One Inferno Drainer victim lost assets worth around $417,000. They later sent an on-chain message to the thief, writing: "you are ruining my life and for me this money was a lifetime's work, I won't have enough my family..." They asked the attacker to return 50% of the funds stolen from them, offering to not report the scammer to Interpol and other authorities in return, and even offering to "sign a contract allowing you to use legally the stolen crypto".
Phishing-as-a-service company "Inferno Drainer" steals assets nominally worth $5.9 million in three months
Grumpy Cat trademark owner sends cease and desist via NFT over unauthorized "Grumpy Cat Coin"
However, Grumpy Cat's owner owns trademarks associated with Grumpy Cat, and it seems she has become aware of the coin. On May 18, she minted an NFT and transferred it to the Grumpy Cat Coin deployer address. The NFT image is a copy of a cease and desist letter representing Grumpy Cat Limited. The letter describes the coin offering as a "blatant and willful infringement of our client's trademark rights", and insists that the coin creators stop all activities related to the coin offering or face legal action. The letter also mentioned that the URL of the project website —
grumpycat.fyi — was a violation of the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. The project subsequently changed its domain to
gccoin.fyi in an apparent effort to avoid this issue.
Simultaneously, a message addressed to holders of the Grumpy Cat Coin was posted to Grumpy Cat's Twitter account, describing the token as a "desperate, sad attempt to scam unwitting traders" by "SlumDoge Millionaire and their cohorts".
Coin Cafe to pay $4.3 million restitution after instituting high fees without informing customers
The New York Attorney General found that Coin Cafe's misleading fee structure was still in effect even after the company obtained a BitLicense from the Department of Financial Services.
Swaprum decentralized exchange rug pulls for almost $3 million
The project had been audited by blockchain security firm CertiK, and displayed the "audited by CertiK" badge on their website. This added to criticisms of CertiK, who have come under fire for auditing multiple projects that later turned out to be scams. CertiK defended themselves, writing that, "As an auditor, we cannot force projects to implement our recommendations, but we can clearly and publicly call out vulnerabilities where we find them". They argued that they had identified vulnerabilities within their audit that ultimately allowed for the exploit, including the high degree of centralization and the upgradability of the smart contracts.
Sam Altman's Worldcoin project incentivizes a black market for biometric data taken from people in developing nations
Sam Altman's Worldcoin project, a dystopian effort to use chrome orbs to scan the irises of people (often in developing nations) in exchange for vague promises of crypto compensation, is encountering even more difficulties. In April 2022, BuzzFeed News and MIT Technology Review both published in-depth reporting on some of the technical and ethical issues the project has run up against.
Now, the project is facing reports that people in China, who are not allowed to sign up legitimately, have been purchasing iris scans from individuals in Africa and Southeast Asia in order to circumvent the restriction. According to the news outlet BlockBeats, Chinese individuals have been engaging in "eyeball speculation": buying biometric data scanned en masse from villagers in Cambodia, Kenya, and elsewhere by people who then sell it for $30 or less, allowing the buyer to receive the associated Worldcoin payout (currently ~$20).
Worldcoin has said they are rolling out various measures to try to discourage this activity, including changing the in-person sign-up process. However, the project acknowledged that they have not figured out how to prevent this, writing: "Despite these precautions, it is important to acknowledge that they do not entirely safeguard against collusion or other attempts to bypass the one-person-one-proof principle. To address these challenges, innovative ideas in mechanism design and the attribution of social relationships will be necessary."
Former Fabric CFO accused of siphoning $35 million into his crypto startup and losing it all
According to the grand jury indictment, Shetty planned to put the funds into cryptocurrency positions that "could have yielded returns of 20 percent or more annually", and planned to return 6% to Fabric, keeping the difference. This so-called "investment" contradicted the conservative investment strategy that Shetty had helped to draft for Fabric, and he concealed both the existence of the transfer and his involvement with HighTower.
Shetty "lost virtually all of [Fabric's] money" "within a matter of weeks", at which point he fessed up to Fabric. Shetty had placed all of the funds into protocols based around the Terra stablecoin, which collapsed dramatically only a month later.
Shetty has pled not guilty, and has been released on bond.
Traders lose more than $15 million to phishing website impersonating crypto exchange HitBTC
hitbtc.comapproved transactions to swap their crypto assets, only to find the site drained their wallets.
South Korean legislator Kim Nam-kuk resigns over allegations of improper crypto dealings
Other concerns arose regarding the discovery of the assets. Some were worried about possible conflicts of interest, particularly in relation to Kim's 2021 proposal of a bill that would delay taxation of crypto profits. Others were worried about the source of the funds used by Kim for crypto trading; Kim claims he did not receive money from anyone to use for trading, and obtained the money through the sale of stocks.
On May 10, the Democratic Party recommended Kim sell his crypto holdings, and launched an investigation. Kim said later that day that he would perform the sales, and "transparently disclose data to the investigation team and undergo the inquiry faithfully".
On May 14, Kim resigned from the Democratic Party "for a while", continuing to deny the allegations but expressing wishes to not burden the party and its members over the controversy.
The subsequent day, Korean authorities raided the offices of Korean crypto exchanges Bithumb and Upbit in connection to the scandal, seeking transaction records and other information. Kim was reported to use those services for his crypto wallets.
a16z-backed Mecha Fight Club NFT robot cockfighting game put on ice as maker pivots to AI
Now, the company has announced that the project will be paused "for the indefinite future", blaming "lack of clarity" and "regulatory confusion" in the United States. The company simultaneously announced "SOL 4 Cocks", in which they will repurchase the Mecha Fight Club NFTs for 18 SOL (~$380). The NFTs had originally minted for 6.969 SOL (~$290 on mint date).
Irreverent Labs' website and social media now describe the company as an AI firm building "text to 3D and video prediction tools that facilitate the creation of AI-generated 3D content".
Fractional NFT ownership platform Tessera shuts down
The decision was announced only a few weeks after the US Department of Justice announced charges against a group of individuals including Chorlian. Chorlian was charged with conspiracy to commit securities price manipulation and wire fraud in connection to an alleged scheme to manipulate the market for the HYDRO crypto token. If convicted, Chorlian faces a maximum of five years in prison.
- Tweet thread by Andy Chorlian
- "Paradigm-Backed NFT Ownership Platform Tessera is Shutting Down", CoinDesk
- Press release by the Department of Justice