French surgeon Emmanuel Masmejean minted an NFT of an x-ray image of a bullet embedded in the fractured forearm of a person who was shot in the November 2015 Paris attacks. The NFT, which was listed on OpenSea for a starting price of around $2,800, was created without the consent of the victim. The doctor quickly took down the listing after it was noticed by media, and the head of Paris's public hospital system announced that the doctor would be facing criminal and professional complaints.
Theme tags: Bad idea
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: NFT

A photograph of a gorilla"Congo" NFT from the collection (attribution)
Conservationist and wildlife photographer George Benjamin tweeted about his new project, "The NFT Conservation Fund". "Over the last decade I've seen first-hand the devastation that our Earth is currently enduring, oftentimes feeling completely helpless," he writes. The project involves minting NFTs of his wildlife photography on the notoriously high-emissions Ethereum blockchain, and then contributing a measly 15% of profits to... get more wildlife photographers to do the same. Good news, though—the paper on which the limited-edition prints will be printed is "Forest Stewardship Council-approved"!
Theme tags: Bad idea, Environment, Hmm
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: NFT

A black and white photo of Cobain singing and playing guitar, with another guitarist next to himOne of the NFTs (attribution)
An NFT group announced that they'd be releasing NFTs created from photographs of a 1991 Nirvana show they performed shortly before Nevermind rose to popularity. The NFTs go on sale on what would have been Kurt Cobain's birthday if he was still alive. The creators say they seek to "honor" Cobain by releasing these NFTs, which makes you wonder if they've ever heard Cobain speak before.
Theme tags: Bad idea
Tech tags: NFT

A brown pixel art bat with a toothy smile and a halo, on a teal backgroundCryptoBat #1783 (attribution)
Ozzy Osbourne's NFT project, CryptoBatz, changed to a slightly different Discord URL ("cryptobatz" rather than "cryptobatznft") some time after the new year. However, they forgot to take down at least one tweet mentioning the previous URL, and scammers were able to set up a new server at that location. Users were instructed to "verify", which redirected them to a phishing site where the contents of their wallets were stolen.
Theme tags: Hack or scam
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: NFT

MetaMask logo, a geometric fox designMetaMask logo (attribution)
Security researchers publicly disclosed a critical privacy vulnerability with the popular cryptocurrency wallet Metamask, where a malicious attacker can easily create an NFT and airdrop it to a victim to obtain their IP address (and thus potentially their location). Metamask founder Dan Finlay acknowledged that "this issue has been widely known for a long time", and that the researchers were "right to call us out for not addressing it sooner. Starting work on it now. Thanks for the kick in the pants, and sorry we needed it."
Theme tags: Bad idea, Bug
Tech tags: NFT

Screenshot of a popup announcing Twitter's NFT support, and showing off the hexagonal profile picturesScreenshot of the Twitter NFT announcement (attribution)
Although NFTs-as-profile-pictures on Twitter is nothing new, Twitter launched a new feature in which users can connect their crypto wallets to verify that an NFT belongs to them. Such verified NFTs will display with a hexagon shape, rather than the standard circle, presumably to differentiate these users from the right-clickers.
Theme tags: Bad idea
Tech tags: NFT

OpenSea logo, a blue circle with a white ship silhouetteOpenSea logo (attribution)
Popular NFT marketplace OpenSea suffered an outage that had ripple effects throughout several major services using their APIs, including the browser extension crypto wallet MetaMask. The same day, Twitter announced it was rolling out its support for NFT profile pictures, an announcement that was dampened a bit by collection pages failing to load due to the outage. The widespread effects of the outage highlighted points by many web3 critics, that the ecosystem is hardly as decentralized in practice as it claims to be.
Theme tags: Hmm
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: NFT

A green K with a yellow and blue crown on an orange backgroundKingfund Finance logo (attribution)
Kingfund Finance suddenly drained more than 300 WBNB (about $141,000) from their project. This happened a few days after users began to report being blocked by the project's Twitter account and kicked from its Telegram channel for reporting issues with unavailable funds, apparently an attempt to buy time as they prepared for their exit. Around the time of the rug pull, they took their Twitter and website offline.
Theme tags: Rug pull
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: BSC
Tech tags: DeFi

Multichain logoMultichain logo (attribution)
Multichain publicly announced a vulnerability that was affecting their tokens, without first notifying users to ask them to remove vulnerable funds. Several hackers quickly exploited the vulnerability, stealing around $3 million from the platform. Security researchers described the saga as "the worst way to treat a vulnerability".
Theme tags: Bad idea, Hack or scam
Tech tags: cryptocurrency

Apparently the real issue with crypto grifts all along has been that it's just too dang hard to put your money into them. Mastercard has shown up to fix that, announcing a new partnership with Coinbase to allow Mastercard holders to buy NFTs on Coinbase's upcoming NFT platform with credit. With just a jaw-dropping attempt at spin, Mastercard wrote in their announcement tweet, "We're working to make NFTs more accessible because we believe tech should be inclusive."
Theme tags: Bad idea, Hmm
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: NFT

Chart showing the value of the BNB Heroes token suddenly droppingBNBHeroToken value (attribution)
The BNB Heroes play-to-earn game apparently rug pulled after a period of inactivity from the development team. The developer drained almost $200,000 from the token pool, plummeting the token value by 65%.
Theme tags: Rug pull
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: BSC
Tech tags: blockchain gaming

A rendering of a fuzzy Birkin-styled bag with rainbow-colored abstract flowers on a black background. The bag is sitting on a white museum pedestal.MetaBirkin (attribution)
Mason Rothschild, the creator of "MetaBirkins" NFTs, was the target of a trademark lawsuit by Birkin bag-maker Hermès. The lawsuit came after he ignored a cease and desist from the company over his his 3D renderings depicting and named after the distinctive bags. In a public statement replying to the lawsuit, Rothschild wrote that "I am not creating or selling fake Birkin bags. I've made art works that depict imaginary, fur-covered Birkin bags... I have the right also to use the term 'MetaBirkins' to describe truthfully what that art depicts, and to comment artistically on those bags and on the Birkin brand." So far, the NFT collection has enjoyed about $1.2 million in trading.

I, for one, am very curious to see how the litigation plays out. In the meantime, the Rarible landing page for the connection displays an error message stating, "This user or item has been temporarily blocked from public access".

Theme tags: Hmm
Tech tags: NFT

Crypto.com logo: blue hexagon with face-like symbol in it next to the textCrypto.com logo (attribution)
Popular cryptocurrency wallet provider and trading platform Crypto.com briefly suspended trading after acknowledging there had been "unauthorized activity" in user accounts. The platform restored trading later that day after pushing an update to require their users to re-authenticate their sessions and reset two-factor authentication.

Although some users reported funds missing from their wallets, including one investor who reported that $16.3 million missing, Crypto.com announced that "All funds are safe". Over the next few days this was revealed to be untrue; as of January 20, the total estimated funds stolen from the platform had reached $30 million. Large amounts of stolen funds were quickly laundered through Tornado Cash, a popular crypto mixer.

Theme tags: Hack or scam
Tech tags: cryptocurrency

An Opensea landing page for the NFT project, showing a collection of black and white imagesNotASecret's Opensea page (attribution)
Enthusiasts rushed to buy NFTs from a project called NotASecretNFT after seeing NFT mega-whale Pranksy buy in, even though the OpenSea description was simply, "1000 secrets, endless lies... Farming $LIES starts 24 hours from mint." After funds were drained from the project, Pranksy tweeted, "Ok you may have seen me buy some NotASecretNFT's from opensea - it looks like this was a rug pull / scam, please do not buy anymore based on my purchases and revert any permissions you may have given". A note in the project's smart contract read, "Hello world, Nothing was intended to be obscured from you, you simply did not follow the clues." In a tweet thread, one buyer explained how he didn't research the project himself, but bought in after seeing an alert that Pranksy had bought NFTs. He ended the thread by writing, "Never buy into hypes and always #DYOR. Lesson learned once more!"
Theme tags: Hmm, Shady business
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: NFT

A cartoon hamburger with the text "Crypto Burgers" in the middleCryptoBurgers logo (attribution)
The value of the $BURG token associated with the CryptoBurgers game suddenly plummeted after being hacked shortly after launching earlier that day. The game allowed users to earn cryptocurrency by flipping burgers... yes, really. A bug in the smart contract allowed an attacker to use flash loan attacks to drain $BURG, netting them around $770,000 as of that evening. The CryptoBurgers team announced they would be contacting Binance to try to recover funds, and the team would be creating a new smart contract and token. Hope the next one goes better!
Theme tags: Bug, Hack or scam
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: BSC
Tech tags: NFT, blockchain gaming

Photograph of the Dune storyboard bookDune storyboard (attribution)
Somehow, SpiceDAO managed to raise €2.66 million (about $3 million) to buy the storyboard for Alejandro Jodorowsky's never-made Dune adaptation. In a celebratory tweet the group wrote, "We won the auction for €2.66M. Now our mission is to: 1. Make the book public (to the extent permitted by law) 2. Produce an original animated limited series inspired by the book and sell it to a streaming service 3. Support derivative projects from the community". They were quickly informed that buying the physical book did not somehow confer to them copyright or licensing rights (much like how buying an NFT does not automatically confer you the rights to the underlying artwork!). You'd think they might have checked that first.
Theme tags: Bad idea
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: DAO

A pixel art face wearing a red, white, and black cap, and smoking a pipeMadHasher #0051 (attribution)
Shortly after it was discovered that the images used for the NFT project "InvertedCulture" were nothing more than unauthorized flipped copies from a different NFT project, DNA Cultura, the creator deleted the project's Twitter account and transferred funds out of the project. Simultaneously, another project called "MadHashers" also deleted their Twitter account and drained funds. It didn't take long for people to realize that the money from both projects was going to the same account, suggesting that that the same person was behind both scams.
Theme tags: Rug pull
Tech tags: NFT

Eight people were arrested in China after being connected to a rug pull. One investor lost ¥590,000 ($90,000) he had poured into the token in June, when project owners took the website offline and pulled all of the money out. A total of ¥50 million (a bit below $7.9 million) was lost to the scam.
Theme tags: Hack or scam, Rug pull
Tech tags: cryptocurrency

Float logo: A purple fingerprint styled design next to the textFloat Protocol logo (attribution)
Lack of liquidity in the Uniswap V3 FLOAT/USDC oracle allowed an attacker to manipulate the prices within the pool, then deposit it at a much higher rate. The hacker pulled about 350 ETH (equivalent to $1.1 million) out of the pool, though according to PeckShield they later returned around $250,000 for some reason.
Theme tags: Hack or scam
Tech tags: cryptocurrency

Voiceverse logo: white block caps with slight cyan and magenta borderingVoiceverse logo (attribution)
Troy Baker, the voice actor behind video game characters in The Last of Us, Far Cry, and various Batman games, announced he would be partnering with "voice NFT" company Voiceverse. Voiceverse is pretty vague as to what it's actually offering, but it has something to do "provid[ing] you an ownership to a unique voice in the Metaverse". Baker's announcement tweet ended, "You can hate. Or you can create. What'll it be?", which didn't seem to help with the already-negative reaction to the idea. Things were further soured when it was revealed that Voiceverse had stolen work without crediting it from a computer-generated voice project called 15.ai. Voiceverse subsequently apologized for the theft, and Baker acknowledged that his initial tweet "might have been a bit antagonistic".
Theme tags: Bad idea, Shady business
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: NFT

Blue downward-pointing triangle logo next to the text "fees.wtf"fees.wtf logo (attribution)
fees.wtf, a platform allowing people to see how much money a given cryptocurrency wallet has spent in gas fees, decided it was time to release their own token, and promised to follow it up with NFTs. They tempted people with an initial airdrop, where people recruited their friends in exchange for more "WTF" tokens. However, with a small initial liquidity pool and trading bots quickly entering the fray, enormous volatility led to absolute chaos. Some traders who were unfamiliar with setting up tolerances for slippage found their orders executed for substantially less than expected, with one user trading 42 ETH ($135,000) for what ended up being less than 1¢ of WTF. Edward Ongweso Jr wrote for Vice, "Like so many other crypto projects, it was so poorly planned, capitalized, and executed, that it’s almost indistinguishable from a scam."
Theme tags: Bad idea
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: DeFi, cryptocurrency

Tweet by GlobalGameJam (@globalgamejam): "#GGJ22 primary headline sponsor @TheSandboxGame is a decentralized, community-driven gaming ecosystem where creators can share and monetise voxel assets and gaming experiences on the Ethereum blockchain. Learn more at sandbox.game/en/ and give them a follow! #gamedev"The original tweet (attribution)
Global Game Jam, an annual event where people collaborate to make video games, proudly plugged The Sandbox as their "primary headline sponsor" on Twitter. The Sandbox is a platform for selling game assets on the Ethereum blockchain. After swift backlash, GGJ deleted the tweet and deleted references to blockchains from The Sandbox's description in their sponsor list. Needless to say this didn't go unnoticed, appearing to many as an attempt to deceive their community. GGJ eventually apologized for this action, and dropped The Sandbox as a sponsor.
Theme tags: Bad idea, Shady business
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: blockchain gaming

A bored-looking ape with protruding fangs, horns, and red spiked wingsBig Daddy Ape Club NFT (attribution)
The creators of "Big Daddy Ape Club" rugpulled shortly after mint, deleting their social media and website and making off with around $1.2 million. The project's creators were reportedly the same as those who'd pulled off the $2 million "Baller Ape Club" rug pull in October 2021, and a $150,000 one before that.
Theme tags: Rug pull
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Solana
Tech tags: NFT

I can safely describe most NFT marketplaces as bizarre, but the AP is really trying to top the bunch. The marketplace will provide a place for trading the NFTs they plan to create out of their journalistic photography. However, people won't be able to move the NFTs they purchase to other marketplaces (so much for decentralized). Dwayne Desaulniers, AP's Director of Blockchain & Data Licensing, attempted to shed some light on their plans via Twitter, only making things worse. "Buying an AP photo registered on the blockchain provides you with a personal license to display, print, resell the image if you wish. But is also helps reduce the economic damage from digital theft, preserves the value of a photograph and will help us fight deep fakes", he said, though basically none of these claims stand up to scrutiny, or particularly require a blockchain.
Theme tags: Bad idea
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Polygon
Tech tags: NFT

Neon green illustration of a city on blackCityDAO logo (attribution)
Crypto investors who have bought 40 acres of land in Wyoming in hopes of "building a city on the Ethereum blockchain" have lost $92,000 and counting to a Discord hack. Some clever social engineering and questionable security measures on Discord's part allowed scammers to gain control of a CityDAO Discord moderator's account, then send out fake announcements about a fake "land drop". So far the scammer has received 29.67 ETH (about $92,000).
Theme tags: Bad idea, Hack or scam
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: DAO

Lympo logo, a reddish checkmark by the text "Lympo"Lympo logo (attribution)
Animoca Brands' subsidiary Lympo, an NFT platform specifically for sports, experienced a breach of several hot wallets. This allowed an attacker to pull 165.2 LMT tokens from the platform, equivalent to about $18.7 million. The tokens were quickly exchanged for Ether on Uniswap and Sushiswap. The hack caused the value of LMT to drop by 92%, to $0.0093.
Theme tags: Hack or scam
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum

A green, vaguely human-shaped blob with a strawberry on its head and hearts for eyes, holds a flag that says "Frosties"Frostie #7105 (attribution)
An hour after releasing their ice cream-themed NFTs, developers of the Frosties NFT project closed their social media accounts and disappeared with $1.3 million, plunging the token value to nearly zero.
Theme tags: Rug pull
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: NFT

A pink dragon blowing smoke out its nostrils, wearing a blue hoodie.Doodled Dragon #322 (attribution)
A SolSea-verified NFT project on the Solana blockchain, Doodled Dragons, touted that they would distribute all profits "straight to charities protecting animals on the brink of extinction". They announced on Twitter that they would be donating $30,000, "our first donation", to the World Wildlife Fund. Two hours later, they tweeted, "actually. fuck that. our charity will instead now be... my bank account. cya nerds." They deleted the Twitter account shortly after.
Theme tags: Rug pull
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Solana
Tech tags: NFT

LCX logoLCX logo (attribution)
The Liechtenstein-based cryptocurrency exchange LCX suffered a $6.8 million loss when one of its hot wallets was compromised. Assets including ETH, USDC, EURe, and LCX were moved to an Ethereum wallet belonging to the attacker, then quickly tumbled using the Tornado Cash mixing service.
Theme tags: Hack or scam
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum

An illustration of a flyfish on a pastel backgroundFlyfish Club Member NFT (attribution)
Gary Vaynerchuk announced plans for his New York City "NFT restaurant", Flyfish Club. The cheapest NFT, giving access to only parts of the restaurant, was listed at 2.5 ETH (at the time around $8,000); a full-access membership was listed at 4.25 ETH (around $14,400). However, the NFT only grants access to the restaurant. Patrons will still pay for their food and drink—and in real money, not crypto.
Theme tags: Bad idea
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: NFT

Instagram story post from Kim Kardashian, which reads "Are you guys into crypto???? This is not financial advice but sharing what my friends just told me about the Ethereum Max token! A few minutes ago Ethereum Max burned 400 trillion tokens—literally 50% of their admin wallet giving back to the entire E-Max community. SWIPE UP"Kim Kardashian's Instagram post (attribution)
An investor filed a class action lawsuit against Kim Kardashian, Floyd Mayweather, and Paul Pierce, all of whom promoted the EthereumMax currency (not to be confused to the completely unconnected Ethereum). The lawsuit also names the creators of the coin, who are still unknown, but who the filer hopes to unmask through legal discovery. The filer alleges that the group of defendants were hyping a "pump-and-dump scam" that caused him to suffer investment losses.
Theme tags: Shady business
Tech tags: cryptocurrency

Coinsuper logo: blue text with a yellow swoosh underlining itCoinsuper logo (attribution)
Users reported not being able to withdraw currency from their accounts with Coinsuper, a Hong Kong-based crypto exchange. Although trading has remained active on the platform to date, some users have said they have spent months trying to withdraw their funds, to no avail. A group have filed a complaint to the police. Communication from Coinsuper has been practically nonexistent, both to users and to their investors.
Theme tags: Shady business
Tech tags: cryptocurrency

Tweet by Mozilla: "Dabble in 
@dogecoin
? HODLing some #Bitcoin & #Ethereum?

We’re using 
@BitPay
 to accept donations in #cryptocurrency 

https://bitpay.com/100257/donate?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=1640967540"Original Mozilla tweet (attribution)
Someone on the Mozilla Foundation's social team inexplicably thought that tweeting "Dabble in @dogecoin? HODLing some #Bitcoin & #Ethereum? We're using @BitPay to accept donations in #cryptocurrency" would go over well with their supporters. Unsurprisingly it did not, and it also earned them scathing replies from the founder of Mozilla and the designer of the Gecko browser engine (upon which Firefox is built). Mozilla tweeted on January 6 that they were "listening, and taking action", and that they would review "if and how our current policy on crypto donations fits with our climate goals", pausing cryptocurrency donations in the meantime.
Theme tags: Bad idea, Environment, Good news
Tech tags: cryptocurrency

Fuel shortages and spiking electricity costs in Kazakhstan have contributed to protests and a governmental crisis in the country. The electricity issue is partially thanks to cryptocurrency mining to begin with, with about 8% of electricity generation in the country going towards crypto mining (as of last year—it's likely to be higher now). During the crisis, the Kazakh president ordered the nation's largest telecom provider to shut down Internet service in the country to try to quash communications among his opponents. On doing so, the total amount of Bitcoin mining taking place in the country was revealed: at least 12% of Bitcoin's computational power disappeared, though the numbers could swell closer to 18%. This has extremely concerning implications as far as Bitcoin's environmental impact (which we already knew was bad): Kazakhstan's electricity generation relies heavily on "hard" coal being burned in old and inefficient power plants, producing comparably enormous amounts of CO2.
Theme tags: Environment
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Bitcoin

An illustration of a smiling penguin wearing a pink scarf with a blue dead fish on its head.Pudgy Penguin #6827 (attribution)
Pudgy Penguins, a popular NFT project that somehow warranted a full-length New York Times article by Kevin Roose, apparently is trying something pretty shady. This was revealed by NFT whale 9x9x9, who has invested around 600 ETH (over $2 million) in the project and who said they tried to buy shares in the company a few months ago but ultimately rejected the deal Pudgy Penguins offered. 9x9x9 says the project's founders contacted them on January 4, offering to sell the company, at which point 9x9x9 discovered that they had split the company and were trying to walk away with the full profits and sell the shell of the company with 0 ETH in its wallet to 9x9x9 for 888 ETH.
Theme tags: Shady business
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: NFT

Energy shortages and rolling blackouts plagued Kosovo towards the end of 2021, leading the Kosovan government to issue a 60-day state of emergency to address the crisis. The emergency authorization promised to identify and shut down any cryptocurrency mining. Kosovo has attracted cryptocurrency miners because it has some of the cheapest electricity prices in Europe, largely due to government subsidies and the availability of lignite (the lowest grade of coal, which is extremely harmful to the environment). Much of the mining takes place in the northern portions of the country, which do not recognize the Kosovan government and so have not paid for electricity at all in more than 20 years.
Theme tags: Environment
Tech tags: cryptocurrency

A pixel art person with yellow hair smokes a vapeExpansionPhunks #15091 (attribution)
NFT collector and influencer Franklin/@ElectionDayMad1 posted a tweet thread about how he had hyped a project that later rugpulled. He was paid about 18 ETH (about $63,000) to promote the "Expansion Phunks", but did very little to acknowledge that he was being paid to promote the project. He also wrote, "I didn’t do any research of Fly nor try to dox the anon team+devs and for that I’m very sorry and regret not researching." Elsewhere in the thread he mentions that "I’d say 99% of projects that I promote fail", a statement which might prompt some self-reflection if he was as ashamed of fleecing his followers as he claims to be.
Theme tags: Rug pull, Shady business
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: NFT

An illustration of a yellow chick with a large brown afro, bruised eyes, and black dress shoesSolChick #535 (attribution)
Journalist Colin Wu reported that the Solana blockchain had an approximately four-hour-long outage due to a DDoS attack, while many others noticed enormous slowdowns. Solana later claimed there had been no DDoS and no outage, and that there was just "some congestion", a claim several crypto outlets reported at apparent face value. The "congestion" was reported to have been from the launch of the highly-hyped SolChicks NFT project, although you have to wonder how a blockchain that claims to be able to handle 50,000 transactions per second (though averaging around 1,700 in reality) could be affected so majorly by a single project. This is the third apparent network issue suffered by the Solana blockchain over the past few months.
Theme tags: Hmm
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Solana
Tech tags: NFT

An illustration of a green jar with a top hat and flowers inside on an orange background.Fart jar NFT (attribution)
Stephanie Matto, who starred on season 6 of the reality show 90 Day Fiancé, has turned to some weird moneymaking schemes following her TV career. For a time, she claims she was making more than $50,000 a week selling "farts in a jar" for $1,000 each—until she was hospitalized for a health scare after a particularly fiber-heavy meal. She now is trying to sell her farts as "digital artworks on the blockchain" for a bit under $200 each, sans any physical component. At least you got a jar for your money before.
Theme tags: Bad idea
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: NFT

A pixel art game screenshot where a character is watering sunflowersSunflower Farmers (attribution)
Sunflower Farm, a play-to-earn farming game on the Polygon network, contributed to massive slowdowns and a spike in gas fees on the Polygon blockchain. Heavy bot usage and a game design where practically every action (including saving the game, using a tool, harvesting something) required a blockchain transaction flooded the Polygon blockchain with more traffic than it could handle, and spiked gas fees for a given transaction from around 30 gwei up to more than 1000. This event casts some doubt on Polygon's claims it can handle up to 65,000 transactions per second—in reality it averages about 85 transactions per second and so presumably should have had a lot of wiggle room for even a pretty major increase in transactions.
Theme tags: Hmm
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Polygon
Tech tags: blockchain gaming

A blue hexagon by the word "Arbix"Arbix Finance logo (attribution)
Yield farming platform ArbixFinance was drained of at least $10 million, with some reporting amounts up to $32 million. Some optimistic users hoped it was a glitch, but the fact that the formerly-active @ArbixFinance Twitter account disappeared along with their website as the funds were being drained points to a rugpull. The platform had previously been audited and approved by CertiK in November, lending the project credibility in the eyes of prospective users.
Theme tags: Rug pull
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: BSC
Tech tags: DeFi

If trying to type in the name of a movie on Netflix with a TV remote isn't painful enough for them, now people will be able to try using their TV to do due diligence into whether or not they're about to get scammed.
Theme tags: Bad idea
Tech tags: NFT

Polymarket bet: "Will Joe Biden be President of the USA on January 6, 2022? Volume: $119,389"Polymarket bet (attribution)
Although Polymarket was nominally "decentralized", it wasn't so decentralized that the CFTC couldn't fine its New York-based parent company for operating an unregistered market and order them to shut it down. Polymarket previously allowed people to bet cryptocurrency on the outcomes of various events including elections, COVID-19 case spikes, and sports games.
Theme tags: Bad idea, Hmm
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Ethereum
Tech tags: DeFi, blockchain gaming

Matt Damon stands staring at a CGI wooden ship, with a Christopher Columbus-like figure in front of itIs that supposed to be Christopher Columbus? (attribution)
"Fortune favors the brave", said Matt Damon as he walked past images of mountain climbers, the Wright brothers, and astronauts. "History is filled with 'almosts'. With those who almost adventured, who almost achieved, but ultimately for them it proved to be too much. Then, there are others – the ones who embrace the moment and commit." Evidently the point of the ad was that the "brave" people who "commit" to pouring their money into crypto ponzi schemes will make history, and granted that will likely be true, though it is also likely it will not be for the reason Mr. Damon would like you to believe.
Theme tags: Bad idea, Hmm
Tech tags: cryptocurrency

CryptoBike logo, a retro/vaporwave-styled pixel art illustrationCryptoBike logo (attribution)
A Vietnamese play-to-earn game called CryptoBike became popular shortly after its December 25 launch, soaring to around $41.6 million in daily trading volume. However, on January 1, the CryptoBike token CB suddenly plunged in value from $0.81 to $0.019 as 6 million CB were sold, apparently by the project's development team. The team also reportedly blocked people from commenting on the incident in the project's Telegram channel, and took down the project's website.
Theme tags: Rug pull
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: BSC
Tech tags: blockchain gaming

A small featureless yellow man stands facing away, next to the text "tinyman"Tinyman logo (attribution)
Tinyman, a defi platform that bills itself as "decentralized, secure trading", has all liquidity drained from its goBTC and goETH pools after an attacker finds a bug in their smart contracts. Liquidity throughout Tinyman dropped from about $43 million to around $20 million within hours of the attack, though the platform says they believe that most of this money was withdrawn by its rightful owners and not stolen. Tinyman asked users to remove liquidity from all pools while they work to patch their smart contracts, and announced they would reimburse affected users.
Theme tags: Bug, Hack or scam
Tech tags: DeFi

A Bored Ape NFT on a grey-purple background. It has a black hat with a visor, and is wearing a deep v-neck collared shirt with an American flag print. It has bloodshot, half-closed eyes and is baring a mouth full of gold teeth.Bored Ape #2643 (attribution)
Carson Turner accuses ACYCapital of "exploiting @BoredApeYC through a glitch in @rarible" after they buy his Bored Ape NFT that he had listed for sale (and which he has apparently dubbed "Joe RogApe", cringe). Evidently, if a person transfers an NFT that is listed for sale on OpenSea out of their wallet and back again, it appears not to be for sale despite still being available to buyers. Some people have mistakenly thought they could use this "hack" to delist NFTs if they change their mind about selling them, in order to avoid the gas fees associated with canceling a sale. This "glitch" resulted in Turner's Bored Ape #2643 being bought even though he thought it was no longer for sale, and he ended up spending 10 ETH (about $38,000) to get it back. Twitter user lexomis wrote, "On the human side this kinda is a bummer but it isn't a hack or theft or an exploit. It's being your own bank level stuff. To be your own bank requires you to understand a lot of these nuances...." It's hard for me to feel too bad for Turner, though, given he found himself with $1.1 million after "winning the NFT lottery" in August.
Theme tags: Bug, Bummer
Tech tags: NFT

Digiconomist released numbers for 2021, showing that during 2021, Bitcoin consumed 134 TWh in total—comparable to the energy consumption of Argentina. The report also claims that Bitcoin was responsible for 0.54% of global electricity consumption, and consumed about 89% more energy in 2021 than in the previous year.
Theme tags: Environment
Blockchain tags: Blockchain: Bitcoin
Tech tags: cryptocurrency

Tether logo: a T with a circle around the stem, overlaid on a white diamondTether logo (attribution)
Shortly after midnight on January 1, Tether added another $1 billion to its total supply. Although Tether claims that all of its supply is fully backed by actual currency, many (including legislators) have cast doubt on the veracity of this claim. Large additions to their supply such as this one, which have become quite a regular occurrence for Tether, raise further eyebrows, with commenters online speaking of them "printing" money. Some speculated that this recent move was an attempt to pump the value of Bitcoin, which had declined over the month of December—starting the month at about $57,000 and ending it about $10,000 lower.
Theme tags: Hmm, Shady business
Tech tags: cryptocurrency

A video game character reaches one hand up in the air while speaking. Caption says, "Barret: You gonna stand there and pretend you can't hear the planet crying out in pain?"Final Fantasy screenshot (attribution)
In the announcement, Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda apparently wrote with a straight face: "I realize that some people who 'play to have fun' and who currently form the majority of players have voiced their reservations toward these new trends". He also spoke positively of the metaverse and NFTs in the announcement. Square Enix is the maker of popular game franchises including Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts.
Theme tags: Bad idea
Tech tags: NFT, blockchain gaming, metaverse