Alleged ’17-Year-Old Artist’ Sells Fake NFTs in $500,000 Rug-Pull

October 02, 2021, 10:15 PM AEST (updated October 06, 2021)

Iconic Sol, an NFT project on the Solana blockchain, has apparently rugged its investors after failing to deliver several artwork pieces and disappearing with US$500,000.

A 17-year-old 3D artist is presumed to be behind the project. The teenager promised to deliver 8,000 NFT artworks on the project’s Discord channel and some of the tokens were supposed to be available in an October 1 presale. A total of 2,000 NFTs were up for grabs at a price of 0.5 SOL, many of them selling out quickly. 

The presale generated the anonymous artist 1,000 SOL, or US$138,000, but the estimated amount of stolen funds is over half a million dollars. The event was reported by SOL Big Brain, a popular member of the Solana NFT community:

Data from Solana Explorer shows the person(s) behind the project has already sent the money to different addresses. And just as concerning for investors, instead of receiving the NFTs the artist sent them a bunch of random emojis.

Beware of Fake and Non-Existent NFTs

This is probably the first rug-pull on the Solana network. But it’s hard to say as controversy still surrounds a previous Solana project backed by American rapper Lil Uzi called Eternal Beings, whose floor price plunged after the rapper deleted his Twitter posts regarding the project.

Fake and non-existing NFTs are becoming an increasing concern in the DeFi space. As Crypto News Australia reported, last month an NFT collector paid almost US$500,000 worth of ETH for an NFT that never existed.

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