Users deposited their money into projects running on the Ethereum, Tron, and Binance blockchains, and earned rewards for recruiting others to the scheme. The project also used payments from newer investors to pay out earlier investors — a Ponzi scheme.
- "SEC Charges Eleven Individuals in $300 Million Crypto Pyramid Scheme", U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
- "SEC charges 11 people in alleged $300 million crypto Ponzi scheme", CNBC
Those players have certainly learned something about crypto, as the league informed them that they're not likely to get the funds they were promised after Voyager Digital filed for bankruptcy in early July.
Nomad posted on Discord and tweeted that they were "aware of the incident" and "investigating", but the attack was ongoing over an hour after the acknowledgement.
Four days before the attack, Nomad announced that they'd raised a $22.4 million seed round from investors including Coinbase, OpenSea, and Crypto.com.
- "CoinFLEX Update: July 29, 2022", CoinFLEX blog
Helium is a common name that comes up when people are pressed to provide examples of web3 use cases. The New York Times ran a feature on the company in February 2022, titled "Maybe There's a Use for Crypto After All", where Kevin Roose lavished praise on the company and wrote that they had "largely avoided the hype and inflated claims that surround many crypto projects" (oops) and repeated the false claim about a Lime partnership (double oops). Lime said that the Times never contacted them to fact-check the claim; meanwhile, Helium founder Amir Haleem prominently points people to the article with a pinned tweet.
However, a recent Twitter thread by Liron Shapira drew attention to the fact that the company's total monthly revenue from network usage is only $6,500 — raising questions about the feasibility of hotspot operators actually earning much in the way of rewards (as the rewards are distributed based on network usage).
Following the publication of Binder's article, Helium quietly removed Lime's logo from their website, along with that of Salesforce, a CRM software company. Salesforce also confirmed to The Verge that they had no partnership with Helium, and that the graphic on the Helium website where Salesforce's logo was displayed as a user of Helium was "not accurate".
The Federal Reserve and the FDIC sent a cease-and-desist to Voyager, asking them to remove the misleading statements about deposit insurance. It would have been nice if this had come a bit earlier — perhaps before people had deposited money into accounts with the company and could no longer get it out.
The attack caused the project's ANA token to plunge in value by 80%, and the project's NIRV stablecoin to lose its dollar peg, falling to $0.08. Nirvana Finance tweeted, "Please be advised: ANA has lost its collateral, and NIRV has lost its peg. Until the thief restores funds, these tokens will not have exchange value. Be very careful with trading NIRV & ANA, as they currently have no guaranteed value."
They also tweeted at the hacker, promising to stop investigating the hacker's identity and to pay a $300,000 "bounty" in exchange for the funds back. They wrote, "You have not taken money from VCs or large funds — the treasury you have taken represents the collective hopes of everyday people."
The project had promised its users over 60% APY, and its Twitter account described ANA as "the balanced risk investment with adaptive yield".
The DAO has stumbled along somewhat since its January victory, encountering issues with making the bible viewable to DAO members without breaking copyright laws, a diminishing treasury due to declining crypto prices, and controversy after Soby was linked to the Remilia Collective.
After all that, the project leader suddenly and apparently unilaterally announced a plan where members could redeem their SPICE for ETH, and stated that they would be removing project leaders, converting the DAO to a private company, and selling the Dune bible (likely at a major loss). It was nice knowing you, SpiceDAO.
In his Twitter thread, Lyu outlines how the fund will "implement Anti-FUD education", "motivate and acclaim industry leaders and influencers who are always responsible, delivering trusted information", and "effectively trace FUDers who intentionally spread FUD and take legal actions against them if needed".
Something tells me his list of "industry leaders and influencers" to "acclaim" won't include those who are rightfully skeptical of crypto.