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Did Hulk Hogan Really Pump and Dump a Solana Meme Coin?

2024-06-07 06:52:17

One week after celebrities Caitlyn Jenner and Iggy Azalea launched buzzy meme coins, it appeared as if legendary professional wrestler Hulk Hogan had done much the same on Thursday with the HULK token on Solana.

But after the coin was quickly “rugged” at the expense of investors, Hogan took to Instagram to urge fans to ignore any crypto post that came from his Twitter account.

“Please do not take notice of any posts posted today,” Hogan shared on Instagram. “They are not from me and will be promptly removed.”

Indeed, there’s no sign of the purported crypto scam on Hogan’s official Twitter account. In fact, there’s nothing on his feed anymore—everything’s been deleted.

$HULK @HulkHogan off the top of the fib!

(Crowd roars) pic.twitter.com/qImLjJP6KI

— RARE SCRILLA (@ScrillaVentura) June 6, 2024

It’s not immediately clear whether Hogan’s Twitter account was hacked to share an elaborate crypto scheme—as we’ve seen in the past with other celebrities and public figures—or if perhaps someone connected to Hogan and the account had used it maliciously.

The website URL on Hogan’s otherwise empty Twitter profile still points to a website created for the token, and a quick search of his name reveals the wreckage left in the crypto community on Thursday.

Hogan’s account had shared dozens of posts about the HULK meme coin, including tweeting at Iggy Azalea about her coin. The account also shared an apparent video endorsement of the coin, but journalist Matt Binder tweeted that it’s actually pulled from an unrelated 2023 video about a karaoke competition and didn’t specifically mention cryptocurrency.

there were signs that something was off with $HULK

for example, this tweet included a video of Hulk Hogan seemingly endorsing the memecoin to prove it was legit

but the video is actually from a Dec 2023 video promoting a karaoke night & makes zero actual references to crypto pic.twitter.com/J9jMJweLtA

— Matt Binder (@MattBinder) June 6, 2024

According to on-chain data from DexScreener, the HULK token quickly skyrocketed to a market cap of nearly $19 million. That’s before the price quickly plunged, apparently due to the person who originally deployed the token selling large quantities—a crypto “rug pull” on buyers—or a classic pump-and-dump, for that matter.

HULK now sits at a market cap of just $3 million, down about 85% from the short-lived peak, with some $82 million worth of trading volume in just a matter of hours. Traders have taken to Twitter to complain about feeling swindled by the legend—though that apparent dismay, in some cases, may be softened by the glow of nostalgia.

“LMFAO man, I was the biggest Hulk Hogan fan growing up… literally would watch wrestling in the electronic store TV from outside every week,” tweeted pseudonymous trader and influencer Wizard of SoHo. “If I could tell my 8-year-old self that someday Hulk Hogan would scam me for 20K … holy shit LMFAO.”

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.