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.

Andre Cronje and Anton Nell suddenly ditch their 20+ defi projects

Anton Nell
@AntonNellCrypto
Andre and I have decided that we are closing the chapter of contibuting to the defi/crypto space.
There are around ~25 apps and services that we are terminating on 03 April 2022. 
1/3
Most notibly
http://yearn.fi (use http://yearn.finance)
http://keep3r.network (use http://thekeep3r.network)
http://multichain.xyz (use http://multichain.org)
http://chainlist.org (lots of people replacing it)
http://solidly.exchange
http://bribe.crv.finance
2/3
Unlike previous "building in defi sucks" rage quits, this is not a knee jerk reaction to the hate received from releasing a project, but a decision that has been coming for a while now.
Thanks you to everyone that supported us over the past few years.
3/3Tweet thread by Anton Nell (attribution)
Andre Cronje and Anton Nell, the prolific developers of around 25 defi projects including yearn.fi and the new Solidly exchange, suddenly announced on Twitter that they would be quitting defi and shutting down their projects. "Unlike previous 'building in defi sucks' rage quits, this is not a knee jerk reaction to the hate received from releasing a project, but a decision that has been coming for a while now", wrote Nell. The sudden announcement caused several tokens associated with the projects to plunge in value. Some people were quite upset with the two developers, with one Twitter user writing, "People lock up billions of dollars for 4 years and dev announces it's being terminated in a month. Defi truly is the future of finance." Others were confused by the statement that the decision was a long time coming, when one of their projects, Solidly, had launched only a month before.

"NFT mortgage lender" Bacon Protocol is hacked for $1 million

Bacon Protocol, a defi project seeking to provide NFT mortgage liens (yes, really) was hacked. A reentrancy bug in their smart contract enabled attackers to get more lending credits than they should have been allowed, and was exploited for a total loss to Bacon Protocol of around $1 million.

BattleCatsArena apparently rug pulls several weeks after launch

An illustration of a rainbow-colored cat with a brown afro and small glassesBattle Cat #286 (attribution)
The NFT project BattleCatsArena appears to have rug pulled on March 5, about three weeks after its launch. The project had been announced late last year, with a post from its creator danvee.eth explaining, "After seeing lots of projects with zero utility and surviving 2 rug pulls I decided that it’s time to build a real product that will deliver value to its holders from day one." The project had an ambitious roadmap, featuring NFTs, cat shelter donations, and of course a game with several play modes. Minting began on February 16, though the launch was somewhat disappointing—only around 400 of the 500 available BattleCats were minted in the three weeks following launch, and trading volume was low. On March 6, the project apparently deleted its Twitter account, and danvee.eth claimed the Discord had been hacked. All told, the project earned almost 21 ETH ($55,000). danvee.eth wrote on Twitter that he would try to refund people who wished to be refunded (so long as they were nice to him); as of that day no refunds had been sent from addresses associated with the project.

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