The native token for the embattled crypto brokerage Voyager Digital has skyrocketed in what seems to be a new effort to inflate its price seemingly inspired by the recent “CEL short squeeze.”
On Wednesday, Voyager’s VGX token surged 178% to hit an intraday high of $0.891 before falling back to around $0.559, according to CoinGecko. It had regained ground back up to $0.717 at the time of writing.
The price rise has coincided with the appearance of a Twitter hashtag called #PumpVGXJuly18, as well as the formation of a Telegram group called the “Voyager Community Recovery Channel,” which had more than 2,100 members at the time of writing.
The token has gained more than 400% since the beginning of the week as speculators appear to be jumping aboard the latest quick buck bandwagon.
This week’s VGX pump is a reversal of a steady downtrend for the crypto token this year, losing almost 80% since the beginning of 2022. It is also down 94.3% since its January 2018 all-time high of $12.47.
On July 6, Voyager Digital announced its restructuring plan, which would include issuing Voyager tokens to customers that had suffered losses following its suspension of trading earlier in the month. The same day, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New York, citing liquidity issues arising from Three Arrows Capital’s (3AC) outstanding debts.
The latest twist in the saga came when a federal judge in New York froze the remaining assets of 3AC on Tuesda. Another part of the restructuring plan includes any recovery of assets from 3AC, which could also partly explain the increase in the perceived value of the VGX tokens.
Unknown crypto venture firm MetaFormLabs, which initiated the move on Twitter to pump VGX on July 9, has pledged to rescue Voyager through this means. On Wednesday, the firm detailed its token price target, and the amounts pledged for the rescue package:
“We have set a new target range of 5USD-8USD. Currently, we have 50,000,000USD internally and 67,000,000USD pledged by well-known crypto enthusiasts.”
By Thursday, it claimed to have $135 million in funds for the rescue package, which will be announced in full on July 18, coinciding with its token pump peak plans.
1 thing is clear.
Don’t say we didn’t give you any pre warnings of our intentions.#PumpVGXJuly18
July 18 2022 @ 2PM PST
We will stop sharing exact amounts we have pledged.
Current total ready for July 18: 135,000,00USD+
Whoever shorts will probably get swallowed whole.
— MetaFormLabs | #PumpVGXJuly18 (@MetaFormLabs) July 13, 2022
Following the initial pump, which began on Wednesday as prices lifted off from $0.15, MetaFormLabs asserted that this was nothing to do with them:
“Where there’s green there’s vultures that prey for low entries. #PumpVGXJuly18 will go ahead as planned on July 18 @ 2pm PST. Today’s movement wasn’t us, we’ve not even begun yet.”
The pump scheme has been met with a healthy dose of skepticism from the crypto community on Twitter.
Know what you are getting into. A lot of supply is locked up on Voyager which can skew pricing. $VGX optimism can potentially help Voyager make customers whole, but know the risk you are taking.
— shingolavine.eth (@shingolavine) July 13, 2022
There was no mention of any bailout plans on Voyager’s official Twitter feed.
Cointelegraph reached out to MetaFormLabs for further details in response to their call to do so but had not heard back by the time this article was published.
Meanwhile, VGX was already dumping and had lost 21% from its initial pump yesterday. A similar pump and dump occurred with the newly launched Terra (LUNA) tokens, which surged above $10 a couple of days after they went live in late May, only to dump to around $2.00 a week later.