If you have children who are into video games, you might have already been affected by the next generation of pump & dump schemes and just don't know it.
FaZe Clan is a professional esports and entertainment organization partly owned by Academy-Award winner DJ Paul of Three Six Mafia and Kiari "Offset" Cephus from the group Migos. The organization is one of the largest marketed teams in the industry, with tens of thousands of viewers at any given time.
Last month, they announced that one of their members would be banned, and another three suspended, over a scheme involving misleading cryptocurrency speculation. Cryptocurrencies are digital exchange tokens that work a lot like how stock shares work -- the more people buy into it, the more value. While the bulk of them are useless, some such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin, have become popular, with the former being an officially recognized currency in some countries.
Last month, streamers began to promote a new coin called "Save the Kids" ($KIDS), hyping it up to their viewers. These streamers, being influencers with giant platforms, affected the value of the coin much like certain stocks fluctuate when a business leader such as Elon Musk mentions them.
$KIDS skyrocketed. It has been promoted as a charity coin, with a video which, according to Business Insider, "promised to 'redistribute wealth' to both holders and charities." So not only were these streamers enticing their viewers to invest in a supposedly valuable coin, but they were doing so under the guise that it would be going to charity.
Because of the way cryptocurrency works, anyone can view anyone else's wallet, including transactions.
According to Business Insider, journalists were able to tell that the four streamers, whom FaZe took action against, dumped the coin for a sizable profit, which directly negatively impacted the coin's value.
"FaZe Clan had absolutely no involvement with our members' activity in the cryptocurrency space, and we strongly condemn their recent behavior," the organization said in a statement.