Sports fans face losses as IQONIQ platform liquidates and token value plummets

"Fan engagement blockchain platform" IQONIQ went into liquidation late January 2022, taking down its token sale platform and crashing the value of the fan-owned coin by over 90%. The platform had major sponsorship deals with multiple Formula 1 teams, European soccer clubs, and the Spanish La Liga league, which it owes €820,000 ($914,500). The collapse of such a major and highly-visible platform led the Football Supporters' Association to call for more regulations on cryptocurrency platforms.

"Let's Go Brandon" coin suddenly drops 50% in value

Chart showing the sudden drop in price$LGB price drop (attribution)
The "Let's Go Brandon" $LGB coin tied to NASCAR driver Brandon Brown, and created as an apparent way to support "the American dream" and stick it to Joe Biden (somehow), suddenly dropped 50% in value. This appeared to be the death knell of a coin that had been dropping precipitously since the early January announcement by NASCAR that they would be rescinding their approval for LGBcoin to sponsor Brown.

WeGro token plunges in value as its developer apparently drains 1,000 BNB ($378,000)

Widget on WeGro website, reading "WeGro is live WEGRO has launched Thursday 16th December at 5pm EST." and showing an embedded chart of the token price showing it dropping to near zero.Widget on the Wegro website (attribution)
WeGro, a project to allow "everyone to safely participate in the hemp and cannabis industry through the supply chain", saw its token tank in price as the deployer drained 1,000 BNB ($378,000) from the pool in what certainly looked like a rug pull.

"MetaSlave" project tries to sell NFTs of Black people

Meta Slave Twitter account, which features a collage of Black faces. The description reads, "In creating our project, we wanted to show that everyone is a slave to something. A slave to desires, work, money, etc."Meta Slave Twitter account (attribution)
A project called "Meta Slave" launched, offering NFTs made from photographs of Black people (all apparently algorithmically-generated). Backlash was swift and intense, and the project has tried several times to respond: first by claiming that they are trying to support Black Lives Matter and honor George Floyd (much like the "Floydies" project in December), then rebranding to "Meta Humans" and throwing a couple photos of white and Asian people into the collection. The project has, thankfully, not enjoyed much success. I, for one, think it's likely to be a troll project by 4channers, but who's to say.

Investors suffer enormous losses as "cascading liquidations" tank the Wonderland protocol token price below its supposed intrinsic value

Three-day price graph of the $TIME token, showing a precipitous drop and then volatile activity3-day value of $TIME in USD (attribution)
The broader decline in cryptocurrency prices triggered "cascading liquidations" in the Wonderland defi project, which is a fork of the "it might be a ponzi" OlympusDAO project. This dropped the value of the project's $TIME token nearly 50%, from around $780 to about $415 in the span of only two hours. This followed a decline of 91% over the past few months, as the token dropped from its November all-time-highs of around $14,000. According to CryptoBriefing, "Due to the disproportionately high leverage many TIME holders take on, the broader drop in crypto valuations has hit the Wonderland protocol harder than most."

The $TIME tokens are issued against a set of assets that supposedly give the token an intrinsic value, and if the price drops below the backing price, the protocol uses the assets in their treasury to buy back the token to bring it back up to its "fair value". In the day following the crash, the protocol's founders spent several million dollars in buy-backs, which briefly boosted the token back up to trading at around $600.

The project's team reportedly suffered major liquidation losses themselves, with the founder Daniele Sestagalli losing $15 million and the chief developer "0xSifu" losing $1.6 million. Sestagalli briefly caused panic in the community when he set his 300,000+ follower Twitter account to private after tweeting "Dude I just woke up losing 10 m dollars", but set the account back to public shortly after. He retweeted a thread stating that "the internal struggle for growth is cut short by the willingness of some entities to 'eat' all that they'r able to, instead of 'cultivating' and sharing what would be exponential profits in the future."

Promised NFT game "Blockverse" rug pulls 500 ETH ($1.2 million)

A Minecraft character with turquoise skin, four eyes, a hawaiian style shirt, and dark blue pantsBlockverse #8272 (attribution)
Blockverse, a project that promised to build a play-to-earn game on top of Minecraft, rug pulled two days after launch. The initial NFT collection sold out in only eight minutes, even though the project creators hadn't even begun to develop the game they were promising. When the creators rug pulled, they took the 500 ETH ($1.2 million) and deleted the project website and Discord server.

John Lennon's son is delighted to be able to "auction off" items from his private Beatles collection without actually, you know, selling anything

Photograph of John Lennon's yellow and white-fur-trimmed jacket from the Magical Mystery Tour filmJohn Lennon's Magical Mystery Tour jacket (attribution)
Julian Lennon maintains a private collection of Beatles memorabilia, including clothing worn by his late father John Lennon, and other items from other members of the band. He announced plans to sell each item as "an audio/visual collectible, with a personal narration from Julian", but the announcement notes that "the items themselves are not up for auction... Lennon will continue to own the only physical counterpart". Starting prices for each item range from $4,000 to $30,000.

Lennon said, "I've been collecting these personal items for about 30 years, and I was getting a bit fed up with them being locked away in a vault, where I’ve had to keep them because I didn’t want them to get damaged... I actually felt very bad about keeping all that stuff locked away." Apparently photographing the items and displaying them digitally somehow was not possible until NFTs came along?

"Now go back to flip more burgers you lazy fvçk!" Nayib Bukele continues horrify those who come across his tweets and realize he's not just a Bitcoin bro but the president of an entire country

Tweet from Nayib Bukele: "Most people go in when the price is up, but the safest and most profitable moment to buy is when the price is down. It’s not rocket science (Man shrugging emoji) So invest a piece of your McDonald’s paycheck in Bitcoin. Now go back to flip more burgers you lazy fvçk!"Tweet by Nayib Bukele (attribution)
El Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele gives us Americans a painful reminder of having a president who truly cannot be trusted with the reins of a country, much less a Twitter account. On January 24, with Bitcoin prices tanking, Bukele tweeted, "Most people go in when the price is up, but the safest and most profitable moment to buy is when the price is down. It’s not rocket science. So invest a piece of your McDonald’s paycheck in Bitcoin. Now go back to flip more burgers you lazy fvçk!"

Naturally, he failed to mention the nearly 1,000 Bitcoin that he had purchased with taxpayer money since September 2021 at times that Bitcoin was above $50,000.

OpenSea users lose a collective $1.8 million to an issue allowing people to buy NFTs at low prices from old OpenSea listings the sellers thought they'd deleted

Bored Ape illustration: light brown ape with a laurel crown, coins over its eyes, and an army jacket on a light blue background.Bored Ape #9991 (attribution)
A horrified (former) owner of a Bored Ape tweeted that his NFT had just unexpectedly sold for a measly 0.77 ETH (about $1,700) and that "I cant financially afford that loss". The purchaser netted a handsome profit by quickly reselling the NFT for 84.2 ETH ($190,000). It appears that the buyer took advantage of the fact that they could still purchase NFTs that had previously been listed for sale at a lower price, even once the owner thought they had removed the listing. In about 90 minutes, the person was able to exploit the issue by buying and selling several different NFTs for a total profit of about $880,000.

A software engineer investigating the incident attributed it to OpenSea's choice to do many of their operations off-chain to save on the expensive gas fees required for any Ethereum blockchain transaction, saying this introduced a disparity where updates were not reflected on-chain. Another person investigating the apparent issue reported that this looked to be the same "glitch" as earlier this month, where users tried to avoid paying the gas fees to delist their NFT sales by swapping them out of their wallet and back again, not realizing the listing would still be active when the NFT was returned.

OpenSea added an "Inactive listings" page to allow people to view listings that are still associated with NFTs that have been transfered out of the wallet, though the feature doesn't seem to have been widely publicized and it's not clear when it was released. They also later reimbursed users who suffered losses from this exploit, to the tune of about $1.8 million.

Co-founder of the team behind CryptoPunks v2 sells all 40 of his v1 Cryptopunks shortly before the team announces they view them as worthless

A pixel art character with pale skin and black hair on a purple backgroundV1 Punk #7276 (attribution)
The enormously popular Cryptopunks project, created by the LarvaLabs group, is actually on its second version. A bug in the original smart contract allowed users to retrieve their money after buying the original NFT, allowing people to "steal" the v1 NFTs, and so the project largely faded into obscurity in favor of the patched version 2. However, recently the NFT marketplace LooksRare allowed a project where people "wrap" their original punks and can trade them properly without encountering the bug. This apparently didn't go over so well with LarvaLabs: on January 31, the project tweeted, "PSA: 'V1 Punks' are not official Cryptopunks. We don't like them, and we've got 1,000 of them... so draw your own conclusions." However, @NFTethics noticed that one of the LarvaLabs founders sold all 40 V1 punks that he owned between January 23 and 25. Trading them shortly before the project released the tweet declaring they viewed them as worthless sure looks a lot like insider trading. The trades earned the founder a handsome total of 260 ETH (about $625,000). Fortunately for buyers of the wrapped V1 punks, LarvaLabs' announcement doesn't appear to have impacted trading price very much.

No JavaScript? That's cool too! Check out the Web 1.0 version of the site to see more entries.