EDIT: for those saying paid Reddit shilling can be a good thing, consider this. Every front page slot that these paid posts takes up takes away from another higher quality post that could've been there. It's one thing to pay for ads, which are obvious that they are paid promotions, and it's another to pay for fake organic posts that pretend to have popular support. A company doesn't need retail investors to buy into their token to be successful. If their service is useful, companies will naturally use them, regardless of whether a bunch of redditors are buying in. Also, these paid upvotes can easily be turned into paid downvotes. Who knows what has been downvoted by these bots.
Many of us are aware that many cryptocurrency companies are paying marketing companies and some more questionable entities to pump their coin on Reddit. This is especially prevalent on the /r/cryptocurrency subreddit. Historically, we've seen so many coins suddenly become the FOTM before completely disappearing from the front page. In their price charts, you can see a massive pump during their Reddit stint before a massive dump.
I wouldn't name any coins here specifically, since there will be bag holders that will down vote this post. But everyone of us knows who the suspects are.
Here's an example of a coin that will not be named:
We're seeing the Reddit pump cycle happening again for another cryptocurrency. I'll call it out right now. The.Key or TKY is marketing aggressively on Reddit. The past week, there's been almost 1 post on TKY everyday on the front page. For a coin listed on only 1 exchange with $2 million of daily volume. It looks incredibly suspect.
I have also been monitoring some of the posts coming in and their upvote surges look very suspicious. Check this out:
This is for a coin with barely $2 million of daily volume. It definitely looks questionable. Just look at some of the comments on these posts:
Wow, such a undervalued project! (link)
thekey is looking so bullish. (link)
have been waiting for this! good time to accumulate while it's still only at ico price. (link)
People need to realize how big this is. (link)
Thankfully, many users do realize how unnatural these posts are.
Endless shilling lol (link)
Is anyone else suspicious of all the overly positive comments in this thread? (link)
It's so obvious this post is getting vote manipulated. The crypto market is sick and tired of announcements of announcements. Stop. (link)
If we look at what the project is all about, you realize The.KEY is another Chinese ICO that was shut out of the Chinese market and is now aggressively marketing in the West. They are pretty much a copy and paste of other more mature identity projects like Civic and SelfKey. They have a full Chinese team but virtually zero Chinese marketing materials. In addition, there is no reason to hold this coin since it's a utility token and not a depreciating asset. No one is going to pay thousands of dollars to use an identity service.
There have also been horror stories on how the ICO was conducted. Check out this article THEKEY.RIP: The Story Behind The Worst ICO of 2018. Apparently the team could barely keep their website up before the ICO started. The Telegram channel was unmoderated and filled with porn, trolls, and scammers. During the ICO, because the website couldn't be loaded, the team even started asking participants for funds through email out of desperation. In the end, they overaccepted NEO and withheld the additional NEO for a month "to perform an audit". Keeping users's funds for an entire month? I'd be pissed.
The cryptocurrency scene is incredibly young and there are many low quality companies selling their coins to less informed and new investors. We, as early adopters, need to be diligent in stopping the scene from being overrun by these projects. It looks really bad on cryptocurrencies and can invite unwanted regulation. Let's all be on the watch out for Reddit shilling and call things out as it is.