There is also an ever-growing number of NFT scams leveraging influencer and celebrity marketing. With the right endorsements, even the most mundane projects can generate a lot of hype in the short term. The problem is when the endorsements and hype wear off, more often than not investors are left with worthless NFTs.
Let’s take a look at 5 celebrity-backed projects that turned out to be scams:
The Bored Bunny Rug Pull
Likely the largest NFT rug-pull yet, the project launched in December 2021 with 4,999 Bored Bunny NFTs, which were “ready to take over the metaverse and NFT space” on sale for 0.4 ETH each.
Bored Bunny raised more than $20 million, and due to influencer and celebrity marketing, Bored Bunny NFTs gained considerable popularity, and its community grew quickly.
Famous people including Jake Paul, DJ Khaled, David Dobrik, Floyd Mayweather, and French Montana all helped to hype and promote the project. The project was rug pulled merely days into the launch.
After one of the project’s Discord moderators allegedly went rogue and launched a bot attack against the community, circulating false minting links that defrauded users of their money, the “Trollz Collection,” which launched on October 28th, 2021 included 9,669 Tekashi 6ix9ine-inspired avatars, was shut down.
The team opted to cease allowing new mints after the hack and cap the project at 4,797 NFTs. Additionally, Tekashi 6ix9ine took down his social media posts promoting the project and removed the NFT avatar from his SM profile.
Rich Dwarves Tribe
This NFT project was revealed in December 2021, minting first in January 2022. Musicians such as BowWow, NeYo, Fred Durst, and Jason Derulo had been quite vocal in their support of the Rich Dwarves Tribe project before its release.
Users anticipated advertised features like an incubator for cryptocurrency projects, a “tavern” in the metaverse, as well as freebies and incentives and NFTs promised to “mine coins for you.” Nevertheless, not long after the project’s initial release, its creators vanished along with the funding.
Claiming that he overextended himself by launching the project in January, in the thick of the NBA season, the NBA player De’Aaron Fox is accused of stealing more than $1.5 million through his Swipathefox NFT project.
In addition to the promise of launching 6000 unique NFTs as the project, he was reported to promise exclusive bonuses such as giveaways and private chats with himself.
The Eternal Beings Collection
Rapper Lil Uzi is another star who has gained notoriety for his involvement in NFT frauds. After generating a lot of buzz about it among his almost 8 million Twitter followers, the Eternal Beings collection launched in late September last year and was gone in no time.
Not much time passed until Uzi removed all of the Eternal Beings-related entries from the website and entirely gave up on the project. As a direct consequence of this, the price of the NFTs fell from its average mint price of 2.5 SOL to approximately 0.13 SOL, which is equivalent to approximately $0.035 at the time of this writing.
Over the past two years, the NFT sector has grown quickly, with the leading markets producing billions of dollars in revenue. This amount of success has inevitably attracted scams willing to use rug pulls to take advantage of unsuspecting investors. Beyond just following the suggestions of popular celebrities who may know nothing about NFTs, investors need to do their homework and adequately educate themselves about the industry.