In brief

  • WallStreetBets made worldwide headlines this week after its role in pumping the prices of GameStop.
  • There's now a WallStreetBets token on CoinMarketCap that ranks above Bitcoin.
  • But it's just a joke.

Don’t fret if you see a WallStreetBets token as the world’s biggest cryptocurrency by market cap today while scrolling markets site CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin’s still the market leader, but a WSB token has been put up to commemorate the namesake subreddit’s sudden worldwide fame.

“Please note that this is a joke- no such asset exists,” warns CoinMarketCap on the WSB token about page.

The joke token is priced at $483, has a market cap of $24.8 billion, a supply of 51 million, and displays over $100 million in daily trading volume, according to the site.

Those numbers didn’t, however, arise entirely out of thin air. They are seemingly tracking the metrics of GameStop, a dying video game rental company whose stock was caught between a bearish hedge fund and the members of WallStreetBets (WSB), a forum on social news and discussion site Reddit.

Why a WSB token?

Starting sometime last year, members of WSB bought up GameStop stock (GME), reasoning that the company had plenty of capital on its balance sheet to save it from going under, even though its traditional brick-and-mortar business model was affected.

The subreddit, whose members playfully call themselves autists and punt on US stocks, managed to pump GME prices from around $4 in 2020 to over $450 on Wednesday. The price surge caused hedge fund Melvin Capital to ultimately lose billions of dollars on its short trade.

But WSB didn’t exactly win: Robinhood, the choice of brokerage for many WSB traders, yesterday paused all purchases of GME stock, stating it was to control the so-called “market manipulation.” It joined other brokerages like Ameritrade who paused the stock’s trading for a similar excuse in the past week.

That move caused WSB members to rile up on social media. It even attracted the wrath of internet personalities like US politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who condemned the move.

“This is unacceptable. We now need to know more about Robinhood’s decision to block retail investors from purchasing stock while hedge funds are freely able to trade the stock as they see fit,” said Ocasio-Cortez in a tweet.

The WSB token has been put in place as a gesture of support for the subreddit’s members. It takes its place alongside Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that share a similar ethos—that of a free market and total ownership of one’s assets, one not ruled by a single, powerful entity.

As for Robinhood, a lawsuit has been filed against the company for its alleged role in blocking and trying to manipulate the seamless functioning of the financial market. The lawsuit’s found widespread support among the general public. And the company has resorted to a $1 billion cash injection to stay afloat.