It’s perhaps not too outlandish to think that Minecraft and NFTs go hand in hand. And yet here we are, looking at a report of something called Blockverse, a play-to-earn PvP Minecraft server. More specifically, the people running the gig sold its initial supply of NFTs, and a few days later, wiped their website, Discord server and game server.
PC Gamer reports that there was significant enthusiasm for Blockverse, which is not really surprising considering the NFT crowd. Its initial supply of 10000 NFTs which were priced a 0.05ETH (~RM547 at the time of writing) sold out in eight minutes. Beyond the 500ETH from the initial sale, the batch also had 792ETH in secondary sales. Then came the aforementioned server wipe.
Just heard about the @Blockverse_NFT rug. The project sold out yesterday in less than 8 minutes (500 ETH) and had 792 ETH in secondary sales. Discord & website closed and the anon devs are gone. Do we need a federated entity that approves all NFT projects and its doxxed founders?
— NFT Ethics (@NFTethics) January 25, 2022
Slightly short of a week later, the people behind Blockverse tried to explain what was going on. One key point here is gas fees – which is basically a fee for someone to offset the computing energy used by the Ethereum network. The Blockverse folks claim that these gas fees were too high, and that the $DIAMOND token that the game generates not having any actual use just yet.
They then go on to say that the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) quickly turned into harassment, threats and doxxing. The team panicked and wiped the servers on impulse, with plans to reopen everything once everyone calmed down. As you’d expect, the thread that follows the Tweet with the announcement was not universally welcomed warmly.
A statement from the Blockverse Team
— Blockverse (@Blockverse_NFT) January 28, 2022
Once you’ve spent enough time around the crypto and NFT crowd, willingly or otherwise, you’ll notice that FUD frequently gets thrown around to silence concerns and criticism. As a result, we see more of such rug pulls whenever people go in blind, without a care for the risks.
One risk mitigation strategy that the Twitter thread in question brings up is for the people managing NFT projects to doxx themselves. That way, with their identity on the line, they will be less likely to do a rug pull, at least compared to a bunch of anonymous strangers on the internet. Which does increase the trustworthiness of a project, but it probably doesn’t mean it’s any less risky.