In a realm where technology and legal practices intertwine, a puzzling series of events on the Blur NFT marketplace is raising lawful concerns among the cryptocurrency and NFT community. Hanwe Chang — a reputable trader on the platform — skillfully misled a competitor’s bot into acquiring Azuki NFTs at inflated prices.
Chang announced on Twitter that he has been observing a bot mirroring his Blur bids, which spurred him to do all he could to deceive it. His clever plot made him profit a substantial $1.5 million (800 ETH).
Noticed that someone’s bot was copying my bids on Blur, so I decided to trick him…
Made 800 ETH profit thanksss pic.twitter.com/KlaXKUFUBK
— Hanwe (@HanweChang) August 5, 2023
Chang’s Misleading Bidding Method
Chang has established himself as an NFT mogul by bidding on NFTs on the Blur platform, focusing on traits like eye color and clothing — which impacts the value of the digital assets — leading him to rank on the top of the marketplace’s leaderboard.
On top of his unique trait-related tactics, Chang concluded that, by compiling 12 NFTs into a singular digital wallet (“hanwe.eth”, as per Etherscan), a portion of profits could be made after the trades being finalized.
Chang sold 12 Azuki NFTs featuring rare ‘Off White A’ background colors, all of which were acquired simultaneously for $91,500 (50 ETH) apiece. Before the transaction, a similar Azuki NFT with the same background color sold for less than $9,000 (5 ETH), showcasing his sale to have an extremely steep price bump.
By manipulating bots to mirror his trait bids, Chang fooled a naive trader into purchasing the Azuki NFTs at an excessively high price.
A Fraudulent or Fair Strategy?
Chang’s misleading NFT selling strategy wasn’t amusing for some, especially those targeted. The supposed owner of the bot, “elizab.eth”, took to Twitter to announce that the “funds were stolen from [their] bot”. They suggested a potential loot to get the funds back, whereby Chang could keep 10% of the funds if the balance was to be returned.
We would like to discuss a bounty with you. We are offering a 10% bounty of any funds stolen from our bot, which are yours to keep if you return the remaining 90%.
— elizab.ethᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠ (@ThinkingETH) August 5, 2023
However, in the unfolding of the drama, NFT enthusiasts, including a “lawyer“, publicly weighed in on the status, underscoring that, despite feeling wronged, they had made a legitimate, lawfully accepted offer.
On the other hand, other users have criticized Chang’s method, warning others against discussing fraudulent practices online and referring to Chang’s money-making strategy as “illegal market activity”.
This situation continues to stir conversations about regulations and ethics in the realm of NFT trading, representing the desire for more transparency and clarity in the world of Web3 digital assets.
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