AURORACOIN - ONE OF THE BIGGEST PUMP AND DUMPS IN CRYPTOCURRENCY HISTORY
Auroracoin was marketed as a national Cryptocurrency for Iceland. This is a noble cause, because Iceland has had severe banking and economic problems, leading to high inflation rates, so a stable Cryptocurrency would help the economy. However, Auroracoin ended up being anything but stable.
Auroracoin is a Scrypt Cryptocurrency, meaning you can mine it with a GPU/CPU or Scrypt ASIC. There will eventually be 21 million Auroracoins total, half of these were premined for the ‘airdrop’. Every citizen of Iceland who registered got 31.8 free Auroracoins on March 25 2014. There are actually 3 stages of the airdrop, each lasting 4 months, during which Icelanders can claim any leftover Auroracoin. There are stories of people selling lists of information about Icelandic citizens, so that non-icelanders could claim Auroracoin.
There are only 25 Auroracoins per block, so miners only got small amounts even after mining for days on end. The 10.5 million Auroracoin airdrop absolutely dwarfed the number of coins that were mined. This is one factor that led to Auroracoin becoming very valuable after launch, the supply was extremely limited which forced the price higher.
Auroracoin has probably the slowest confirmation time I’ve heard of for a Cryptocurrency, it takes several hours for coins you send to become spendable. There are reports of Auroracoins not confirming for 12 hours or more. This made trading Auroracoin a nightmare, it was impossible to respond in time to market changes unless you left your coins on the exchange (and leaving coins on an exchange for long periods of time is never a good idea).
When Auroracoin began trading on exchanges it had a price of 0.03 Bitcoin/Auroracoin, which is an extremely high price for a Scrypt Cryptocurrency. This was mostly due to the limited amount of coins due to slow mining generation rates. The price of Auroracoin began to slowly rise about a day after trading began, and by March 3 a rally was underway. It was a classic pump, big investors (called whales) bought large amounts of Auroracoin, feeding a frenzy of speculation by small to medium investors. The price reached an incredible 0.138 Bitcoin per Auroracoin on March 4, or about $70 at the time. This made Auroracoin many times more expensive than Litecoin, which usually has the highest price out of all the Scrypt Cryptocurrencies (besides Cryptocurrencies with extremely limited coin supply, like 42 coin and 365 coin).
Price started to rapidly decline right after peaking at 0.138 Bitcoin per Auroracoin, and within 48 hours dropped to 0.03 Bitcoin per Auroracoin, about what it cost before the pump. This was a classic dump, where the whales sold, causing price to drop. When the price dropped other investors panicked and sold. I’m sure many investors had an excruciating time if they didn’t have their Auroracoin on the exchange, they would watch the price drop while waiting for hours before they could sell due to the incredibly slow confirmation time of Auroracoin. Overall, the rise and fall of Auroracoin’s price over the course of 5 days was a classic pump and dump, and one of the most infamous Cryptocurrency pump and dumps to date.
The price of Auroracoin steadily declined after that point, and was near 0.02 Bitcoin per Auroracoin just before the air drop on March 25. This means every Icelander got about 0.6 Bitcoin worth of Auroracoin, or about $300, if they sold it in time. After the Airdrop occurred price swiftly declined, and was 0.004 Bitcoin per Auroracoin only a few days after the airdrop. While Auroracoin’s purpose of making a new stable currency for Iceland is noble, it appears it failed. Most Icelanders sold their Auroracoin as fast as possible to get Bitcoin.
Auroracoin has inexorably lost value since the airdrop, and is worth a mere 0.0009 Bitcoin per Auroracoin now. Trading volume on the exchanges is very low, essentially Auroracoin is dying a slow death. There isn’t even much of a community anymore, with almost no recent Auroracoin discussion on Bitcointalk: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=446062.4340
Many Cryptocurrencies similar to Auroracoin have been made, by developers who were trying to cash in on the nation coin trend. Maza Coin was much like Auroracoin, experiencing an early pump and dump and then fading into obscurity. There is also Spain Coin, UkraineCoin, Greececoin, Gaelcoin, Guldencoin, PolishCoin, MapleCoin, Electronic Yen, among others. All of these coins were airdropped to citizens of various countries. Most of these sparked early speculation and then faded into obscurity, though some of them, like Guldencoin and Gaelcoin, are made by legitimate development teams and have active communities.