The developer of the NFT project ‘Evil Ape’ suddenly disappeared along with its Twitter account, website, and $2.7 million.
There are plenty of scams involving NFTs. Rug pulls is a term for when developers take the money and run. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are not far from rug pulls, as thousands of investors of a project called Evolved Apes fell for.
Evolved Apes is “a collection of 10,000 unique NFTs trapped inside a lawless land on OpenSea.” After a week from launching the project, the project’s developer called ‘Evil Ape’ disappeared along with the project’s official website and Twitter account. However, they left behind them traces on the blockchain that prove they siphoned 798 Ether, worth $2.7 million, out of the project’s funds in multiple transfers. The funds obtained from the sale of NFTs and commissions on the secondary market were meant to be spent on the project’s marketing.
Evolved Ape investors were aware of many red flags that led to Evil Ape’s rug pull. After the project’s launch and the public sale on September 24, the announcements seemed very suspicious and unprofessional.
According to Mike_Cryptobull account owner, the Evolved Apes community found out that the social-media competition winners hadn’t received their NFT prizes from the project, and the artist hadn’t been paid either. To figure out what happened, investors that were active on the project’s Discord server jumped on a voice chat and appointed Mike_Cryptobull to investigate. He spent over 3 Ether, around $10,200, on 20 Evolved Apes, as their de facto fact-finding mission leader.
“And through piecing the bits together I could find out and the parts that all aligned, I put together my opinion in the pdf for the community,” claimed Mike_Cryptobull. His report contained all the bad news about Evil Ape, including the admin who monitored the project’s blockchain wallet.
Mike_Cryptobull explained in his report that “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.”
Even though the money vanished, the Evolved Apes community is planning to proceed with their project. Unlike cryptocurrencies, NFT rug pulls leave behind images and a narrative surrounding them. Mike_Cryptobull clarified in his report that he and other investors would build a new project called Fight Back Apes out of the ashes of Evolved Apes. Evolved Apes holders would be immediately approved for a Fight Back Apes token linked with the art from the old project.
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