NFTs—or non-fungible tokens for the uninitiated—can often resemble a Russian doll of scams.
Think of the wild price fluctuations of NFTs and the fly-by-night character of many “drops.” Then consider the outside role played by halfwit celebrities and paid-to-pay “influencers,” as well as that of outright scammers trying to trick people into clicking NFT-related phishing links—and you have, well, something like scams within scams.
The sometimes-absurd economic model of NFTs was unveiled in a sting operation today performed by Coffeezilla, an “internet detective” who has gained digital celebrity (i.e. 500,000 followers on Twitter and 2.5 million subscribers on YouTube) by exposing the worst corners of the crypto universe.
In his latest operation, he allegedly tricked the mixed martial artist Dillon Danis into promoting a fake NFT project on his Twitter page. All Coffeezilla (aka Stephen Findeisen) had to do was pay Danis $1,000 to post the project. Danis, of course, did not disclose that he was being paid in his Twitter post—a stipulation the Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Trade Commission occasionally enforce.
The knockout blow to the fighter, as Findeisen gleefully pointed out, was the name of the fake NFT project, SourzNFT Candies are Moundbound. Spelled out:
Further hammering home Danis’s take-the-money-no-questions-asked approach, the fake NFT link directs users to a website that reads “Have you been scammed by Dillon Danis?”
The site includes receipts of various projects that Danis has promoted over the years, ostensibly for payment, while leaving his followers to hold the proverbial bag, from other NFTs to low-cap tokens. Adding insult to injury, Findeisen includes graphs to illustrate how many of the Danis-backed projects tank in value soon after he tweets about them.
Presumably, Danis had an exit ramp and payment upfront for many of these ventures, although his willingness to shill a project for $1,000 either means that his living as an MMA fighter wasn’t cutting it, or that he needs a new social media team.
According to the MMA-focused website Sherdog, Danis—who apparently goes by “El Jefe”—only has two official fights under his belt, with the last one in 2019.
Danis did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fortune. Findeisen said he would speak after his video reveal of the sting operation.
In a feat of staggering irony, Danis previously called out another notorious figure in the NFT and fighting-adjacent space, Logan Paul, for a questionable project that Coffeezilla had also exposed.
“Damn logan paul is a scumbag feel bad for everyone he scammed,” Danis tweeted in December.
Despite his frequent posting, Danis left his fake NFT tweet up for at least 20 minutes on Friday afternoon. It has since been deleted.
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