Entrepreneurs resuscitate 20-year-old piracy powerhouse LimeWire to turn it into a totally legitimate NFT marketplace, they promise

LimeWire, the filesharing service that was enormously popular in the early 2000s for piracy, has been resuscitated—or at least the brand has. Needless to say they are probably not planning to reuse much of the 20-year-old codebase that existed before public blockchains were even in use, if they even still have it at all. The choice to create an NFT marketplace with the same branding as the service that was shut down by a federal court for rampant copyright infringement seems a bit on the nose to me, for a technology that proponents still try to claim empowers artists and actually mitigates art theft. The duo behind the project claim that they are just trying to capitalize on nostalgia for the brand, but plan to operate above-board (though they would say that, wouldn't they).

Pirate X Pirate blockchain gaming platform exploited, blames its team's "utter carelessness"

The Pirate X Pirate blockchain gaming platform was exploited, with an attacker selling of more than 9.6 million $PXP. They were able to dump the tokens into the market for a profit of around 212 BNB ($78,000). In a blog post following the incident, Pirate X Pirate wrote, "Such attack could happen due to the team's utter carelessness to launch the conversion feature despite of its vulnerability. We deeply regret bypassing the inspection that should have been done by a white hat hacker as we intended to roll out the feature long-suspended as fast as we could. We have decided to dismiss our current developer team and are currently in the process of recruiting a new team to assume the responsibilities." They also announced that they had bought back the total $PXP that were stolen, and would be undergoing an audit.

A trader ends up owing $3600 after an exchange mistakenly deposits 10 Bitcoin in their account

Something apparently went terribly wrong on the trading platform that Twitter user rifftrader was using (though they didn't say which) when 10 BTC (~$385,000) was erroneously deposited to their account. The trader, who was expecting a transfer of $24 USD for Litecoin (LTC) that they had initiated to go through, didn't initially notice that the amount was in BTC when they subsequently converted it to USD. However, when they suddenly saw hundreds of thousands of dollars in the account, they realized what had happened. Not wishing to spend money that wasn't theirs, the trader transferred it back into BTC and contacted their exchange's support email. The exchange subsequently withdrew the erroneously-deposited funds from the trader's account. However, because the trader incurred a cost converting the BTC to and from USD, only 9.8752 BTC went back to the exchange. The exchange then proceeded to demand the trader pay the difference—around $3,600—and accused them of "trad[ing] on those funds which did not belong to you". The email demanded payment by the following day, and the exchange threatened to send the case to a debt collector the trader didn't send the money.

NFT project created and endorsed by various English footballers plunges in value, players try to quietly delete endorsements

A brown ape with rainbow eyes, a drip of snot coming from his nose, and a lollipop stick sticking out of his mouth, wears a black and red jersey and shorts and pink sneakersAKFC #5849 (attribution)
John Terry, an English football coach and former player, launched an NFT project called "Ape Kids Football Club" on February 2. Several players, including Tammy Abraham, Ashley Cole, and Jack Wilshere, all endorsed the project. The NFTs traded for around $650 shortly after the project launch, but as of March 9 were averaging a little under $75 apiece. At some point, Abraham, Cole, and Wilshere quietly deleted their endorsements of the project.

The plummeting price is not the only problem the project has faced; shortly after Terry announced the project in January, he was threatened with legal action by the Premier League, and had to remove depictions of Premier League, UEFA and FA trophies, as well as the Chelsea logo, from the NFT illustrations.

Bug in Fantasm Finance allows multiple exploiters to take more than $2.6 million

An exploiter was able to use a bug in the Fantasm Mint contract to drain more than 1,000 ETH ($2,640,000) from Fantasm Finance. Fantasm urged their users to redeem their tokens they were staking and exit from liquidity pools, but attackers were still able to drain an enormous amount of funds from the protocol. It appeared that several other attackers joined in after the first attacker used the exploit, though it's not yet clear how much money was lost in total. The primary attacker transferred 1,007 ETH to the Tornado Cash tumbling service shortly after the attack. Fantasm Finance wrote on Twitter that they planned to publish a postmortem the following day, which would include compensation options for affected users.

Crypto.com gives borrowers in some jurisdictions a week to pay back their loans

A screenshot of an email from Crypto.com. Text reads, "Dear Valued Customer, Please be informed that Lending is no longer supported in your jurisdiction. For this reason we are required to cancel your current loans. You can find more information here. Kindly take steps to repay your loans by 02:00 UTC, 15 March 2022. Outstanding loans and the associated interest will be automatically repaid from the funds in your Spot Wallet after this date. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you have questions or concerns, please email us at contact@crypto.com. We're here to help. Best regards, The Crypto.com Team"Email from Crypto.com (attribution)
Crypto.com sent out an unexpected email to some users, apparently primarily in the EU, announcing that "Lending is no longer supported in your jurisdiction... [and] we are required to cancel your current loans". The email stated that if a borrower was unable to repay their loans by March 15, seven days from the date the email was sent, "outstanding loans and the associated interest will be automatically repaid". This seems like a tough timeline for borrowers, whose loans are twelve months long, and given people tend to spend the cash they've borrowed on something, rather than, say, hold on to it in case they need to suddenly repay a loan with a week's notice.

Reddit users from the UK, Germany, France, and Switzerland reported receiving the email, and those countries now all appear on the 40-entry-long list of countries not permitted to use Crypto.com's lending services. One Reddit user wrote, "I have 7 days to pay a big loan, like big. If it gave us a month I could unstake and pay, but no, they give us 7 [days], I will get liquified and can’t do anything for it." Other users were confused to receive the email when they didn't have any loans on the platform, as it was worded in a way that they interpreted to mean they did.

Ormeus Coin founder charged with securities fraud for misrepresenting cryptomining operations and other assets

John Barksdale, part of the sibling duo behind Ormeus Coin, was charged with conspiracy, securities fraud, and wire fraud for his role in selling the Ormeus Coin token. He allegedly falsely represented the mining assets controlled by the company, claiming a mining operation that would have been one of the largest in the world, if his representations were true. The company also claimed to have reserves of Bitcoin backing their currency, when in reality these "reserves" belonged to a completely different entity. Through these misrepresentations, which were widely published including in a Times Square billboard, Barksdale drew $70 million in investment from around 12,000 individuals. The various charges Barksdale is facing involve maximum sentences between 5 and 20 years in prison. The SEC also filed a parallel civil action against the Barksdales.

Founders of several 2017 cryptocurrency companies indicted for alleged theft of more than $40 million

Four individuals who owned and operated EmpowerCoin, ECoinPlus, and Jet-Coin were indicted on wire fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice charges. They allegedly "engaged in a sophisticated scheme that preyed on unsuspecting investors nationwide with false promises of guaranteed returns and virtual currency trading opportunities", then tried to destroy evidence and obfuscate what they'd done after everything fell apart even before any actual trading happened. The group allegedly defrauded investors of more than $40 million over the four months in 2017 that the three companies were active, and they now face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Over 10,000 NFTs of photographs by August Sander are delisted from OpenSea after being created without permission

A black and white photo of a man, woman, and young child. The man sits on a stool with a child on his knee, and the woman stands next to them.AS10k+ #5489 (attribution)
An NFT project called the August Sander 10K Collection launched on February 11, offering NFTs of all 10,700 photographs by German portrait and documentary photographer August Sander (1876–1964). The project website described a "groundbreaking partnership between Fellowship and the August Sander family estate", apparently referring to their partnership with August Sander's great-grandson Julian. The NFTs were all distributed for free to the Fellowship community, which the project website boasted "speaks volumes about the commitment of both Fellowship and the August Sander family estate to creating a new standard of visibility and public access to large photography collections, an issue that has historically burdened museums". The website does not appear to mention that they take a 10% cut of all secondary sales, which so far appears to have netted them around 7 ETH ($20,000).

The problem with this whole scheme is that Julian Sanders does not actually control the Sander estate—it was sold in 1992 by Gerd Sander (August's grandson, and Julian's father) to the Cultural Foundation of the Stadtsparkasse Cologne. That group was surprised to see all of Sander's work suddenly being sold as NFTs without their permission, and submitted a legal notice to have it taken down from OpenSea. OpenSea complied with the request on March 7. After almost two weeks of stalling and deflecting questions about the delisting without even acknowledging the cause, Fellowship and Julian Sander finally released a statement on the issue on March 18. Sander wrote that "a third party... claims to have certain rights in August Sanders' photographs" but that he "believe[s] the complaint is not valid" and would be working with his lawyers to have the collection reinstated. As best as I can tell, it seems that Sander is trying to argue he is entitled to sell his great-grandfather's work as NFTs because he physically possesses the negatives, despite the fact that the Cultural Foundation owns the usage rights to all of Sander's work.

Influencer Jake Paul alleged to be repeatedly promoting projects without disclosing his financial involvement

A purple-skinned devil wearing a top hat, making a worried face, wearing a yellow t-shirt with a red female devil on it, and holding a sci-fi blaster gunLeague of Sacred Devil #4474 (attribution)
Jake Paul, who is already in hot water after being named in the class-action lawsuit against SafeMoon, has now been implicated by YouTube detective CoffeeZilla in $2.2 million worth of undisclosed promotions for multiple different projects. Influencers are required by the FTC to disclose when they financially benefit from promoting a project, though the crypto space seems rife with celebrities deciding that rule just doesn't apply.

Paul allegedly tried to cover his steps by creating a new crypto wallet to receive payments for each promotion, but then transferred the money a wallet he controlled to cash out. Oops. Some of the projects that Paul hyped in his undisclosed promotions included League of Sacred Devils, $MILF, and $YUMMY.

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