The monumental growth of the nonfungible token (NFT) sector in 2021 was a double-edged sword. It may have made it possible for many artists and investors to become wealthy, but it also created a disturbing trend in which celebrities jumped on the technology to make quick profits from JPEGs. Here, we will examine four celebrities and influencers who allegedly used quality to drain capital from their supporters’ pockets in a year marked by a global pandemic and labor shortages as well as unstable finances and supply chain shortfalls.
For crypto enthusiasts who don’t know Logan Paul, he is a controversial YouTube “content creator” who has more than 23 million subscribers. His audience consists mainly of young, impressionable people to whom he sells merchandise.
Paul launched his NFT project “CryptoZoo”, which featured egg NFTs that can hatch into hybrid animals from two easily searchable Adobe stock photos.
Paul claims that he spent more that $1 million to launch “CryptoZoo ,”.” The project’s description on OpenSea, a NFT marketplace, describes it as “a addictive game that provides real life value,” but what exactly that means is not clear.
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) September 5, 2021
Paul was an avid crypto supporter throughout 2021 and was a major promoter (and alleged co-founder) behind a crypto token dubbed “Dink Doink,” which is now down 97.6% from its launch price with a current 24-hour trading volume of around $15.
All good things come in pairs, and Logan’s divisive brother, Jake, also made a splash in 2021 when he milked the proverbial NFT cash cow. The younger Paul’s life has been a little different than his brother’s. He switched from YouTube to boxing retired UFC fighters, who are well-known for their inept boxing skills.
Paul was reportedly one the founders of the “Stick Dix”, an NFT project. It features artwork featuring hand-drawn stick figures with enlarged phalluses. The project’s roadmap outlines that it will invest $300,000 into influencer marketing and drop exciting things, such as the “Stick Dix” clothing line.
Just broke up with my girlfriend because she didn’t mint a Stick Dix @StickDixNFT
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) November 3, 2021
Unsurprisingly, the NFT project hasn’t been doing well in terms of its floor price, with OpenSea showing that it has decreased around 98% since its brief all-time high in November to sit at 0. 002 ETH ($7) at the time of writing.
Popular rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, or Daniel Hernandez, reportedly distanced himself from an NFT project he promoted that some investors described as a “huge scam” last month.
According to a report from Rolling Stone on Dec. 17, the “Trollz Collection,” featuring 9,669 Tekashi 6ix9ine-style avatars, was brought to a halt after one of the project’s Discord moderators apparently went rogue in a botting attack on the group, spamming fake minting links that swindled the user’s funds.
In response to the hack, the “Trollz Collection” team decided to stop allowing further mints and capped the project at 4,797 NFTs. Tekashi 6ix9ine also removed his social media posts regarding the project and changed his avatar profile picture online to a new photo.
An investor named Jacob who withheld his last name out of privacy told the publication that he spent $40,000 on the project due to its ties to Tekashi 6ix9ine and its roadmap, which promised the launch of a blockchain game, governance rights and charitable donations.
Jacob claims that none of these things have yet surfaced, with reports claiming that the crypto game that was due to launch in November last year is not being launched.
“It turned to be a big scam,” Jacob stated.
THE BIGGEST NFT PROJECT IN THE WHOLE INDUSTRY !! They are not comparable. pic.twitter.com/zofOx3AYwR
— Trollz NFT official backup page (@trollz69nft) October 26, 2021
The team behind NBA superstar John Wall’s NFT project found itself in hot water in September after the NFT community spotted that the art depicted in his NFTs appeared to be ripped off from the online game Fortnite.
— CryptoRocket (@crypto_bearr) September 21, 2021
The “Baby Ballers” collection comprises 4,000 NFTs featuring unique cartoon baby basketballers. Since then, the artwork has been updated to include original artworks. However, in its formative stages, the NFTs featured background images that looked exactly the same as screenshots from Fortnite, while others had alleged the babies were heavily derived from DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby franchise.
John, why is the background of your NFT ripped directly from a Fortnite screenshot? pic.twitter.com/tgcV8XeYaq
— themariokarters (@themariokarters) September 22, 2021
“Celebrity cash-grabs like this John Wall NFT coming out show that these celebs think they can take from the community,” said Twitter user Fxnction, adding, “Celebs really think they can come into an industry they know nothing about, never interact with the community, then launch a scam project they’ll abandon in three months?”
The team behind the project attempted to do damage control at the time; however, it appears that its Twitter page has since been deleted, while the website is also down at the time of writing. Users on Twitter have also reported that they have been ghosted on the project’s Discord channel.
The floor price on OpenSea paints a grim picture as well, down 99% to sit at 0. 001 ETH or $3.