It appears that the crypto world has suffered yet another scam, this time a rug pull to the tune of $2.7 million.
The rug pull occurred in the NFT world, where a developer took off with investors’ funds after scrapping a project called Evolved Apes. As reported by Vice, Evolved Apes— a project that was available on NFT marketplace OpenSea— housed a collection of 10,000 NFTs that were supposed to “fighting for survival” once the project morphed into designing a “fighting game.”
However, no such fighting game ever materialized, because merely a week after the project launched, its anonymous creator only known as Evil Ape disappeared, as did the project’s official website and twitter account. But, the developer did leave behind clues on the blockchain that indicated they took out several transfers totalling 768 ether, or $2.7 million in funds that were originally slated for the project.
The $2.7 million was to be used for various expenses related to the project such as marketing and funding the artists, and were accumulated through commissions from the sale of public NFTs on the secondary market. Investors began to take note of several significant inconsistencies leading up to the scam, including a dubiously unprofessional announcement shortly after the public sale on September 24, as well as the suspicious absence of one of the project’s main leaders.
Taking note of the red flags, several of the project’s investors collaborated on a Discord server, where they commissioned an individual that goes by the pseudonym of Mike_Cryptobull as the group’s de-facto investigator. “What has happened is that Evil Ape has washed his hands of the project taking away the wallet with all the ETH from minting that was to be used for everything, from paying the artist, paying out cash giveaways, paying for marketing, paying for rarity tools, developing the game and everything else in between,” they said in a report shared with Motherboard.
Although the funds are now gone and Evil Ape nowhere to be found, Evolved Apes plans to continue on in the NFT space, and create a new project called Fight Back Apes. Evolved Apes NFT holders will be automatically granted a Fight Back Apes token accompanied with a link to art from the previous project.
Information for this briefing was found via Vice. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.