- "Metakovan, the mystery Beeple art buyer, and his NFT/DeFi scheme", Amy Castor
- "JPG File Sells for $69 Million, as 'NFT Mania' Gathers Pace", The New York Times
Turkish Bitcoin exchange Thodex halted trading and limited customers' access to their investments, claiming it was to investigate suspicious activity and swearing it was not an exit scam. With an international manhunt now underway for the Thodex CEO, and no sign of the approximately $2 billion that was invested in the platform, it seems awfully likely it was a rug pull.
Hackers compromised a computer belonging to EasyFi founder Ankitt Gaur, accessing his private keys which allowed them to transfer $6 million in stablecoins and $120 million worth of EASY. The price of EASY crashed as a result of the low liquidity, limiting the hacker's total payout to around $80 million. EasyFi followed the breach with a hard fork to "EZ 2.0", and compensated users with a mix of stablecoins and "IOU tokens" that could later be redeemed for discounted EZ.
The two founders of a South Africa-based crypto investment firm called Africrypt claimed they had been hacked, and all assets had been stolen. The duo disappeared as legal action began, and as skepticism grew as to the veracity of that story.
24 hours after pre-sale, the team behind Turtledex drained $2.5 million from the liquidity pool and disappeared. Turtledex's smart contract had been audited shortly before the sale, with no major issues found, leading some to question the point of such audits.
Private keys for hot wallets on the Roll network were compromised, allowing the theft of around $5.7 million from various "social tokens". "Friends With Benefits", an a16z-backed DAO with an associated token that allows those who are approved by the DAO and can afford the ~$8,000 entrance fee access to exclusive parties, was one of the tokens affected, and it tanked in value by about 96%. Roll apologized and announced a fund to help those affected, though the $500,000 fund was only a small fraction of the money lost.
Vignesh Sundaresan's $69 million purchase of an NFT by artist Beeple made headlines. However, Amy Castor outlined a few days later that Sundaresan is a business partner of Beeple's, and that Beeple himself owns 2% of the B20 tokens created by Sundaresan's cryptocurrency investment firm. She speculates that money may not have exchanged hands at all, but that Sundaresan and Beeple orchestrated the purchase to artificially inflate the value of the work, increase Beeple's popularity, and draw attention to Sundaresan and his company.
Jason Rohrer, developer of the 2014 indie game The Castle Doctrine announced his plan to auction 155 of the digital paintings that he had commissioned for the game as NFTs on the OpenSea platform, without ever requesting permission from the original artists or informing them of his plan at all. In an email, Rohrer told Kotaku that he hadn't asked for permission from the artists to sell the works as NFTs "mostly because having email conversations with 50+ people would exceed my bandwidth as a solo creator." At least three artists asked for their work to be removed from the collection.
NFT artist "neitherconfirm" created a collection of 26 NFTs of stained glass-style computer-generated art. After release, they changed the art for each NFT to a picture of a rug, an apparent reference to "rug pulls". The artist wrote on Twitter, "Nobody got hurt. It is pretty easy to change the jpg, even if it does not belong to me or it is on auction. I am the artist, my decision, right? A thread from somebody making his living with art irl about the value of NFTs... All discussions about the value of NFTs are meaningless as long as the token is not inseparable from the artwork itself... What is the meaning of creating an unforgeable token on a highly secured network if somebody can alter, relink or destroy your possession? As long as the value of your artwork is reliable on a central service you do not own anything."
DeFi project DODO was relieved of $3.8 million after hackers exploited a bug in their v2 Crowdpools smart contracts. The exchange later recovered $1.89 million of these funds.
A contract exploit allowed a hacker to mint almost 60 million PAID tokens (priced at around $160 million based on the value before the attack) on the PAID Network. The hacker then made off with about $3 million in Ethereum from their efforts. The attack caused the PAID token to crash about 88% in value over the course of a day, from around $2.86 to $0.32.