Friday, 27 January 2023

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CoinMarketCap-led token airdrops ‘infected by fraud,’ crypto project claims

CoinMarketCap-led token airdrops ‘infected by fraud,’ crypto project claims

Two crypto projects have cried foul play over promotional airdrops conducted by CoinMarketCap (CMC) on their behalf, which they allege was “gamed” for the benefit of a small group of exploiters.

These promotional airdrops — designed to be distributed to thousands of wallets to raise awareness of a crypto project — ended with the tokens funneling to just a handful of wallets, suggesting potential manipulation of the system.

SATT token drop

Blockchain advertising solution SaTT alleged to Cointelegraph that a promotional airdrop it paid CMC to conduct in Dec. 2022 ended with 84% of the airdropped tokens funneling to just 21 wallets.

The promotion was meant to see 25,000 winning wallets receive 4,000 SATT each, worth $6.30 at the time per CoinGecko data.

However, SaTT claimed that shortly after the airdrop was distributed, 20,953 wallets “automatically transferred the tokens to 21 wallet addresses” which then sold off their token holdings days later around Dec. 10, netting around $142,000 for those 21 wallet owners.

The sell-off plunged the price of SATT by 70% between the end of the airdrop on Dec. 1 to when the wallets sold their tokens on Dec. 10.

SaTT claims wallet 0x929… (pictured) has over 4,500 transactions of its token, the largest it found out of the 21. Blockchain data shows the wallet sold over 4.3 million tokens through PancakeSwap. BscScan

TokenBot token drop

A similar experience was shared by TokenBot co-founder Shaun Newsum, who told Cointelegraph that it did a similar CMC-led airdrop of its TKB token on Dec. 9.

Newsum said CMC provided its 30,000 airdrop winners but he chose to “stagger” the airdrop “just in case something happens.”

TokenBot sent out its tokens to a batch of 4,000 winners to start, but around 3,300 ended up sending the funds to one wallet, said Newsum.

Blockchain data shows thousands of TKB transactions flowing to wallet 0x5AF… before initiating a cross-chain swap and then selling its holdings. BscScan.

Newsum said around $20,000 was lost by TokenBot in the incident and the project had to deploy more liquidity from its treasury.

“Obviously some person figured out how to game CMC,” he added. “If we were to have bulk sent, the whole airdrop would’ve been a complete disaster.”

Newsum however said he has since received an apology from CMC and was told that it was investigating the airdrop and would return with an updated winners list for the project.

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In its investigation, SaTT claims to have…

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