From charitable NFT project to Rug Pull

From charitable NFT project to Rug Pull

In an unexpected twist, the Pixel Penguins project, which was supposed to raise money for a woman battling cancer, has reportedly turned out to be a sham.

ZachXBT, a crypto influencer, exposed the project’s artist, also known as @Hopeexist1, as a fraud.

Pixel Penguins Rug Pull

ZachXBT claims that Hopeexist1 cheated the cryptocurrency community and disappeared after stealing the money. The aforementioned artist’s Twitter account seemed inactive at the time of publication.

Pixel penguin artist @Hopeexist1 Twitter account.  Source: Twitter
Pixel Penguin artist @Hopeexist1 Twitter account. Source: Twitter

Despite the condemnation of art theft the previous year, collectors and supporters are devastated by the incident.

Collectors and supporters, devastated by the incident, have condemned the incident. The project was already under criticism for art theft in previous years.

The story came to light after noted collector Andrew Wang @andr3w tweeted his admiration for @Hopeexist1’s pixel art. He described how the artist had unexpectedly given him a work of art that he had been saving up for. The artist was said to be battling dacryocyst carcinoma. According to the later tweets, it is a serious type of cancer affecting the tear ducts.

The crypto community was captivated by the moving account of @Hopeexist1’s struggle and determination. It seemed she wanted to make art despite her medical condition. In addition, Wang emphasized the artist’s enormous talent and perseverance. Meanwhile, @andr3w gave an exceptionally moving account that included chats with the artist’s teacher.

However, the truth emerged within hours. The Pixel Penguins initiative, originally intended to help her fight cancer, now symbolizes betrayal.

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Pixel Penguin's Twitter account.  Source: Twitter
Pixel Penguin’s Twitter account. Source: Twitter

The Pixel Penguins project reportedly accumulated $117,000 (61,686 ETH) in its contract balance. Recent transactions showed that the money was transferred to two new addresses. According to updates from ZachXBT, the recovery process is complicated. He explained that money had already been moved into the OKX cryptocurrency exchange.

Influencer Fails Due Diligence Again

Investors expressed their shock at the deception. Meanwhile, the incident raised concerns about the authenticity of artists and projects in the digital art world, amid growing fraud.

It serves as a painful reminder of the risks involved in the digital space. And emphasizes due diligence when supporting projects or artists.

The story of the Pixel Penguins project serves as a cautionary tale, but influencers promoting scams are also notable. BeInCrypto previously highlighted that crypto influencers had gained significant steam in shaping market trends and investment decisions.

Want to learn the best ways to promote an NFT project? Check out BeInCrypto’s foolproof guide here.

However, many influencers have faced accusations of promoting fraudulent crypto projects. And the lack of comprehensive regulation in the crypto market exacerbates this problem.

Previously, ZachXBT exposed a scam involving the $VIRAL meme coin. It allegedly used a verified brand and a fake endorsement from Argentinian model Wanda Nara to trick investors. The scam reportedly collected over 131 ETH, equivalent to around $242,000.

In a separate incident, crypto influencer Eunice Wong faced criticism on Twitter for promoting a scam token. She hyped THADDEUS without disclosing any connection to the project.

Influencers often support projects without performing thorough due diligence. So the line between supporting projects and misrepresentation has become blurred.

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In accordance with the guidelines of the Trust Project, BeInCrypto is committed to objective, transparent reporting. This news article aims to provide accurate, timely information. However, readers are advised to verify the facts independently and consult with a professional before making any decisions based on this content.

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