NFTs and cryptocurrencies have been prone to many scams. It is not uncommon for developers to quite literally create digital pieces and take the money and run. The most recent case of this involves an NFT project titled Evolved Apes.
The project is described on the NFT platform OpenSea as “a collection of 10000 unique NFTs trapped inside a lawless land. Fighting for survival, only the strongest ape will prevail.” Just a week after the Evolved Ape is launched, the anonymous developer behind the project has seemingly disappeared and gone dark on social. The creator, who also promised a much-hyped fighting game that comes with the project, has vanished from the social verse, deleting the official Twitter page and taking down the website.
According to Vice, the developers still left a blockchain trail that has revealed they siphoned around 798 ETH or $2.7 million USD from investors. Some investors have pointed out the misalignments with the project, stating that they were suspicious after investors noticed unprofessional announcements after the public sale on September 24.
Investors who participated in the Evolved Apes social media competition had not yet received their NFT prizes and took to the community’s Discord chat to ask questions. One investor, Mike_Cryptobull, spent over $10,000 USD on now a worthless digital drawing. In a report he wrote to others affected by the cut-and-run incident, he said,
“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.”
The artist behind the actual drawings was in fact not paid, despite hundreds of sales of over $50,000 USD were made. Each of the Apes also netted 4% in royalties. OpenSea has yet to respond and there is no word on the Evolved Apes creator.
Check out some of the reactions online below.
So they rug pulled #EvolvedApes nfts, the remaining of the community is trying to make something out of it. For the first project i’ve minted and spent time in the community its pretty disappointing, luckily mistakes earlier are better then later. #NFTs #Ethereum
— TheDailyNFT (@The_DailyNFT) October 2, 2021
NFT scam marks: “there were multiple red flags” in Evolved Apes early on, “but 99% of us were just blinded by the art”
The art: pic.twitter.com/l0u2kR22Yh
— mattthr (@mattthr) October 5, 2021
I can’t believe what just happened to #evolvedapes
— fashionkilla (@fashionkilla_op) October 1, 2021
@BlockchainBoyy happened 2 days after I said it was a rug.
— Chris (@GucciBananasNFT) October 2, 2021
In case you missed it, Twitch confirms they had a massive data breach.