Three weeks after its debut on April 14, 2023, the frog-themed memecoin Pepe (PEPE) surged over 85% in the last 24 hours to surpass $1 billion in market valuation.
Ironically, PEPE’s central value proposition is that there is none. The official website for the digital currency contains a disclaimer that defines investments in the token as follows:
“$PEPE is a meme coin with no intrinsic value or expectation of financial return. There is no formal team or roadmap. the coin is completely useless and for entertainment purposes only.”
Currently, Pepe appears to be following a similar trajectory as its more popular memecoin competitors, Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.
DOGE increased by over 23,000% in 2021, primarily due to entrepreneur Elon Musk’s support for the token on Twitter.
Similarly, SHIB’s prominence increased by over 1,250% during the crypto bull market of 2021 after using Dogecoin as a springboard.
Due to the absence of underlying fundamentals, investing in memecoins carries a high degree of risk, and they are notorious for their extreme volatility and large price fluctuations.
A closer examination of some of the on-chain activity of Pepe insiders reveals some suspicious transactions.
According to the blockchain analytics service Lookonchain, five addresses purportedly associated with the Pepe team made a profit of $1.23 million in a market with low liquidity.
They acquired 8.87 quadrillions of PEPE at a discount and sold more than 90 percent of their holdings on Uniswap for a profit.
Notably, some of the leading PEPE holders are centralized exchanges.
Nevertheless, according to data monitored by analyst “008.eth,” non-exchange PEPE whales have recently reduced their positions, indicating profit-taking that coincided with a price correction on May 3.