This Week on Crypto Twitter: Axie Infinity Hacked for $622M, Dogecoin Influencer Matt Wallace’s ‘Accept Crypto’ Coin Tanks


Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt

The prices of leading cryptocurrencies sustained a steady ascent for the third straight week, with market leader Bitcoin setting a 2022 high of $48,000 on Monday. Over on Crypto Twitter, things were a bit calmer than usual. 

There was a trickle of notable announcements.

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On Tuesday, crypto whale tracking bot Whale Alert tweeted that an account containing 1,000 Bitcoins had been activated for the first time in nearly eight years. Back in 2014, the stash was worth around $583,859—today, more than $47 million.

Bruce Fenton, the former executive director of The Bitcoin Foundation and current managing director of Boston-based crypto fintech firm Chainstone Labs, announced on Wednesday that he’s running in New Hampshire for a U.S. Senate seat.

The former chief operating officer at Robinhood, Christine Brown, announced that “after 5 amazing years” she’s leaving the crypto trading platform “to start something new.” She didn’t elaborate but assured followers she’s “excited to be staying in the crypto space,” so we certainly haven’t heard the last from her.

The bulk of Twitter’s attention this week was turned towards two calamities: the Ronin bridge exploit and Mark Wallace’s Shitcoin. (Oops! Typo! That should have read: Mark Wallace’s “AcceptCrypto” coin.)

The Mark Wallace affair

Dogecoin pumping YouTuber Mark Wallace was faced with allegations of a rug pull after his “AcceptCrypto” token blew up 12,000% and then crashed to nothing just minutes after launching on Wednesday. 

A “rug pull” is a type of exit scam where a crypto project solicits funds from the public only to disappear suddenly without fulfilling its promises, usually a token drop.

Since Wallace stayed online and bore the brunt of the anxious angry tweets himself, he probably isn’t the one who pulled the rug. Still, when examined, the whole chain of events is fishy.

In a now-deleted tweet on Wednesday, Wallace was really excited about AcceptCrypto’s 12,000% surge just minutes after launch. And then it tanked.

Dogecoin creator Billy Markus piped up and called Wallace a “scammer.” This isn’t the first time Markus has been at loggerheads with Wallace. Initially, Wallace planned to call his cryptocurrency “AcceptDoge,” but he quickly reversed his decision after a stern word from Markus on Twitter last month.

Self-proclaimed “internet detective” Coffeezilla (@coffeebreak_YT) called AcceptCrypto “another shitcoin” and posted a video clip of Wallace defending himself from accusations by irate investors in the project’s Telegram group.

Wallace denies responsibility for taking investors’ money. He said he suspects a glitch or some other oversight may have happened on Solidity Finance’s end. Wallace tapped the company to audit his smart contracts, and said he doesn’t believe the problem is a result of foul play on their end.

Roningate

On Tuesday, blockchain gaming company Sky Mavis announced that a someone had used hacked private keys to drain the $622 million treasury of its popular metaverse gaming project Axie Infinity. The stolen funds were stored in Ethereum and USD Coin on the Ronin bridge, a sidechain of the Ethereum network.

One Twitter user reacted to the news by calling Axie’s team “genius” for storing its entire treasury in Ronin.

That same day, Axie co-founder Jeff “Jiho” Zirlin had to appear onstage at the NFTLA conference and talk about Axie’s optimistic vision for the future. Twitch gamer Brycent (@Brycent_) commented on Jiho’s admirable stoicism despite having fallen prey to one of crypto’s biggest-ever hacks just hours earlier.

Jiho’s teammate at Axie and Ronin, Kathleen Osgood, also defended her boss.

But the Ronin bridge exploit could have a silver lining: The attacker(s) may have been clumsier than first assumed, according to Igor Igamberdiev, a blockchain researcher.

All told, the Axie show goes on. The bank-breaking theft did little to scuttle the release of Axie Infinity: Origin, a significant update to the game. Originally due out last week, Origin will now launch this week.

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