Khan Academy charity auction ends in blatant wash trade, and Khan Academy removing several former employees from alumni Slack channel for raising concerns
The auction ended on January 21, with a winning bid of 77 ETH (nearly $200,000) from ParagonsDAO, plus the promise of another 34 ETH ($87,000) donation from the DAO to Khan Academy. However, ParagonsDAO is a DAO created specifically to "play a key role in Parallel's governance" and "support the creation of an ecosystem for Parallel to thrive". Former Khan Academy employee S. M. Lundberg raised their concerns about the wash trading, and "KA elevat[ing] Parallel on its own channels to a largely underage and under-resourced user base" in the Khan Academy Slack, and was removed from the channel by Khan Academy founder Sal Khan. At least three other former employees were removed from the channel for criticizing the decision to engage with the NFT project, as was an additional person who protested the removal of those raising concerns.
Although the auction ended with more than $250,000 going to Khan Academy, it is likely that Parallel got the better deal here — Khan Academy is an enormous name to have promoting one's project. Sal Khan actively hyped the project in various spaces, including in an appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box.
Wash trading is also a widespread tactic in the NFT space to artificially inflate the "value" of an NFT. Because it's relatively easy to create a pseudonymous cryptocurrency wallet, users will "sell" NFTs to themselves for large amounts to create the appearance of higher demand, and to try to convince other would-be buyers that the NFT is more valuable.
After OpenSea begins reimbursing users who lost money due to listings they didn't realize were still available, user "opensee_will_refund_ask_them" and others continue to exploit the widespread problem
OpenSea announces limits on free NFT minting, then reverses the decision the same day, after revealing that more than 80% of the items created through the feature were plagiarized, fake collections, or spam
Attacker exploits a bug in Qubit Finance allowing them to mint unlimited collateral and drain the platform of $80 million
People begin creating IP-harvesting NFTs to highlight the vulnerabilities in marketplaces and wallets
This is as good a time as any to remind you to use a VPN! Mullvad is a particularly good pick (#NotAnAd).
Following the Wonderland protocol disaster earlier this week, it is revealed that the pseudonymous chief developer has a long history of financial crimes and shady businesses
Wonderland founder Daniele Sestagalli had also been kept in the dark about the identity of his collaborator until finding out about a month ago. He opted to keep this information to himself, and claims it was because he believes in second chances. After the information became public, Sestagalli began a vote on whether Patryn should be replaced.
- Reddit thread on r/defi
- Twitter thread by zachxbt
- Twitter thread by Daniele Sestagalli
- "Stament[sic] on last Wonderland developments" by Daniele Sestagalli
- "QuadrigaCX cofounder Michael Patryn resurfaces— as 0xSifu, treasury manager of Wonderland", Amy Castor
- "Michael Patryn of QuadrigaCX is back — as 0xSifu from DeFi protocol Wonderland", David Gerard