How to detect pump and dump schemes

Although there really isn’t any relationship between Earth 2 and cryptocurrencies (at least not at the moment), we do see the same phenomena happening when it comes to the price. I am talking about pump and dump schemes. Some people try to artificially inflate the price of land and then sell other tiles in the same country at a huge “discount” compared to this artificially inflated price. However, the inflated price will not hold for long and return to the normal market value, which will be considerable less than the “discounted” price for which gullible people bought some tiles.

A friend of mine suddenly felt rich when she looked at her land value in Amsterdam:

Heavily inflated prices

What actually happened was that one person bought a Dutch tile for $50.00, making this the market value. However, the actual tile value of an unsold Dutch tile at that time was only around $4. If people now tried to sell some tiles for $10, they could claim a 80% discounted price, but in reality people would be paying 2.5 times more for a tile than if they’d bought an unsold one.

At the moment, Earth 2 doesn’t have any mechanisms to handle these kind of market manipulations. You always have to check the actual tile price by first selecting an unsold tile in the same country and looking at the price. Then you can evaluate whether or not the tiles for sale at a so called “discount” are actually a good deal.

We have to keep in mind that the price increase we just described isn’t always a result of bad intentions. Sometimes a person just really wants to have a certain tile, for sentimental reasons or otherwise, and is willing to pay much more than the actual value for it. But when he buys the tile at that inflated price, he will set the new market price. However, when people make arrangements outside of Earth 2 to buy and sell certain tiles at specific prices to different people in order to artificially inflate the price, then we talk about a pump and dump.

In the picture below we can see an example of a suspicious buy and sell activity by “Real Estate Sohel”:

Pump and dump?

When you see something like this, the best thing you can do is to report it in the official Earth 2 Discord channel to the moderator Thomas. After “Real Estate Sohel” got reported, he got banned from the game!

When my friend noticed the sudden increase in her portfolio, she was smart enough to assume it was some kind of error and asked me what I thought of it. However, a lot of people when they notice something similar will resort to Discord channels or other media to ask what is going on. People in these channels may get a little bored with answering those questions, so here I will show how you can check yourself if land is being pumped.

Most people will tell you to go to sites like earth2stats.net or earth2.market or eart2market.org or even to the marketplace of earth2.io. However, in my experience none of these sites give reliable information. The best way to find out how much a tile costs in a certain country is to just try to buy an unsold tile in that country. Often you will see that the price of that tile does not match at all with the price that these sites report.

For example, suppose you would like to buy a tile at the Vatican (called Holy See in Earth 2). According to the sites mentioned above, the new tile price is $0.97 per tile. However, when you actually try to buy an available tile in the Vatican, you will discover that the real price is $11.638. Quite a difference!

To get an idea of how often price spikes are occurring, you could take a look at earth2stats.net. For example, when we take a look at the market price spikes for Liberia, we can see that there definitely have been a lot of spikes. Unfortunately, the graphs do not contain a time axis, so the graphs will only give a global indication.

Spikes in the market price for Liberia

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