On October 09, a CrypToadz non-fungible token collection sold for more than $1.6 million on the OpenSea NFT market platform, pushing the entire NFT market trading sales volume up 85% in just hours. The surprising sale has stirred up scam concerns, with the NFT collector behind the sold NFT collection linked with money laundering.
Source: CryptoSlam.io, NFT Sales In The Past 24 Hours
CrypToadz #4030 NFT Sells For Over $1.6M
Data from the OpenSea NFT marketplace confirmed that a CrypToadz #4030 was purchased for 1,055 WETH or more than $1.6 million at current crypto prices. The buyer also paid a service fee of almost $42,000 worth of Ether. In this article, we shall explore whether it was a normal sale or an apparent money laundering:
— TexasHedge (@0xTexasHedge) October 9, 2023
Launched in September 2021, CrypToadz is a non-fungible token collection featuring a limited set of 6,969 small amphibious creatures trying to escape the tyrannical rule of the Evil King Gremplin. The NFT collection was created by digital artist, Gremplin. It has a floor price of 0.5 ETH.
The sale of CrypToadz has attracted red flags, noting that the deal happened when the general crypto market is suffering a brutal downturn. The NFT market downturn began mid this year, leaving the majority of non-fungible tokens shielding more than 80% of their value.
The NFT collection in subject turned speculative, noting that it has a floor price of just 0.53 ETH or about $835, with the best offer of around 0.6 ETH. In simpler terms, the buyer of the NFT collection abnormally paid above the market rate for this profile picture (PFP) project, raising massive speculations.
Initially, many X users pointed out the incident as a “fat finger” mistake, where the buyer might have zipped too quickly through the process and accidentally paid far more than intended. On several occasions, NFT sellers have accepted bids that are well below the market price for a particular collection.
The NFT sale was also speculated to be a top-ranking form of wash trading. By description, wash trading is a form of market manipulation in which an entity or NFT collector simultaneously sells and buys the same NFTs, creating a false impression of market activity without incurring market risk or changing the entity’s market position.
Sleuths Link CrypToadz NFT Buyer To Tornado Cash
Fortunately, after an in-depth investigation, on-chain investigators and industry experts have linked the surprising NFT buyer with Tornado Cash. Established sometime in 2019, Tornado Cash is an automated service that lets crypto users obscure the flow of crypto to and from wallets by mixing funds from various users into a pool.
Tornado Cash breaks the public, on-chain flow of cryptocurrency between wallets, making it more difficult to trace how ETH is being sent around. Privacy advocates say that the platform lets users transact crypto with less fear of surveillance, but authorities have called it and similar tools a way to launder money. Scammers and hackers have adopted the platform to avoid being traced.
The investigations have found that the wallet that purchased the CrypToadz NFT collection was recently funded with about 1,116 ETH or about $1.7 million from another wallet that received 1,200 ETH or about $1.9 million. The funds were initially from Tornado Cash, making it difficult to trace the original source of these funds.
In the meantime, Gremplin, the brain behind the CrypToadz NFT collection, has distanced himself from the controversy surrounding his NFT collection, urging his supporters not to spoil the good vibe of the NFT collection amid the recent scam concerns. CrypToadz NFT sale has increased the global NFT trading sales volume by 85% in the past 24 hours.
if you’re gonna wash your tornado’d eth pls don’t sully the good vibes of a fresh toad in the process thx pic.twitter.com/jDqqD9sWTr
— 🎃 (@gremplin) October 10, 2023
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