While NFTs are themselves one giant scam, there is room for lesser scams within the whole, and this week has provided us with one of the funniest examples to date.
More than 4,000 NFTs in the “Evolved Apes” offering have been sold since they first went on sale a week ago, according to Vice. Their “origin” comes from several hideous JPGs, which are already a rip-off of the more successful “Bored Ape” series. NFT creator Evil Ape promises not only would buyers receive a “unique NFT trapped inside a lawless land” but also cash giveaways, and an accompanying fighting video game to go along with the useless, ugly-ass images.
Then, surprise! On Friday Evil Ape bailed, shutting down the Evolved Apes website and taking its Twitter account with them. They also vanished with the $2.7 million they’d raised by selling idiots a jpg that looks like someone ordered a Gorillaz poster on Wish.
Mike_Cryptobull, one such sucker who spent over $10,000 on what was then and are now worthless drawings, thought something was up only days after the Evolved Apes launch. With the blessing of the “community” (you see this word used a lot amongst these folks), he decided to investigate.
In a report he released to others caught by the cut-and-run, he wrote:
What has happened is that Evil Ape has washed his hands of the project taking away the wallet with all the ETH from minting that was to be used for everything, from paying the artist, paying out cash giveaways, paying for marketing, paying for rarity tools, developing the game and everything else in between.
Please note here that the artist behind the images, literally the only person who did any real work involved in the NFT, was not paid. And that despite everything that has happened, hundreds of sales have taken place since the move (over $50,000 worth), each one netting Evil Ape 4% in royalties.
In a move that you or I might call extraordinary—but which is sadly predictable among those who view NFTs as a “community” and not a “market where everyone is getting taken for a ride”—many of those ripped off here want to stay involved with these unsightly digital images. These souls are planning a new project called “Fight Back Apes,” where anyone who bought Evolved Apes NFTs will be, “automatically approved for a Fight Back Apes token linked with the art from the old project.”
Which is either a scam built off the back of a scam, or the saddest thing I have ever read. Maybe both.
These people deserve everything they are getting.