Report: ‘Evolved Apes’ NFTs Were a Scam Costing Investors Millions

An employee at a money changer counts USD 100 bills in Manila on October 25, 2012. AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS
AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS

In a recent article, VICE News outlines how a group of investors lost millions after the NFT project “Evolved Apes” disappeared overnight.

VICE News reports in an article titled: “Investors Spent Millions on ‘Evolved Apes’ NFTs. Then They Got Scammed,” that a group of investors found themselves at a loss recently after the non-fungible token (NFT) project that they invested in appeared to disappear overnight.

VICE News reports:

Evolved Apes is described on NFT marketplace OpenSea as “a collection of 10,000 unique NFTs trapped inside a lawless land.” They are “fighting for survival, only the strongest ape will prevail,” it says, referring to the project’s much-hyped fighting game, which has not materialized.

A week after the project launch, the anonymous developer known as Evil Ape who promised that game vanished along with the project’s official Twitter account and website. But they left traces behind on the blockchain that shows they siphoned 798 ether ($2.7 million) out of the project’s funds in multiple transfers. The funds, derived from the initial public sale of NFTs and commissions on the secondary market, were meant for project-related expenses like marketing.

Evolved Ape investors noticed several red flags leading up to Evil Ape’s rug pull. After the public sale on September 24, the announcements seemed suspiciously unprofessional and several of the leaders were not around anymore, one investor who requested anonymity due to the ongoing fallout from the scam told Motherboard. But they chalked it down to lack of experience at the time. “I don’t think this giant storm was ever what was expected,” the investor said.

One investor by the screen name of  Mike_Cryptobull explained to VICE News how he determined that the project had been a scam. In a report to fellow investors, Mike_Cryptobull wrote: “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.”

However, investors seem undeterred and plan to build a new project called Fight Back Apes. “We will become the Fight Back Apes, fighting as a community against our nemesis Evil Ape,” Mike_Cryptobull told other investors.

Read more at VICE News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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