Nicole Behnam pumps and dumps: "There were mistakes made in a wallet that I controlled"

A poorly drawn pixel art shiba inu dog with half-lidded eyes, a shiny black pompadour, and its tongue sticking out, holding some sort of wire with red, green, and blue ends in its paw.Blocky Doge 3 #8691 (attribution)
New passive voice Hall of Fame contender just dropped: "There were mistakes made in a wallet that I controlled." You would think someone who got their start as a writer might know better.

Writer, journalist, and now web3 influencer Nicole Behnam helped pump Dogecoin founder Billy Marcus' new free-to-mint "Blocky Doge 3" NFT project, writing on Twitter, "No roadmap or utility? I'm in 👀" and talking it up on large Twitter spaces. A wallet belonging to her then received 250 NFTs from Marcus early on, then dumped around 220 of the NFTs on the market all at once, tanking the secondary market price while earning her around 20 ETH (~$38,000). At the moment, the NFTs are selling for an average of 0.031 ETH apiece (~$59).

After being found out, she wrote on Twitter that "There were mistakes made in a wallet that I controlled," but claimed that she had tried to make it up by returning the profits and buying up low-priced NFTs. "How the last 24 hours went down was not cool and I’m doing my best to rectify the situation," she wrote. "Listening, learning, moving forward." Shortly afterwards, she was removed from a "NFT100" list that had published only days prior by NFT Now, for what they described as violations of their ethics policy.

Ren Protocol transfers all assets to FTX bankruptcy team

In February 2021, the Ren project announced that it had been acquired by Alameda Research so that Alameda could "[help] accelerate the decentralisation" of the project.

Now, the Ren team has announced that they have transferred all assets on the Ren Protocol "to the FTX Debtors' cold storage wallets for safeguarding".

The announcement mentioned "possible shutdowns of infrastructure and systems," possibly referring to Ren's plans — announced shortly after the FTX collapse — to "move on from Alameda" by launching "Ren 2.0" and sunsetting the 1.0 version. However, there has been little public evidence that Ren 2.0 has been progressing.

Goblintown NFT images all changed to an illustrated middle finger in protest about royalties

An illustration of a middle finger with legs, and with other middle fingers emerging from where its hands and genitals would be. At the top of the image reads: "Fuck royalties. Fuck supporting building and creatives. Flipping is the heart of what makes Web3 special. Honor the flipper, fuck the community. Long live the slow rug." At the bottom: "Goblintown, Illuminati, The187, and Grumpls will be migrating to new contracts before Monday the 17th of April. All holders will be airdropped identical replacement NFTs."New Goblintown artwork (attribution)
There has been an ongoing controversy in the NFT world over creator royalties. Although NFTs are often talked up as being good for artists because they enable royalties to be paid even after the initial sale, these payments are rarely enforced by the smart contract and are instead up to marketplaces to enforce. In the last six months or so, NFT marketplaces have emerged that follow a "royalty optional" model, sparking a race to the bottom where OpenSea and other incumbents have also cut royalty protections to remain competitive.

Although NFTs are often thought to be immutable, permanent links to their associated artwork, that's often not the case in practice. Many NFTs store metadata off-chain, or otherwise enable after-the-fact changes.

Goblintown is a collection of NFTs that launched in May 2022, quickly going viral and sparking a phenomenon of Twitter spaces where members spent hours making goblin noises into their microphones. Originally free to mint, the NFTs began selling for thousands of dollars on the secondary market. Now they trade for around 0.38 ETH (~$800) apiece.

In an apparent protest against the willingness of traders and marketplaces to stop honoring royalties, Truth Labs (the group behind Goblintown) changed the artwork for Goblintown and all of their NFT collections to an illustration of a dancing middle finger, with smaller middle fingers emerging from where its arms and genitals would be. The new image reads, "Fuck royalties. Fuck supporting building and creatives. Flipping is the heart of what makes Web3 special. Honor the flipper, fuck the community. Long live the slow rug." At the bottom, the image states: "Goblintown, Illuminati, The187, and Grumpls will be migrating to new contracts before Monday the 17th of April. All holders will be airdropped identical replacement NFTs." The new NFTs will enforce royalties on-chain, preventing marketplaces from allowing users to circumvent them.

Some embraced the new NFTs, while others accused Truth Labs of "rugging". Some people were horrified by the fact that NFTs that they owned could be changed after the fact without their consent, a fact they were not previously aware of. One owner wrote, "So your telling me I spent $1,000s of dollars and have 10 goblintowns for them all to now be dudes shaking their weiners?"

Niantic shutters its web3 project after less than six months

A digital rendering of a foil-wrapped packet of trading cards, in gold and black. The logo says "Ingress 2022 Epiphany Dawn".Ingress Trading Post card pack (attribution)
Niantic, the creator of the popular Ingress and Pokémon Go augmented reality games, announced it will be shutting down its "Trading Post" product for NFT trading cards that it had launched only months before. "Trading Post was an experimentation effort to explore the world of digital collectibles, and while we believe that web3 has the potential to create meaningful experiences in the future, we plan to shift focus to other priorities," they wrote. Owners of the NFTs were told they have sixty days to "download" their cards, and that trading would be disabled in 30 days.

The announcement seemed to come as a relief to many in the Ingress community, with commenters remarking on the "scammy" nature of NFTs. Some wrote that they liked the idea, but that the web3 factor felt like it was "shoehorned" in. "I'll miss the Trading Post, please never bring NFTs or in fact any blockchain into future projects, or if you do at the very very least make it actually matter to the thing it's being put into, but still preferably just don't," said one.

GDAC exchange hacked for assets notionally worth more than $14 million

Hackers made off with 61 BTC, 350.5 ETH, 10 million WEMIX, and 220,000 USDT from a hot wallet belonging to the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange GDAC. Altogether, the assets are notionally worth around $13 million. The stolen assets represented 23% of funds custodied on the GDAC exchange.

GDAC halted deposits and withdrawals shortly after the attack, and stated that they had reported the exploit to South Korean law enforcement to investigate.

Terraport Finance hacked for $2 million less than two weeks after launch

Terraport Finance is a defi project built on, believe it or not, the Terra blockchain. Yes, the same Terra blockchain on which the Terra/Luna projects were built. Despite the massive collapse of the flagship project in May 2022, there are still a number of Terra projects operating, and even some new projects being developed.

Terraport Finance launched on March 31, apparently having gone live without any sort of audit. On April 10, Terraport disclosed that an attacker had apparently managed to drain all project liquidity pools, making off with assets priced at around $2 million.

Trader loses 14,377 $APE (~$61,000) when they sell their Bored Ape

An illustration of an ape with cream colored fur, wearing a hawaiian shirt on an orange background.Bored Ape #7810, who came with a $60k bonus (attribution)
The former owner of Bored Ape #7810 presumably intended to agree to sell the ape to another buyer for 70 ETH (~$130,900). However, it's unlikely they intended for that buyer to also be able to access the staked $APE they had accrued. With this particular staking mechanism, the Bored Ape effectively serves as the "key" to the staked ApeCoin, and so it transferred to the NFT's new owner right along with the NFT.

0xSifu loses more than $2.7 million to SushiSwap hack

0xSifu, also known as Michael Patryn, also known as Omar Dahani, is the once-pseudonymous chief developer of the Wonderland protocol. His identity was discovered by zachxbt in January 2022, when the crypto sleuth revealed that "0xSifu" was Patryn, a man with a history of financial crimes who was previously involved with QuadrigaCX, an exchange which lost over $150 million in customer funds in 2018.

Today, Sifu himself was the victim of a theft as a bug in the SushiSwap decentralized exchange allowed a hacker to make off with around 1,800 ETH (more than $3.3 million) belonging to him. According to SushiSwap leader Jared Grey, around 300 ETH (~$557,000) of Sifu's funds were subsequently recovered.

Analysts have found that almost 200 addresses on the Ethereum network have approved the vulnerable contract, and around 2,000 addresses approved the vulnerable contract on Arbitrum, Polygon, and other chains. It's not yet clear how much was stolen in total. SushiSwap leader Grey urged users via Twitter to revoke approval for the vulnerable smart contract.

Bitcoin mining firm sues business partner after they allegedly lose $500,000 in Bitcoin to fraudster

Bitcoin mining firm Sphere 3D has filed a biting lawsuit against its partner, Gryphon Digital Mining. According to Sphere 3D, Gryphon's CEO was fooled by multiple spoofing attacks in which fraudsters pretending to be Sphere 3D executives instructed him to transfer 26 Bitcoin (~$500,000). Sphere 3D further alleges that "Gryphon panicked when Sphere suggested that the incident be reported to law enforcement, including the Federal Bureau of Investigations ('FBI'), insisted that the issue could be handled between the parties, and demanded that no one report the theft to the authorities."

The lawsuit also alleges that Gryphon has " dutifully collected its exorbitant Management Fee while shirking its duties under the MSA and delivering abhorrent management services" and "skimm[ed] off the top (i.e., st[ole]) from Sphere's assets".

dYdX exchange announces it will shut down Canadian operations

dYdX announced that it would be shutting down its decentralized derivatives exchange in Canada. They gestured toward regulatory issues in the post, writing that, "We hope that the regulatory climate in Canada will change over time to allow us to resume services in the country."

Canada has become more strict on cryptocurrency exchanges in recent months, particularly following the collapse of FTX.

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