The Big Daddy Ape Club Rug... What happened? And why does it matter?
Bonus Newsletter... Featuring topics like the 1.2 million dollar rug pull, Disney, and another project you can mint tomorrow.
You may be wondering… Why am I writing another newsletter this week?🤷♀️
Well, something unexpected happened, as I’m sure you are already aware of because of the title of this newsletter. Big Daddy Ape Club rugged a lot of people a few days ago. And if you read this week’s NFT newsletter you would already know that they were featured on my list of my favorite NFTs you can mint this week.
It came as quite of a shock to me that they ended up being a rug, especially because of how fast it happened. When I heard the news I started looking into things right away and found out just how bad it actually was. Since scammers are getting smarter it’s becoming increasingly more challenging to spot a rug before it happens. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, in fact, most times there are many red flags before anything goes down. Sometimes it’s early on and other times they happen on the day of the mint. In this case, their true colors appeared around minting time.
I will get into more of that later and help explain some ways you can effectively spot rugs and avoid getting scammed as much as possible. Of course, it is inevitable that you will be rugged sooner or later if you buy NFTs in this space. It’s simply too new and unregulated for that not to happen. But many times you can dodge these projects if you know what you are looking for.
But first, let’s talk about what really happened with Big Daddy Ape Club. Then we will get into how to avoid being rugged in the future. As well as why Disney is entering the metaverse and a promising project you can mint this week.
The BDAC Rug... 🦍
There are reports that this was one of the largest rugs in Solana history. In end, they managed to get about $1.2 million from minters. This project was hyped, verified by civic pass, and put on the front page of Solanart. I don’t think many people saw this coming.
The one thing I keep hearing from the Big Daddy Ape Club victims is that they locked the Discord a few hours before mint, which to many was bizarre since the mint link usually appears there. This would stop anyone who just found out about the project last minute from minting.
Another thing that has been reported was that minters never received an NFT at all, BDAC just took the money and ran. This is an especially brutal move on their part, most rugs do the basic courtesy of leaving their victims with NFTs even if they don’t ever get listed on secondary markets.
Maybe this was to reduce their ability to be tracked? Although the Solscans show the money moving in and out of multiple wallets. So ultimately we can find out where the money is going.
There are reports from SolRarity that this is not a lone event but in fact a part of a larger rug pull ring that successfully steals millions of dollars from unsuspecting victims. They claim that this is the 3rd time this scam ring has pulled off a huge rug. (You can read more about their rug pull ring investigation in the thread below.)
If they are right, these people clearly know what they are doing. This only makes them even harder to spot which is why companies like Solanart and Civic Pass need to take responsibility for having promoted this scam.
Civic Pass did claim to be investigating the matter further and plans on alerting the authorities but that only goes so far. It doesn’t help soothe the pain of the victims or prevent this from happening again. Many say they have lost trust in them because of this and others make claims that this wasn’t the first time they have promoted a rug.
You can read more about their response to the situation in the two threads below:
Civic Key needs more accountability for their Civic Pass program. If it’s so easy to use fake doxing techniques to be verified through them then we have a problem. Their entire project is built around the idea that being verified by them means that a project is legitimate and likely won’t be a rug. But through this instance, we can see that their system can easily be abused by criminals to gain the trust of many in the NFT community.
If Civic Key wants to make it in this space long term they need to change their system and implement more strategies that Rad Rugs is using to verify projects. Research should be an essential part of the process. Otherwise, what are you really verifying?
How to avoid being rugged in the future: 🚩
Always DYOR on a project, apeing in is one of the easiest ways to get rugged.
Always use a burner wallet with only the amount of crypto that you wish to spend on a particular mint. Make sure you don’t have any NFTs in the wallet before minting.
Check a project’s Twitter account to make sure they have a decent following based on the supply. If they have 333 supply they should have a minimum of at least 300 to 500 followers on Twitter. You want to make sure they have enough followers to easily sell out at mint. (Rugs don’t always work as hard at marketing.)
Check their Twitter for engagement. Make sure people are liking, retweeting, and commenting on their posts. This is especially important if they have a large following. If they have 20k followers but an average of 10 likes on a post or less, then run from it.
Scroll through their Twitter followers to see if the people following them actually care about NFTs. They should have NFT pfps, not selfies or stock images, and their bios should be mentioning NFT related topics or projects.
Read their Tweets and see what they like to talk about. If they are doing insane giveaways of millions of dollars, Lambos, and very expensive items it’s best to avoid them. Unless of course, they have proof of sending the items promised to winners.
If they do giveaways check for comments complaining that they didn’t receive what they were promised. This is a huge red flag.
You can also go so far as to check the address records to see how things are being moved around. If different addresses keep winning the giveaways but they all send their prizes back to the original then stay away from the project, it’s most likely a scam.
Check their Discord for engagement and look at the numbers. If they have 20k followers on Twitter but only a few thousand in their Discord (or vise versa) then there’s an issue.
Lots of basic grammatical errors and spelling errors on their website or roadmap is another red flag. It shows that they aren’t taking the time to get someone to read over it and help them edit. This is typically something that happens with quickly built rugs.
Go into their discord and talk to the team and even the devs if possible. Ask them questions about the project and see how they respond. If they aren’t doxxed ask them about it and if they plan to be doxxed in the future. If they are angry, suspicious of you, or calling your questions FUD it’s best to stay away. Oftentimes scammers will behave like this because they feel like you are onto them.
Be wary of projects that quickly ban discord members, delete comments, or block people on Twitter for posting about any red flags they might find regarding the project or for just calling it a rug. Most legitimate projects let these comments stay up and let people talk how they want as long as they aren’t being too aggressive.
Search the phrases/words rug, rug pull, and scam in their discord to see what people are saying. Often times discord members will be onto things and if mods don’t delete the comments it can tell you a lot about the state of the project.
This list is not exhaustive but just includes some of my tips on how to avoid being rugged and what to look out for. In the future, I plan on releasing an article that dives much deeper into the topic with even more tips to share. I hope this helps you in your ventures into the NFT space that often feels like the virtual version of the wild west.
Disney is entering the metaverse… 🐭
Yup, you read that right, the one and only Disney has decided to enter the metaverse. Their plans are to add AR technology to real-life experiences. Right now they say those plans are more for the distant future, but who knows… The way that technology has been progressing so quickly could mean that it might come sooner than anyone expects.
(To read more about the specifics check out the article below from Rarity Sniper)
Soul Dogs City 🐕 - This is the project that I was originally going to write about for the newsletter this week but instead added BDAC because they were verified by Civic Pass. And of course, you know how that went.
What is Soul Dogs City? 🐕
Soul Dogs City is a metaverse project with plans to launch a DAO, staking & yielding mechanisms, land, and a utility token. Their goal is to launch companion collections that build off of each other to make their metaverse bigger and better.
What I love about it more than the vision is the art. The 3D style is much more my vibe than many of the pixelated projects out there. Except for my Ape Gang NFT of course.
This project is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already. They even have a whitepaper which they so fondly call their bite paper. Something which most projects don’t take the time to do, unfortunately. It’s definitely worth reading if you are interested in this project as it details all their plans, their roadmap, the team, etc.
Their Plans: 🐕
(Screenshot taken from their website)
Soul Dogs City will be having a public mint on January 14th at 16:00 UTC for 0.95 sol. The supply will be capped at 9,999 for the entire collection.
Their Twitter: https://twitter.com/SoulDogsNFT
Their Website: https://www.souldogs.city/
Their Bite Paper: https://docs.souldogs.city/introduction/overview
I want to hear your thoughts:👂
As always I hope you enjoyed this newsletter, any feedback is always welcome. If there is something that you want me to write about on Medium/Twitter or add to a future newsletter, let me know.
The best way to reach out to me is just to dm me on Twitter.
Twitter - @ToasterFires
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