5 months ago 2 min read

AptosChimps the First Aptos NFT to Pull the Rug


A probable rugpull scam on Aptos was reported by crypto Twitter just as the weekend was about to begin.

Aptos is a Layer-1, PoS blockchain that was created by two former Diem Group developers, Mo Shaikh and Avery Chang. It is a relatively young blockchain environment that has been dubbed a "Solana-killer." According to reports, the duo contributed to the creation of Meta's now-defunct stablecoin project, Libra/Diem.

The two developers allegedly saw potential in the technology they had worked on and decided to continue the project on their own, ultimately creating Aptos, even though Diem had been put on hold due to regulatory pressure, which was concerned that allowing Meta to create its own currency could lead to monopoly issues.

$12 Million Was First Estimated to Have Been Drained

The warning was issued regarding a potential drain of 1.5 million APT tokens by AptosChimps, another NFT project hoping to profit from both the popularity of Bored Apes and the hype factor of a new blockchain, in a tweet by D3gens.apt, a fan page for the Aptos community.

According to reports, the scheme will provide free mints in exchange for only the gas costs involved in making the mint. However, D3gens said that $12 million has purportedly been taken out of the wallet associated with the AptosChimps initiative. A few hours later, a follow-up video warning viewers not to interact with the project was also uploaded to YouTube, however it is unknown whether the two are related.

The transactional chain that purportedly raised red flags is described in the video. Additionally, it demonstrates how the Aptos Chimp wallet—which is where the gas fees for the free mint are paid—sends a sizeable portion of the money to a wallet that consistently makes transactions and is thought to possibly be an exchange wallet.

Sum Drained Less Than Initially Assumed

A subsequent update clarified the error, indicating that only a small portion of the 1.5 million APT — Aptos' native token — that were allegedly siphoned off the wallet for a total of around $12.6 million, had actually been taken.

This sum totals merely a few tens of thousands, which might be justified as essential to cover operating expenses, to create collateral to secure the project's safety, or for other entirely acceptable reasons.

Nevertheless, the incident serves as a warning to the larger blockchain community to watch out for shady ventures. Overeager investors can suffer from poor performers just as major, well-established projects like Harmony, Phantom, and others have in the past.

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