NFT trader loses a Mutant Ape NFT to an NFT swap scam

An illustration of an ape that appears to be made out of volcanic rock and magma, with a green dripping face, smoking a pipe, wearing a sweater made out of wormsMutant Ape #232 (attribution)
A trader known by taylorRichie.eth agreed to swap their Morie NFT for a Doodle, in a trade they'd coordinated with a user on Discord. Because OpenSea doesn't support trading one NFT for another, only buying and selling them for crypto, the traders had to use a different, less-known swap platform to perform the trade. Although taylorRichie.eth took precautions, like typing in the URL themselves instead of clicking a link, they were still fooled into signing a malicious transaction that transferred a different NFT in their wallet, a Mutant Ape, to the scammer. The scammer then quickly flipped the stolen NFT to another buyer for 22 ETH ($73,585).

Revest Finance is hacked for $2 million

The Revest protocol was targeted with an attack that stole $BLOCKS, $ECO, and $RENA tokens from their vault. The protocol wrote that the attacker used a "highly sophisticated attack on a vulnerability that went unnoticed during our Solidity.Finance audit as well as ... multiple peer-reviews". The hacker quickly swapped the stolen tokens for ETH via various decentralized exchanges, then tumbled the funds using Tornado Cash. The protocol wrote that they "do not possess the funds needed for meaningful financial recompense, and are not covered by any DeFi insurance provider", but promised to try to "do everything within our power to make things as right as they can possibly be made".

Coinbase begins to require users in Canada, Singapore, and Japan to input personal information about the recipients of their crypto transactions

Coinbase began sending out notices to its customers who reside in Canada, Singapore, and Japan, to tell them that in early April, they will need to begin inputting information about the recipients of any crypto they send. Coinbase said the change was in order to comply with various regulations imposed by those countries. The specifics differ somewhat between the three countries: for example, in Canada, the verification is only required for amounts above CA$1,000 (about US$800); Japanese users need to provide verification for any amounts, but only if transferring to entities outside of Japan; and Singaporean users need to verify any amounts sent to anyone. Canadian and Singaporean residents will also need to provide the address of the recipient of their funds, whereas Japanese customers only need to supply the name and country of residence.

Some Coinbase customers in these jurisdictions seemed less than enthused at the announcement. One tweeted, "Wait, then what’s the point of crypto/blockchain, being outside of fin.system and all.. I may be better off sending fiat money".

Crypto tax software firm ZenLedger fires executive after the New York Times discovers he lied extensively about his background

Color-filtered photograph of Dan Hannum from the shoulders up, with a lens flareDan Hannum Twitter profile photo (attribution)
New York Times reporter Ron Lieber began fact-checking a story in March about a deal between crypto tax software firm ZenLedger and the Internal Revenue Service. Lieber ran into trouble fact-checking the claims of ZenLedger COO Dan Hannum, who told a compelling story of being arrested as a juvenile, then turning his life around and earning college degrees, working at several major Wall Street firms, and becoming a crypto millionaire. Lieber discovered that Hannum had never earned the degrees he claimed, nor worked at the Wall Street firms he listed. He also found no evidence that Hannum had ever managed $100 million in assets like he said, nor that he had made so much on crypto that he was paying "millions in taxes" alone.

After Lieber put these questions to ZenLedger, the company fired Hannum. ZenLedger founder Pat Larsen was cagey around the circumstances under which Hannum was hired, and an outside spokesperson for the company laid the blame on a bad referral and a federal background check that returned "no flags regarding his education or work history". A venture capital firm that invested in the company reported that they "did more due diligence than a traditional venture capitalist would have done" on the company but had not checked Hannum's background.

Exxon Mobil reportedly gets in on Bitcoin mining

According to Bloomberg, Exxon Mobil has begun a pilot program to set up Bitcoin miners at an oil well in North Dakota. The project reportedly runs off 18 million ft³ of natural gas that would otherwise be flared. Although early proponents waxed poetic about how anyone could mine Bitcoin, the increasing hardware specialization and massive electricity costs have made it practical at scale only for those with access to the hardware and cheap sources of electricity—including, now, the world's second largest oil company.

Some crypto proponents have spoken positively about using excess gas that would otherwise be flared for Bitcoin mining, though climate experts have spoken out against it being a sufficient or reasonable solution. "It's like if you had a leaky gasoline pipeline and, instead of fixing the problem, you plugged in a Humvee next to the leak and left the engine on in perpetuity with the A/C on full blast," said UC Santa Barbara professor Paasha Mahdavi.

Hacked verified Twitter accounts impersonate BAYC founders, scam $1 million with fake ApeCoin airdrop

A light purple-furred ape with boils, wearing a pirate hat, with green face with mushrooms growing on it, and open mouthMutant Ape #22660 (attribution)
Some scammers obtained hacked verified Twitter accounts, then rebranded them to claim to be founders of the Bored Ape Yacht Club. They then tweeted about how their team's ApeCoin launch had been so successful, they'd decided to airdrop more tokens. Users who clicked the link and connected their wallets quickly discovered they'd been scammed when their high-value NFTs were transferred from their accounts, then flipped for resale. One victim of the scam said they'd lost $600,000, and tweeted: "@BhawanaCAN put out a tweet refering for more $ape available- I trusted the blue checkmark @twitter @jack now the ape and my gutter cat is gone - fuck you @BhawanaCAN". @BhawanaCAN, prior to the hack, was an account belonging to the former CEO of the Cricket Association of Nepal.

There were multiple scammer accounts involved in the scheme, and one researcher has estimated that the scammers had made around $1 million from reselling the NFTs as of March 24. A similar hack had occurred several days earlier, in which a hacked verified account impersonated a BAYC founder and successfully stole three pricey Bored Apes from a collector.

Roller derby community resoundingly rejects NFT project

An illustration of a pink-skinned person with a black helmet with a star on it with spikes, holding skates over their shoulder. The text "BOUT TIME NFTTT" is superimposed over it in a neon styleBout Time NFTTT logo (attribution)
After three roller derby stars announced an NFT project called "'Bout Time", the roller derby community was fairly united in its displeasure with the idea. Though the project intended to donate some of their proceeds back to the roller derby community, the overwhelming response appeared to be that engaging with NFTs was indefensible even if the project did provide money for the derby leagues. Most concerns seemed to revolve around the environmental impact of NFTs in general, as well as the scams that are rampant in the NFT world. After considering the feedback to their project, the three skaters announced that they would not be continuing with the project, which was due to mint on March 31. One of the project founders told Vox, "If this community doesn't want us to run this project, then we're not going to do this project for them. The whole reason was to raise money for the derby community, and they so strongly spoke out against us."

Department of Justice charges the scammers behind the January "Frosties" NFT rug pull with fraud and money laundering shortly before they launch their second project

Pastel rainbow colored illustration of a flame, wearing a hoodieImage from the Embers NFT project, which the Frosties scammers were about to launch (attribution)
On January 9, an ice cream-themed NFT project called "Frosties" made off with $1.1 million in a rug pull only an hour after the NFTs were launched. Less than three months later, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced that they had charged the two 20-year-old individuals behind the scheme with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Although it is bizarrely common to see people question whether NFT rug pulls are actually crimes, the USAO was quite clear: "Rather than providing the benefits advertised to Frosties NFT purchasers, Nguyen and Llacuna transferred the cryptocurrency proceeds of the scheme to various cryptocurrency wallets under their control." The Special Agent in Charge stated, "the same rules apply to an investment in an NFT or a real estate development. You can’t solicit funds for a business opportunity, abandon that business and abscond with money investors provided you."

The statement also alleged that the duo were working on another NFT project called "Embers", which they hoped would generate around $1.5 million. The project was set to mint on March 26, and the 60,000-member Discord has been thrown into disarray. Some of the community moderators began deleting links to the D.O.J. announcement, and attempted to suggest that the Department of Justice website had been faked to "FUD" the project.

The individuals behind the Frosties scheme face charges that each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, if they are convicted.

Pye suffers a $2.6 million loss in a flash loan attack

The security firm PeckShield reported that the Pye ecosystem had been targeted with a flash loan attack, which drained around $2.6 million from the protocol. Pye is a group of defi software projects built on the Binance Chain. The project had just undergone a large migration, and it appeared the bug may have been introduced in the new contracts.

The guy behind the "NFT band" on Ellen thinks you should have to pay royalties on dance moves

Four figures resembling neon-colored versions of bigfoot play instruments on a large screen. A woman wearing bright blue pants and a jacket kneels in front of the screen singing into a microphone.I tried to get a good screengrab of the "NFT band" but the videographer, reasonably, seemed to find the human performer more interesting (attribution)
In the latest installment of "large television program launders the reputations of NFTs", an "NFT band" performed on Ellen... Well, some animated characters danced on a screen while a human performed, a concept that is not exactly new.

The animator who created the band animation, however, has big dreams for the possibilities NFTs could bring to dancers. Dancers "can now claim digital ownership over a series of moves or routines by means of NFTs". Imagine, he says, "owning the original Moonwalk". Yes, everyone, just imagine how much better the world could be today if everyone had had to pay royalties whenever they imitated Michael Jackson's signature move.

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