The most anticipated non-fungible token (NFT) launch of the year has gone awry after several exploits by hackers.
Earlier in the year, TheShifters.io nurtured the ambition of being a successful NFT collection with the launch of the latest project. The previous collection received critical acclaim with a character, Vortex, which grossed over $1 million.
But repeated FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) attacks on Discord have ruined those plans. “The level of FUD attacks on all new NFTs is now out of control,” said the collection’s creator, Andrew Brown.
He claimed that the team had put countless hours into the creations and spent a fortune on marketing the project. Brown expressed his disappointment that people were ruining the brand’s image by “spreading harmful misinformation about them online”.
“The toxic nature of the NFT market is now making it almost impossible for new launches of collectibles to be successful,” he said.
The hackers managed to steal over $2 million by creating a fake website for The Shifters, in order to trick unsuspecting investors into buying fake NFTs. The elaborate scheme also included the use of an illegitimate mint link to receive payments for fake NFTs.
“We estimate that there have been approximately $2 million worth of fraudulent transactions involving counterfeit shifters,” Brown said. “We are making every effort to educate customers on the right way to buy them and hope that no one else will be duped by these hackers.”
Hackers are harming the NFT ecosystem
Hackers’ activities are affecting the nascent NFT space. The year started off with a bang for NFTs, with the markets recording new highs for transaction volume. Then an exploit on the largest NFT marketplace, Opensea, sent the ecosystem on a downward spiral.
In March, on-chain data indicated that trading volume declined by more than 50% compared to January. The daily transactions and floor prices of top collections have declined in view of the huge gains.
Recently, NFT marketplace VeVe was forced to shut down its marketplace after it encountered an exploit that led to the illegal acquisition of NFTs.