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Ethereum-hosted Tellor pumps and dumps, $73 mln liquidated

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The pump and dump of the TRB token could be a case of manipulation by the Tellor team.

Ethereum-hosted Tellor pumps and dumps, $73 mln liquidated

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  • TRB marked a 52-week high but was later subject to a massive dump.
  • Open Interest increased as traders side with short positions.

Market participants who tried to capitalize on the rise in Tellor’s [TRB] price were met with a big shock as 2023 closed.

On the 31st of December, the price of TRB increased and tapped $600. In the process of the rally, some traders wanted to have a piece of the cake.

However, TRB’s price crashed moments later. This dump caused a $73 million liquidation. Coinglass showed the wipeout was the highest of any crypto contract in the last 24 hours.

Crypto liquidation heatmap involving Tellor(TRB)

Source: Coinglass

Hold the Tellor team responsible

At press time, TRB’s price was $198.35, indicating that the token was tilting toward the upside again. The Tellor project is not as popular as other coins in the market. As of this writing, it was number 124 on the market cap standings.

Per its fundamentals, AMBCrypto discovered that it was built on the Ethereum [ETH] blockchain.  It also serves as an infrastructure for making off-chain data available on smart contracts.

However, it seems that the Tellor team was not just interested in the utility of the project.

This was because of a recent revelation by Lookonchain. According to Lookonchain, the pump and dump of the token could be a case of manipulation by the Tellor team.

The smart money handle posted that the team deposited $2.4 million of TRB shortly after the price started to rise.

So, it is likely that the team was also involved in dumping the tokens and putting retail traders in pain.

Shorts plan to thrive but…

Furthermore, the Open Interest in TRB had increased to $423.24 million. Open Interest is the value of outstanding derivative contracts in futures trading.

Increasing Open Interest (OI) implies that new money has flowed into the market. On the other hand, a decreasing OI implies that traders are closing positions and taking out their liquidity.

So, the spike in the 8-hour Open Interest suggests that there were some traders with open TRB contracts.

TRB Open Interest

Source: Santiment

Is your portfolio green? Check out the TRB Profit Calculator

But what positions are these traders taking? This is where the OI-Weighted Funding Rate comes in. Funding Rate gives an insight into the sentiment traders have. If the Funding Rate is positive, traders are bullish and have many long positions open.

However, TRB’s Funding Rate at press was down to -1.937%. This reading indicated that short positions were dominant in the market at press time. But with the price in a recovery phase, it might not be a good idea to short TRB in the meantime.


Victor Olanrewaju is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. Settled in Lagos, his fascination with blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency market arose out of his love of freedom and everything free. As a Nigerian, Victor understands the impact unfounded financial restrictions have on a population. He sees Bitcoin and cryptos as a way to circumvent these obstacles, as a tool for value creation despite all the setbacks. A graduate in Physics, Victor previously worked as a Senior Marketer at Melange Technologies. Before that, he dealt with crypto-marketers on a regular basis in his capacity as Copywriter at Ventrix Media. At AMBCrypto, Victor’s focus is on assessing the real effectiveness of both on-chain and off-chain developments on a project and its community sentiment.
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