By: Lucas Green | Contributor
Betting on stocks, especially in the age of Covid-19, is not a game for the faint of heart, but that is precisely what one Reddit forum has been doing, and plans to continue doing. The Reddit forum r/WallstreetBets skyrocketed in popularity over the past month, now boasting over 9.1 million “Degenerates,” and even among its latest controversy, the online community continues to grow.
r/WallstreetBets, (WSB) was already a large community before the Gamestop boom with around 2.2 million followers. Still, with their “takeover” of the market and increase of Gamestop stock by over 1914.55% from Jan. 4 to Jan. 27, they became infamous on the internet.
Immediately following this dramatic influx of trading, the WSB Discord server, which is used for more frequent communication among its members, was banned on Jan.27. The next day, the popular stock trading application, Robinhood, placed restrictions on the buying and selling of stocks such as Gamestop and multiple other potential WSB targets. This outraged numerous users from the WSB community and regular users of Robinhood because they saw it as an unfair restriction by Robinhood that prevented the everyday person from using the stock market as they wished. Eventually, a Class-Action lawsuit has been filed by multiple Robinhood users in retaliation.
Since the Gamestop boom, WSB moved on to search for their next target, and the Gamestop stock dropped to $52.40 a share as of Feb. 15.
Since then, the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have begun investigating Robinhood for unjust market manipulation, according to The Washington Post. A hearing is set for Feb. 18 by the House Financial Services Committee. Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev, and the original leader behind the WSB Gamestop rush Keith Gill are set to testify.
Meanwhile, WSB remained busy as they look for their next surprise mover. The SEC has kept a close eye on the subreddit, though, as they stopped trading on a company that hasn’t reported any business since 2017, SpectraScience. According to Ganjapreneur, it appears their next target might be the legal cannabis industry, with Sundial Growers as the leading name that keeps appearing on the forum. When searching through the subreddit, the primary motivation behind this potential move is the expectation for cannabis to become legal nation-wide under the Biden administration.
Even amongst all the talk of potential new stocks for WSB to put their “diamond hands” on, no definitive next move has been decided upon. For now, all Wall Street can do is sit back and wait.