfers and the change in the multisig wallet’s settings. The price of PEPE dropped from $0.000124 to $0.000109 in less than an hour, a decline of about 12%. The price continued to fluctuate throughout the day, reaching a low of $0.000103 and a high of $0.000118. As of August 25, 2023, 12:00 AM UTC, the price of PEPE was $0.000112, down 9.7% from the previous day.
Some investors expressed their fear and uncertainty on social media platforms such as Twitter and Reddit, wondering if the transfers were a sign of an exit scam or a hack. Others speculated that the transfers could be part of a marketing strategy or a preparation for a major announcement. Some also suggested that the transfers could be related to regulatory issues or legal disputes involving the meme coin.
What is the future of PEPE?
The future of PEPE remains unclear as there has been no official statement or explanation from the Rare Pepe Foundation or any of the multisig wallet’s signatories regarding the transfers and the change in the transaction approval mechanism. Some community members have called for more transparency and accountability from the project’s leaders and have urged them to restore the original multisig settings. Others have expressed their support and trust in the project and have continued to collect and trade PEPE cards.
The PEPE meme coin is one of the oldest and most popular meme coins in the crypto space, with a loyal and passionate fan base. However, it also faces challenges such as regulatory uncertainty, legal disputes, technical issues, and market volatility. The recent events have highlighted some of these challenges and have tested the faith and confidence of its investors and users.