NFT collector loses 100 ETH (~$150,000) in a joke gone wrong

The image representing the ENS domain for stop-doing-fake-bids-its-honestly-lame-my-guy.eth, with the default blue gradient background.A pricey joke (attribution)
Bored Ape aficionado franklinisbored has apparently found a new source of entertainment by placing high bids on his own ENS domains with amusing names, causing a Twitter bot that announces ENS domain offers to tweet about it. After amusing himself by placing 100 ETH bids on joebiden.eth, elonmusk.eth, barackhusseinobama.eth, and donaldjtrumpjr.eth, he solicited suggestions on Twitter for what ENS domain he should create and then place a fake bid on next.

Based on a follower's suggestion, he created the ENS domain stop-doing-fake-bids-its-honestly-lame-my-guy.eth and placed a 100 ETH bid on it. To his surprise, another person came along and offered him 1.9 ETH (~$2,900). Apparently excited to receive a sizeable offer for a gag NFT, franklinisbored accepted the offer and took to Twitter to write about his good fortune: "Well this is the most surprising 1.891 ETH I have ever made. I owe it all to #ENS and @gweiman_eth's creative idea. #Marketing101".

Meanwhile, he had forgotten to cancel his joke 100 ETH offer, which remained active. The new buyer accepted the offer and sold the NFT back to him, pocketing 98 ETH in the process. Franklinisbored wrote on Twitter, "I was celebrating my joke of a domain sale, sharing the spoils, but in a dream of greed, forgot to cancel my own bid of 100 ETH to buy it back. This will be the joke and bag fumble of the century. I deserve all of the jokes and criticism." He also sent the 1.9 ETH back to the other person, with a message asking them to reverse the transaction. The other person replied, "No, thank you for the money though."

Tesla announces they sold 75% of their Bitcoin

Tesla announced in their Q2 financial report that they had sold about 75% of the Bitcoin they had been holding. The company first bought $1.5 billion of Bitcoin in January 2021, at between $31,000 and $32,000, but sold 10% of that shortly after.

In their report, Tesla stated that "Conversions in Q2 added $936M to our balance sheet." Assuming this is all Bitcoin, this suggests Tesla sold at around $28,900—a 7–10% decrease from their buy price. The company stated in a shareholder presentation that the "Bitcoin impairment" had damaged the company's Q2 profitability.

This is grim news for some crypto enthusiasts, a group that overlaps considerably with Tesla and Musk superfans. Musk's Bitcoin purchases helped to convince many new people to buy in, and the news of Tesla's decision caused a sharp 2.5% decrease in Bitcoin prices.

Zipmex indefinitely halts withdrawals

Singapore-based crypto exchange Zipmex is the latest in a long string of crypto platforms to suspend customer withdrawals. "Due to a combination of circumstances beyond our control including volatile market conditions, and the resulting financial difficulties of our key business partners, to maintain the integrity of our platform, we would be pausing withdrawals until further notice," they wrote on Twitter.

According to CoinDesk, Zipmex faces an enormous loss on a loan of $100 million worth of assets to Babel Finance, an exchange that suspended withdrawals in mid-June and is now hiring restructuring attorneys.

On July 21, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission sent a letter to Zipmex asking them to explain their decision, requesting details on customer assets under custody and where they were invested—particularly around any assets deposited in Celsius or Babel Finance.

Minecraft announces they will not support or allow NFTs

Cover of the video game Minecraft, showing a group of blocky characters standing on grassy ledgesMinecraft cover art (attribution)
Minecraft is a massively popular sandbox-style video game that had almost 140 million monthly active users as of 2021. Its developer, Mojang Studios, published a blog post detailing upcoming guidelines to clarify their position on NFTs and blockchain more generally. They wrote that "NFTs ... can create models of scarcity and exclusion that conflict with our Guidelines and the spirit of Minecraft." They announced that "blockchain technologies are not permitted to be integrated inside our client and server applications, nor may Minecraft in-game content such as worlds, skins, persona items, or other mods, be utilized by blockchain technology to create a scarce digital asset."

Korean authorities raid seven cryptocurrency exchanges in relation to Terra investigation

Korean police cars parked outside an office building at nighttime. A lit "Upbit" sign is visible.Korean police executing one of the raids (attribution)
Prosecutors working on the fraud case around the May Terra/Luna collapse raided seven cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea including Bithumb, Upbit, and Coinone. They also raided eight other offices and residences in connection to the investigation. The investigators are reportedly looking for evidence to determine whether Terra founder and CEO Do Kwon may have intentionally spurred the collapse of the ecosystem.

$20 million taken from Raccoon Network and Freedom Protocol in likely rug pull

20.8 million BUSD, a dollar-pegged stablecoin on BNB Chain, was transferred from Raccoon Network and the Freedom Protocol on July 19. Security firm PeckShield identified the incident as a scam perpetrated by the people running the projects, although Raccoon Network has tried to claim the transfers were the result of a hack.

Raccoon Network is a metaverse project. Freedom Protocol invested in the project in late June, and announced they would be working together. Freedom Protocol is a defi project that advertises an 183,394.2% APY "compounded by scientific calculations".

$7,500–$300,000 NFT-holders-only club set to open in SF, holders still have to pay for their food

Artist rendering of a building with curved Japanese-temple-like roofs, amidst a park surrounded by skyscrapersArtist's rendering of the Sho Restaurant (attribution)
Salesforce Park, a suspended park area underneath the Salesforce Tower, has been described as intentionally unwelcoming to the many unhoused San Franciscans it looms atop. Parts of the new restaurant intended to loom over Salesforce Park are even more ostentatious and exclusive—people will need to pay between $7,500–$300,000 to gain access to the members-only Sho Club at the Sho Restaurant, which is set to open in autumn 2023.

The Sho Restaurant does plan to allow members of the public as well as NFT holders, and even the holders will still have to pay for their food. NFT holders also get access to the exclusive Sho Club, and things like "Access to all future Sho Club lounges" (no such lounges appear to be in planning). Those who pay $15,000 or $300,000 for top two tiers of NFTs receive access to perks including a "Monthly curated omakase members dinner (food & beverage not included).

FBI warns of fraudulent crypto apps that have stolen an estimated $42.7 million

The FBI's Cyber Division issued a notification about fraudulent cryptocurrency investment apps that are successfully being used to defraud American investors. The scammers typically claim to offer cryptocurrency investment services to their targets, then convince them to download mobile apps that resemble genuine crypto trading apps (sometimes mimicking actual exchanges). The apps typically show the users' accounts increasing in value, but when users try to withdraw funds they find they're unable. Sometimes the apps defraud their victims even further by claiming they need to pay an additional "tax" before they can withdraw.

The FBI stated they had identified 244 victims, and estimated the total loss associated with these fraudulent apps to be around $42.7 million.

Bexplus crypto exchange closes, gives users only 24 hours to withdraw funds

The cryptocurrency exchange Bexplus announced that "due to force majeure, Bexplus will stop service from now on". Users were told to close their open positions and withdraw any funds within only a 24-hour period, before positions would be automatically closed and the withdrawal service would become unavailable.

Only four days prior, on July 14, Bexplus had published a press release offering "rewards worth up to $5,000 to new users who sign up and make their first deposit". The project also promised its users up to 21% interest on bitcoin kept with the exchange. Bexplus had also promised a 100% match on deposits to the platform, up to 10 BTC (currently priced at $235,550).

BlockFi offers employee buyouts to further reduce headcount one month after cutting 20% of staff

The cryptocurrency lender BlockFi is reportedly offering employees buyouts—sorry, a "voluntary separation program"—in an effort to reduce their headcount even further. Those employees receive 10 weeks of paid leave, 10 weeks of continued health insurance, and unemployment eligibility if they resign.

The move came only a month after BlockFi laid off 20% of their employees, or around 170 people. The company appears to be struggling to stay afloat, soliciting $400 million in loans from Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX crypto exchange and signing a deal with FTX that gives the exchange the opportunity to acquire them.

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