Fiasco NFT – $ 34M locked forever in a smart contract

The NFT market can no longer be reduced to a simple anecdote about a career in the cryptocurrency sector. Just look at the success of some collections launched in the heart of this bear market. A reality that obviously affects speculators more than real collectors, one of whom sometimes wonders if they really exist. All this driven by this euphoria that is still to be taken and felt by many coins which each time promises to be the next BAYC. But some surgeries get shorter than others, as in the case of the Akutars collection, which caused a real failure.

The proliferation of new collections of NFTs with more rarities does not seem to know any crisis. Because their numbers are constantly increasing, between all or obvious scams and VIP projects that are already too expensive, even before they were minted. Such as the recent launch at the end of last week of the now famous Moonbirds, at the original selling price of 2.5 ETH (around $ 7600). And at the time of writing this article, a base price is already set at 36 ETH (about $ 100,000) for pixelated owls printed in 10,000 copies.

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And while everyone is making their own opinion about this kind of collection, the madness is in full swing. With an NFT market that has become almost more interesting to trade with than cryptocurrencies, according to its enthusiasts. And at least for those who know how to take advantage of whitelists and other bottom prices. And certainly not for the buyer of Jack Dorsey’s very first tweet, whose bid still does not exceed $ 30,000 on Opensea. With this reality in mind: a failure is always possible.

Akutars – The failure version of the NFT coin

A simple rule should be inscribed on the front of all crypto projects: “Never confuse speed with haste.” Because the speed with which the cryptocurrency sector is evolving sometimes makes its society dizzying. To the point of making mistakes that can quickly turn out to be catastrophic. With, for once, a principle of “the code is law”, whose cold truth is essential, without possible negotiation. And this second phrase to keep in mind for developers: “one bug bounty is better than two, that’s fine. A sad reality that the Akutars project just encountered over the weekend.

This past Friday should actually be the day for the long-awaited launch of the Akutars collection. A 3D avatar version of the character Aku, created last year by artist and former baseball player Micah Johnson. A project as part of a strong social dynamic, with disbursement of funds to charities. And a little black boy invented to answer this simple question from Micah Johnson’s nephew to his mother: “Can astronauts be black?” »

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But apparently nothing went as planned. And what was supposed to be a mint of 15,000 avatars with random rarities turned into a failure. This is due to an error detected in the code of the smart contract that was supposed to handle this operation. And that’s when everything goes wrong …

Acute – An error in the matrix

It all started a few hours after the official launch of the first sale of this Akutar collection. An operation that stems from some malfunction that is (all too) often classic in this type of procedure. With the peculiarity of being based on a Dutch auction system, whose base price (3.5 ETH) is supposed to fall gradually until a buyer is found. But soon a developer, responding to the pseudonym Hasan, came to warn about the discovery of a flaw in the code for the smart contract. With the only answer in return, from those responsible for the project, the assurance that his diagnosis was incorrect.

But shortly after, an attack was actually carried out according to the exact modus operandi revealed by Hasan. All this from an anonymous USER221, whose action resulted in the blocking of all operations related to auctions. All this with a note that says: “Please offer a bug bounty on your contracts or at least get them revised. And then another comment written into an Ethereum transaction. The latter explains that the goal was not to cause this blocking, but simply to force the developers of the project to acknowledge the error.

Well, it’s funny, I did not intend to take advantage of that contract, lol. Otherwise I would not have used Coinbase. When you publicly acknowledge that exploitation exists, I will unblock it immediately.


Akutars – Attack + error = $ 34M block

And the famous USER221 has actually kept its promises by restarting the machine once its comments have been taken into account (and perhaps an error bonus paid out). But it was without reckoning with the ease with which this code was apparently written. Because after this restart, and of course without any context, a new problem emerged. This time in relation to the chronological numbering of coins for these NFTs. Some have not been considered when validating a transaction on the Ethereum network. And when the contract required the numbers to be correct to allow payouts … everything was blocked again.

But this with the small difference that in the latter case, the block represents the sum of 11,539 ETH (about $ 34 million). And with the problematic peculiarity of having blocked all these funds “forever” in a kind of digital black hole. Because project managers can no longer intervene in the smart contract, which is now out of control. And at the same time the owners of Acute Mint Pass can no longer claim the refund originally set for up to 0.5 ETH. Oops…

Akutars – A new launch is planned

This is what the developers of the Akutars project claim this second issue has nothing to do with the initial action of USER211. The latter simply wanted to “draw attention to the best practices to be introduced by popular projects.” With a micah johnson apologizes to its collectors for refusing to heed the warnings issued. At the same time it is ensured that holders of Acute Mint Pass will be repaid from the funds available to the Treasury for the initial Aku NFT project.

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With the prospect of creating another smart contract, this time presented as “revised and revised” by several developers. And of course, a next launch date should take place at the beginning of the week. At least that’s what the latter suggests. update published a few hours ago on the project’s official Twitter account. Let’s just hope everything gets better this time.

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