"Product market fit continues to be difficult to find, and the reality is that members of our team are feeling the itch to explore other pursuits," they wrote. "We’d hoped that by now the rest of the world’s industries would have begun adopting blockchain tech at a larger scale, but that still feels a ways away."
The mint itself was plagued with issues, with many collectors complaining they weren't able to buy NFTs due to technical difficulties. A team member apologized for the issues, writing that they were "gutted over what happened" but that "we have an amazing reveal experienced planned that will kick off soon".
When the reveal happened, people were disappointed to say the least. They expected a unique look that would not "dilute" the value of the original Azuki collection, and were met with what many feel is a low-effort clone of the original Azukis. Some observed NFTs in the Elementals collection that appeared to be direct duplicates of ones in the original collection, which Azuki later wrote was a "technical glitch" that was quickly corrected. The floor price of the Elemental NFTs, as well as those of other Azuki projects, immediately suffered. While people paid 2 ETH for the NFTs, they're now going for 1.5 ETH (~$2,825) at floor, a 0.5 ETH (~$925) loss. The floor price of the original Azuki collection tanked from ~15 ETH (~$28,200) to ~9 ETH (~$16,920), a 6 ETH ($11,280) loss.
Azuki wrote an apologetic thread on Twitter, writing that they had "missed the mark... the mint process was hectic, the PFPs feel similar and, even worse, dilutive to Azuki." Perhaps they will wipe their tears with some of the 20,000 ETH they're sitting on.
Only eleven days later, on June 27, the team boasted that the project "has grown to over $1m TVL in 2 working days". An hour after that, they announced that they would be suspending the protocol and beginning an immediate investigation into an apparent theft. Themis boasts in its documentation that "security is the highest priority" of the project, and lists multiple audits from PeckShield.
An attacker was apparently able to exploit the project, draining around 220 Themis-wrapped ETH (nominally worth ~$417,000). Due to liquidity issues, they could only swap these for around 94 ETH (~$178,000) and almost $190,000 in stablecoins, for a total haul of around $368,000.
On June 27, the developers set the governance role to a malicious smart contract, which used a "panic" function to withdraw funds from the Chibi project. They then quickly swapped the funds to 555 wETH (~$1.05 million), bridged them to the Ethereum main chain, and laundered them through Tornado Cash.
Chibi Finance has since deleted its website and Twitter profile. Meanwhile, some crypto influencers who had promoted the project caught heat for doing so.
In the filing, NFID alleges that Prime Trust discovered in December 2021 that it couldn't access some customer wallets, and so "purchased additional digital currency using customer money from its omnibus customer accounts" in order to satisfy withdrawals from said wallets.
Prime Trust reportedly has liabilities of around $82.8 million in fiat currency, plus another $860,000 of digital asset-denominated liabilities. "[Prime Trust] is in an unsafe financial condition and/or is insolvent. Additionally, [Prime Trust's] condition will only progressively worsen as customers continue to withdraw," wrote the regulator.
Now, a report from the New Zealand Herald suggests that the company's director Colin Salisbury took more than NZ$3.24 million (~US$2 million) in customer funds, put it into multiple cryptocurrency platforms over a period of almost two years, and lost it all. Another ~US$800,000 was lost in at least four fraudulent crypto platforms which just "ceased to exist".
We Are Bamboo tried to blame the collapse of their business on the COVID-19 pandemic and on a group of customers whose "actions and online influence have broken us". "Our intentions here are not to play the victim but simply share with you the levels to which this group has gone to ensure our downfall, and made it their sole purpose to attack us, our families, our staff, and our customers with the intent to destroy Bamboo," they wrote. However, a liquidator in the We Are Bamboo bankruptcy says they discovered the cryptocurrency transactions, which explained the true demise of the company.
Salisbury reportedly engaged in the crypto trading because he was concerned that the US dollar might lose value. Guess he found out the hard way what crypto could do for the value of his customers' funds.
Former NRL star and convict Jarryd Hayne reportedly loses more than $500,000 to a Bitcoin scam run by fellow inmate
Jarryd Hayne is a convicted rapist once known for his careers in rugby league and, briefly, American football. He's serving several years in jail, after being convicted of rape, winning an appeal, being retried, and once again being found guilty.
Hayne is one of several inmates apparently convinced by the Ponzi schemer inmate, Ishan Seenar Sappidee, that he could make them massive returns. Hayne provided around AU$780,000 (~US$521,000) in Bitcoin to the enterprising inmate, who apparently amassed more than AU$2 million (~US$1.3 million)from at least seven inmates.
SpireBit claimed to be partnered with established companies within and outside of the crypto ecosystem, and took on the name of a real company as its supposed "parent" firm. Its online footprint was convincing at a glance, but a little digging revealed LinkedIn profiles using stock photos as portraits.
After NPR began poking around, the UK's Financial Conduct Authority issued a warning that SpireBit "is an unauthorised firm that uses the details of a genuine FCA-regulated firm when offering products and services. This makes the unauthorised firm appear as if it is regulated."
NPR could not determine how many people had fallen for the scheme, or how much money had been lost in total.
The regulator also demanded Binance return all crypto assets to customers, or transfer them to a company authorized in Belgium. They also noted that "The Crown Prosecutor of Brussels has been informed of the acts that are liable to constitute a criminal offence."
Around $1.25 million in various assets have been stolen thus far, with the largest single loss exceeding $150,000.