Eleven months ago, Alexey Andryunin was sure his business was not long for this world.
A 22-year-old math student from Moscow, Andryunin built a business inflating trade volumes in little-known crypto tokens issued during the 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) craze. In a head-turning interview CoinDesk published last July, Andryunin candidly described the underworld of micro-cap tokens and exchanges surviving on artificial volumes ginned up by paid “market makers” (a traditional finance term used loosely in this context.)
At the time, Andryunin thought his business was heading to a decline: ICOs were moribund, the token market was shrinking and a new wave of regulatory attention was about to scour the shadier corners of the crypto space.
He now says he was mistaken. Business is growing again as token promoters pay him to pump their projects so they’ll be accepted on crypto exchanges. It doesn’t hurt that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rise in investors looking for the next crypto opportunity.
“We were about to switch to big data analysis, but we didn’t have a moment to start there [because] the crypto market suddenly turned around to us,” he told CoinDesk recently.
In addition to inflating volumes, his firm is providing all kinds of services to token projects. It will code apps when the founders of the projects have nothing but an idea, Andryunin said – for a price.
Flashback: For $15K, He’ll Fake Your Exchange Volume