Investors suffer enormous losses as "cascading liquidations" tank the Wonderland protocol token price below its supposed intrinsic value

Three-day price graph of the $TIME token, showing a precipitous drop and then volatile activity3-day value of $TIME in USD (attribution)
The broader decline in cryptocurrency prices triggered "cascading liquidations" in the Wonderland defi project, which is a fork of the "it might be a ponzi" OlympusDAO project. This dropped the value of the project's $TIME token nearly 50%, from around $780 to about $415 in the span of only two hours. This followed a decline of 91% over the past few months, as the token dropped from its November all-time-highs of around $14,000. According to CryptoBriefing, "Due to the disproportionately high leverage many TIME holders take on, the broader drop in crypto valuations has hit the Wonderland protocol harder than most."

The $TIME tokens are issued against a set of assets that supposedly give the token an intrinsic value, and if the price drops below the backing price, the protocol uses the assets in their treasury to buy back the token to bring it back up to its "fair value". In the day following the crash, the protocol's founders spent several million dollars in buy-backs, which briefly boosted the token back up to trading at around $600.

The project's team reportedly suffered major liquidation losses themselves, with the founder Daniele Sestagalli losing $15 million and the chief developer "0xSifu" losing $1.6 million. Sestagalli briefly caused panic in the community when he set his 300,000+ follower Twitter account to private after tweeting "Dude I just woke up losing 10 m dollars", but set the account back to public shortly after. He retweeted a thread stating that "the internal struggle for growth is cut short by the willingness of some entities to 'eat' all that they'r able to, instead of 'cultivating' and sharing what would be exponential profits in the future."

Promised NFT game "Blockverse" rug pulls 500 ETH ($1.2 million)

A Minecraft character with turquoise skin, four eyes, a hawaiian style shirt, and dark blue pantsBlockverse #8272 (attribution)
Blockverse, a project that promised to build a play-to-earn game on top of Minecraft, rug pulled two days after launch. The initial NFT collection sold out in only eight minutes, even though the project creators hadn't even begun to develop the game they were promising. When the creators rug pulled, they took the 500 ETH ($1.2 million) and deleted the project website and Discord server.

John Lennon's son is delighted to be able to "auction off" items from his private Beatles collection without actually, you know, selling anything

Photograph of John Lennon's yellow and white-fur-trimmed jacket from the Magical Mystery Tour filmJohn Lennon's Magical Mystery Tour jacket (attribution)
Julian Lennon maintains a private collection of Beatles memorabilia, including clothing worn by his late father John Lennon, and other items from other members of the band. He announced plans to sell each item as "an audio/visual collectible, with a personal narration from Julian", but the announcement notes that "the items themselves are not up for auction... Lennon will continue to own the only physical counterpart". Starting prices for each item range from $4,000 to $30,000.

Lennon said, "I've been collecting these personal items for about 30 years, and I was getting a bit fed up with them being locked away in a vault, where I’ve had to keep them because I didn’t want them to get damaged... I actually felt very bad about keeping all that stuff locked away." Apparently photographing the items and displaying them digitally somehow was not possible until NFTs came along?

"Now go back to flip more burgers you lazy fvçk!" Nayib Bukele continues horrify those who come across his tweets and realize he's not just a Bitcoin bro but the president of an entire country

Tweet from Nayib Bukele: "Most people go in when the price is up, but the safest and most profitable moment to buy is when the price is down. It’s not rocket science (Man shrugging emoji) So invest a piece of your McDonald’s paycheck in Bitcoin. Now go back to flip more burgers you lazy fvçk!"Tweet by Nayib Bukele (attribution)
El Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele gives us Americans a painful reminder of having a president who truly cannot be trusted with the reins of a country, much less a Twitter account. On January 24, with Bitcoin prices tanking, Bukele tweeted, "Most people go in when the price is up, but the safest and most profitable moment to buy is when the price is down. It’s not rocket science. So invest a piece of your McDonald’s paycheck in Bitcoin. Now go back to flip more burgers you lazy fvçk!"

Naturally, he failed to mention the nearly 1,000 Bitcoin that he had purchased with taxpayer money since September 2021 at times that Bitcoin was above $50,000.

OpenSea users lose a collective $1.8 million to an issue allowing people to buy NFTs at low prices from old OpenSea listings the sellers thought they'd deleted

Bored Ape illustration: light brown ape with a laurel crown, coins over its eyes, and an army jacket on a light blue background.Bored Ape #9991 (attribution)
A horrified (former) owner of a Bored Ape tweeted that his NFT had just unexpectedly sold for a measly 0.77 ETH (about $1,700) and that "I cant financially afford that loss". The purchaser netted a handsome profit by quickly reselling the NFT for 84.2 ETH ($190,000). It appears that the buyer took advantage of the fact that they could still purchase NFTs that had previously been listed for sale at a lower price, even once the owner thought they had removed the listing. In about 90 minutes, the person was able to exploit the issue by buying and selling several different NFTs for a total profit of about $880,000.

A software engineer investigating the incident attributed it to OpenSea's choice to do many of their operations off-chain to save on the expensive gas fees required for any Ethereum blockchain transaction, saying this introduced a disparity where updates were not reflected on-chain. Another person investigating the apparent issue reported that this looked to be the same "glitch" as earlier this month, where users tried to avoid paying the gas fees to delist their NFT sales by swapping them out of their wallet and back again, not realizing the listing would still be active when the NFT was returned.

OpenSea added an "Inactive listings" page to allow people to view listings that are still associated with NFTs that have been transfered out of the wallet, though the feature doesn't seem to have been widely publicized and it's not clear when it was released. They also later reimbursed users who suffered losses from this exploit, to the tune of about $1.8 million.

Co-founder of the team behind CryptoPunks v2 sells all 40 of his v1 Cryptopunks shortly before the team announces they view them as worthless

A pixel art character with pale skin and black hair on a purple backgroundV1 Punk #7276 (attribution)
The enormously popular Cryptopunks project, created by the LarvaLabs group, is actually on its second version. A bug in the original smart contract allowed users to retrieve their money after buying the original NFT, allowing people to "steal" the v1 NFTs, and so the project largely faded into obscurity in favor of the patched version 2. However, recently the NFT marketplace LooksRare allowed a project where people "wrap" their original punks and can trade them properly without encountering the bug. This apparently didn't go over so well with LarvaLabs: on January 31, the project tweeted, "PSA: 'V1 Punks' are not official Cryptopunks. We don't like them, and we've got 1,000 of them... so draw your own conclusions." However, @NFTethics noticed that one of the LarvaLabs founders sold all 40 V1 punks that he owned between January 23 and 25. Trading them shortly before the project released the tweet declaring they viewed them as worthless sure looks a lot like insider trading. The trades earned the founder a handsome total of 260 ETH (about $625,000). Fortunately for buyers of the wrapped V1 punks, LarvaLabs' announcement doesn't appear to have impacted trading price very much.

A surgeon tries to sell an NFT of an x-ray of a terror attack victim without the victim's consent

French surgeon Emmanuel Masmejean minted an NFT of an x-ray image of a bullet embedded in the fractured forearm of a person who was shot in the November 2015 Paris Bataclan attack. The NFT, which was listed on OpenSea for a starting price of around $2,800, was created without the consent of the victim. The doctor quickly took down the listing after it was noticed by media, and the head of Paris's public hospital system announced that the doctor would be facing criminal and professional complaints.

A conservationist and wildlife photographer decides the way to battle people "exploiting nature for personal gain" is by minting NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain

A photograph of a gorilla"Congo" NFT from the collection (attribution)
Conservationist and wildlife photographer George Benjamin tweeted about his new project, "The NFT Conservation Fund". "Over the last decade I've seen first-hand the devastation that our Earth is currently enduring, oftentimes feeling completely helpless," he writes. The project involves minting NFTs of his wildlife photography on the notoriously high-emissions Ethereum blockchain, and then contributing a measly 15% of profits to... get more wildlife photographers to do the same. Good news, though—the paper on which the limited-edition prints will be printed is "Forest Stewardship Council-approved"!

NFT creators announce an NFT collection to "honor" Kurt Cobain

A black and white photo of Cobain singing and playing guitar, with another guitarist next to himOne of the NFTs (attribution)
An NFT group announced that they'd be releasing NFTs created from photographs of a 1991 Nirvana show they performed shortly before Nevermind rose to popularity. The NFTs go on sale on what would have been Kurt Cobain's birthday if he was still alive. The creators say they seek to "honor" Cobain by releasing these NFTs, which makes you wonder if they've ever heard Cobain speak before.

Investors on Solana-based defi platforms experience mass liquidations caused by yet another outage

Tweet from aeyakovenko: "lol" with a screenshot of a spike in network trafficAnatoly Yakovenko's tweet during the outage (attribution)
Solana was so overloaded with bot transactions that users couldn't transact. As the cryptocurrency market in general continued to tank, users rushed to top up the collateral they had provided to keep their loans from being liquidated and found they couldn't get the transfers to go through. One user reported spending eight hours trying unsuccessfully to add collateral, before eventually getting liquidated and losing 500 SOL (about $47,500). It took Solana 24 hours to even identify the cause of the issue, and another 24 before they were able to resolve it. Traders watching their loans get liquidated were not impressed when Solana Labs co-founder tweeted "lol", with a screenshot of a Solana node showing high amounts of duplicate packets.

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