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Is SBF Behind the $BALD Rugpull?
A crazy crypto weekend took a wilder turn yesterday, after $BALD rugged and SBF was accused to be behind it. Catch up on the story plus details on OpenSea's major new hire.
Today's top news includes:
$BALD has ties to Alameda
OpenSea lands major hire
Major players step in to defend CRV
Yuga acquires ROAR
SEC sues Richard Heart
🚨 Alameda Has Links to the $BALD Deployer
What seemed like a fun storyline as recently as yesterday morning took a very sour turn yesterday morning. And then things got even wilder.
For quick background, the $BALD token made major headlines on Coinbase's L2 Base over the weekend, as the memecoin rocketed to an $80M marketcap in about 12 hours.
It inspired a weekend of crazy memecoin trading and nearly $70M of inflows into Base.
Then suddenly yesterday morning, the $BALD deployer (dev behind the token) pulled the liquidity out and the token sunk 90%.
This is the literal definition of a rug pull, and anyone still holding the token instantly loss nearly everything. $BALD is currently at a $6.2M marketcap, down about 93% from yesterday's ATH.
Things were just getting started.
Yesterday evening, the leading decentralized exchange on Base called Leetswap had an exploit, allowing bad actors to drain several of the liquidity pools for other tokens.
So rugpulls were basically happening all across the chain.
All of this while CT began to question - who was behind $BALD?
Was SBF Tied to $BALD?
Notable CT personality hype_eth shared his thoughts that SBF was behind $BALD yesterday afternoon.
The foundation of the accusation was tied to old transactions from that deployer's address between FTX and BALD, the old voting pattern of the account on Sushi proposals, prior farming activity and even tweet (X) verbiage.
This led to major crypto news organizations like Bankless and even Coindesk sharing tweets and articles alluding to SBF or at least Alameda's involvement in BALD.
Coindesk verified the ties of the BALD deployer to Alameda Research (SBF's company) and added Wintermute's head of research Igor Igamberdiev to the mix, who shared his own research showing ties to Alameda.
Igor went on to state that while he does believe it's someone from Alameda, he doesn't think it's SBF.
This came after Tiffany Fong shared details around SBF's bail conditions and how the only technology he's allowed to have in possession is a flip phone, and thus he couldn't be behind it.
So was SBF behind it? It seems less likely, though it's increasingly likely tied to someone from his organization.
Now the question is - what will we learn today?
👩💼 OpenSea Lands Major Hire
Big news out of OpenSea this morning.
They have hired Kelly DiGregorio as VP, Head of Global Content Partnerships.
Kelly is known for her significant contributions at Polygon Labs and Dapper Labs, where she handled partnerships. At Polygon specifically, she secured deals with major brands like Starbucks, Disney, DraftKings, and Mastercard.
With this hire, OpenSea plans to focus on trust and safety, along with proving out NFT use cases with its upcoming priorities.
Why It Matters
The main bull factor for Polygon over the last few years was its ability to land major partnerships. Clearly Kelly was a big part of that - and how she is at OpenSea.
The NFT marketplace sector is wide open right now for a takeover, with Blur's sentiment rating near all-time lows.
If OpenSea can make some big moves with brands and new partnerships, they may be able to slowly chip away at Blur's lead and regain their spot on top of the marketplace totem pole.
At this point, I think most are rooting for that.
Now let's see what Kelly can do...
🚚 What else is happening in NFTs?
Here is the list of other notable headlines from the day in NFTs:
Trading volume came in around 7k ETH on Monday in a slight uptick; NFTs saw a mix of green with DeGods, QQL and Grapes leading top movers
Yuga Labs is acquiring Roar Studios, a music and metaverse studio lauded for their metaverse experience delivery; the acquisition likely revolves around key talent at Roar, including CEO Eric Reid who will become the GM of The Otherside, Eric Danker who had deep experience from Riot Games and more
PROOF shared details around its Grails IV mint, with the airdrop happening on Aug 1, the mint opening on Aug 7 and the reveal happening on Aug 11
DeGods have announced that DeGods season 3 is coming on Aug 9 (the floor jumped about 5% on the news to 8.73 ETH)
Knights of Degen officially launched their $DGEN token claim for their community on Monday, with the utility and governance token open for claim thru Nov 1; the token opened around $0.02 meaning the 7k tokens that each KoD NFT was able to claim were worth between $150-$200
The Azurbala team debuted a teaser sharing that on August 17 "A New Era Begins"
The nftperp team shared a blog post outlining what went wrong with its v1, how it plans to correct those mistakes with their upcoming v2, rewards for the users and more
Pulsr Foundation launched an AI-powered search engine for NFTs, delivering access to over 5M NFTs across ETH, Polygon, and Tezos chains
DraftKings shared major news about its NFT ReignMakers 2023 season coming out of last week's Keynote, including new details around Field Passes, prize structure, player previews and more
🌎 Around Crypto and Web3
A few other Crypto and Web3 headlines that caught my eye:
The crypto market fell on Monday; BTC -1.7% to $28,870; ETH -2% $1,830
The SEC has sued Richard Heart, along with his projects, for raising $1B+ across 3 different unregistered securities sales for Hex, PulseChain and PulseX
Major players are stepping in to help backstop CRV and avoid a DeFi meltdown, including Justin Sun who bought $5M of CRV from the CRV founder at $0.40; it seems the situation looks less dire than it did on Sunday though is nowhere near out of the woods
The IRS released new guidance stating that staking rewards for validation activity count as income in the year the owner gets control of the tokens (vs when they sell them)
🚀 NFT Total Volume
BAYC (2,111 ETH, 29.1 ETH Floor)
DeGods (959 ETH, 8.7 ETH)
Azuki (720 ETH, 4.97 ETH)
MAYC (677 ETH, 5.32 ETH)
CloneX (296 ETH, 1.53 ETH)
📈 NFT Floor Price Increase
QQL (125%, 8.88 ETH Floor)
Winds of Yawanawa (84%, 3.4 ETH)
The Grapes (38%, 0.57 ETH)
QQL Mint Pass (34%, 8.69 ETH)
Sproto Gremlins (23%, 0.58 ETH)
🗓 Upcoming NFT Mints and Reveals
Today is an interesting day of new drops spanning brands, art and PFPs.
Starbucks is back with its latest new stamp drop for the Green Apron collection, with 5k NFTs coming for $100 each. With the First Store collection (4,579 supply) at $114, it's a bit hard to see these selling out or doing well on secondary.
The Grails IV drop is likely the highlight of the day, as the PROOF team is back for their marquee mint. Expect some jostling in floor price and buy action as more pieces are revealed ahead of the mint opening on Aug 7.
If you want more, see the full list of today's drops from Swizzy's daily mint monitor.
Starbucks Green Apron Collection (12:00 p.m. ET)
Renga x Haas (4:00 p.m. ET)
Deekay Motion "What The Font" (TBD)
PROOF Grails IV airdrop (TBD)
Enjoy this write-up? Follow along with me on Twitter @tyler_did_it or reach out via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all volume and floor price data, see Lucky Trader's Project Rankings page.
For all upcoming mints, see Lucky Trader's NFT Calendar page.