Most rug pulls happen the same way: A con artist creates an artwork collection. A bunch of people buy into it, rallying around an important cause or hoping to gain membership to a cool new club. Then the con artist ghosts, deactivating their social media accounts and running off with their anonymous crypto wallet full of coin.
The Pixel Penguin scam followed a similar trajectory, except for one notable difference: This con artist put in considerable effort by nurturing long-term relationships with notable NFT collectors for more than a year. The scammer, who used the handle "hopeexist" on Twitter, milked a believably tragic lie that they were sick with life-threatening cancer and needed to raise funds for treatment.
News like this is discouraging. It's also a reminder that Web3 is about more than NFT get-rich schemes.
In the turmoil of this bear market, it can be hard to know where to place your focus — especially while swimming in the wake of scams.
It’s even harder to keep the blinders on and stay positive when so much chaos pulls at our attention.
Nonetheless, it's important to protect our peace. We’re not advocating naivety, but a long-term perspective is needed. Remember that, even on the worst days, progress is happening cumulatively and collectively over time.
If you're in need of a win, we can't promise you any. However, we can compile some data and news clips that may help you keep a long-term perspective.
The latest U.S. Federal Reserve’s Economic Well-Being of Households report showed 10% of U.S. adults held or used crypto in 2022 — down only 2 percentage points from 2021. This data suggests the people who joined the party during the bull run decided to stick around.
Data from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (az16) shows the number of active wallet addresses has doubled over the last two years and hit an all-time high of 15 million in April 2023. The growth in crypto wallets is likely linked to an increase in decentralized applications (dApps) and services like on-chain games, NFT memberships, proof-of-attendance protocols (POAPs), etc.
According to various news outlets, Apple is preparing to announce a VR headset very soon — a strong signal for the metaverse — and is reportedly working on “RealityOS” software to adapt our favorite apps into 3D.
CEO Tim Cook is bullish on augmented reality, saying, “We are going to look back and think about how we once lived without AR.” (Just don’t expect Apple to use the “metaverse” buzzword…)
Even on potentially leaner budgets, brands are still experimenting with new ways to reach digitally native audiences. Take this collab between Nike’s NFT platform .SWOOSH and EA Sports.
The disruption of Web3 is clearing the way for new leaders to sit at the table. Did you ever expect to see the day when Nasdaq, a 52-year-old financial institution, would join forces with the no. 1 fashion doll brand, Barbie, and the woman-led powerhouse Web3 brand Boss Beauties? That's exactly what happened.
Finally, the number of active developers in the crypto industry has steadily increased over 60% in the last three years according to data from az16's 2023 State of Crypto Report. That's nearly 30,000 developers who contributed to new dApps, protocols and softwares. "New technologies, once practically impossible, are becoming very real," stated the report. Advancements on zero-knowledge technology is driving innovation in privacy protection, which the venture firm believes will unlock new scalability for blockchain.
We hope these stories help you ride the waves of this unpredictable market. What helps you stay grounded and focus on long-term progress? If these pieces of news didn't cut it for you, perhaps check out Coinbase's latest video, The Future of Money. "Money is always changing," reads the description. Placing crypto in a broader historical context makes it seem, at least for now, a little less scary.
This is not financial advice. If you don't want to spend money investing in crypto or Web3 — you don’t have to. The intent of this article is to help others educate themselves and learn.
Megan DeMatteo is BFF's Editorial Partner.