XRP is Lebron James of crypto. A day doesn’t pass by without media gushing about it – hate it or love it, but can’t ignore it.
In their traditional year wrap up, Coindesk did a series of articles on the most prominent personas, happenings or groups within crypto space. One of the topics was XRPArmy, a self-given title XRP holders gave themselves on Twitter. Article explains and lays proofs of the tight-knit packs of accounts that shill or defend XRP around the clock, with a military discipline.
Here is one of the most interesting parts of the article, where one independent researcher mathematically demonstrates astroturfing and apparent bot activity behind one of the most known XRP advocates that goes under a moniker XRPTrump.
“The idea that astroturfing is rife on XRP Twitter, however, is most associated with Geoff Golberg, an independent researcher who’s been studying the XRP community’s online presence for months.
“It’s coordinated amplification,” Golberg said in a Coindesk interview. “This isn’t organic.”
He cited suspicious patterns of following, liking and retweeting that point to some degree of manipulation. In certain cases, the accounts appear to be automated (“bots”), that is, controlled using a script.
As it turns out, the 8,200 accounts that make up these blobs all have the exact same mathematical relationship to XRP Trump’s following as a whole: an Eigencentrality score of precisely 0.013143. That score also happens to be the lowest in the whole dataset.
“They are all equally disconnected,” Golberg said.
For over 8,000 of XRP Trump’s roughly 21,000 followers (when the data was collected in September) to have an identical relationship to the broader network – down to the sixth decimal place – would be staggeringly unlikely in an organic, human network, where thousands of complex, individual volitions yield thousands of different degrees of influence. Golberg told CoinDesk that it’s “a huge red flag.”
To try and corroborate his findings, CoinDesk used SparkToro’s “fake followers audit” tool, which shows that XRP Trump, Schwartz, Hodor and Garlinghouse all have above-average proportions of fake followers, relative to the sizes of their followings:
It is worth noting that fake followings can be completely unbidden by the profile that is followed, there is nothing you can do to stop bots from following you on Twitter. However, this research is surely an interesting insight and a new tool in the arsenal for the XRP detractors.
Our website Captainaltcoin.com also had a chance to witness the vigor of XRP community on Reddit. One of the articles posted there that shined, by the XRP community perceived negative, light on token velocity and its influence on future price of XRP was heavily attacked and downvoted by the XRP bots.
The most interesting part for us was a comment of one XRP bots who attacked our post and site in general, received a pile of upvotes in a matter of minutes only to go and scream for moderators to help him, accusing us to manipulate the Reddit voting system.
His chain of logic was pretty broken as it makes no sense for anyone to upvote a negative comment about itself. But sure does make a lot of sense for XRP bots to upvote a defending comment of their beloved token.
Once he figured his mistake, his comment was promptly deleted.
No matter the fundamental soundness of XRP ledger and overlaying token, the social activity and marketing machine behind this project is massive. This will probably lead to price pumps and surges in the future, which will result in even more hype around the project as new holders get sucked in and dig their heels in to defend their “lambo investment”.
Nonetheless, buzz and empty hype can bring you only so far – to sustain the growth and heights you reach with hype, you need to provide value in return. Ripplenet actually has a good probability chance to do that. But XRP token could well wind up to be the odd man out, the leper no one will need or want to touch in the future.
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