Crypto & NFT Influencers Are Eating Their Own

Given the speculative nature of NFTs, it ought to surprise absolutely no one that the digital medium is rife with ample controversy. Scams abound, some will tell you, and no one’s monkey is safe.

The most recent firestorm is a little confusing, so bear with me, but it contains some food for thought.

A fellow named Beanie, who goes by @beaniemaxi on Twitter, is at the core of this saga.

If you buy a stolen Bored Ape from a hacker knowingly or not, you legally have to return it to the victim of the theft for free. That’s how property laws work.

If you knew it was stolen, you’re likely criminally liable as an accessory. Because you had intent to buy stolen goods.

— Beanie (@beaniemaxi)

You may (but probably don’t) recognize Beanie as the guy who, a month ago, claimed that anyone who steals NFTs must give them back because “That’s how property laws work.”

Spoiler: that is not how property laws work, especially in regards to decentralized collections of monkey drawings.

Anyways, despite the bizarre take above, Beanie was a well-respected member of the cypto/NFT world, consulting with NFT developers and running the now-suspended GM Capital VC fund.

1/ In this thread we will disclose the identity of one of the (currently) most (in)famous NFT influencers. But before we do that, we first explain our (philosophical) justifications and provide some important disclaimers.

— NFT Ethics (@NFTethics)

On January 17, Beanie was the subject of an exhaustive report published as a lengthy Twitter thread by NFTethics, a self-appointed industry watchdog of sorts.

NFTethics’ post accuses Beanie, real name apparently Charles Moscoe, of frauds that range from casual deceit to pump-and-dump scams.

For instance, NFTethics alleges that Beanie leveraged authority in Discord chats and encouraged users to invest in his own ventures without revealing that he owned them.

These endeavors then shuttered, collapsed, or otherwise vanished, stripping investors of their funds.

Reputation is everything to me, and I don’t take allegations lightly. I work day and night with passionate founders helping to build some of the best NFT brands and communities that tens of thousands of people know and love. I’ve never scammed anybody in my life. Ngl, this hurts.

— Beanie (@beaniemaxi)

Beanie haters having fun with some wild theories. Im an internet OG and have invested in dozens of companies over the years. Many failed. That’s the life of an angel investor. Yep I have a long history working in gaming. I’ll put my reputation up against anybody in that industry.

— Beanie (@beaniemaxi)

I will respond to each of the allegations against me in detail very soon. I’m proud of my accomplishments in this space and appreciate all those that have stood up for me.

— Beanie (@beaniemaxi)

This set off a mini-explosion in NFT Twitter. Other exposés followed and Beanie denied all charges.

He’s apparently considering a libel lawsuit against NFTethics, though the chances of successfully taking a random Twitter user to court are hard to gauge.

I’m talking to a couple lawyers today. Regarding libel. Probably best I don’t comment on it until then anyhow. This is a fud attack, nothing more.

— Beanie (@beaniemaxi)

Meanwhile, third-party NFT initiatives like Pixel Vault and Wolf Game distanced themselves from Beanie, having openly collaborated with him in the past.

To the @pixelvault_ Community: The accusations against Beanie are troublesome. The Pixel Vault family has worked tirelessly to foster an atmosphere of community and trust and allegations like this undermine that trust. TLDR: Beanie will no longer be affiliated with Pixel Vault.

— GFunk.eth aka Comicman.eth (@Gfunkera86)

A note from the WG Team:

We are aware of the statements on @beaniemaxi and take them seriously. He is a minority investor and has advised us.

Our team builds and operates Wolf Game and makes all decisions.

Our focus is to deliver the game with honesty and integrity.

— Wolf Game (@wolfdotgame)

Other folks came out with their own accusations of Beanie’s culpability and piled on, though a few supporters stuck up for him.

I’d argue that the most salient point to take away from the affair is how NFT anonymity fuels strife.

Our research has united the complete NFT spectrum: from moralists (who want to warn others for scams) to scammers (who see Beanie as a competitor) and from NFT skeptics that see their prejudices confirmed to NFT evangelists that consider this to be an example of self-regulation❤️

— NFT Ethics (@NFTethics)

Decentralization, touted as a prime strength of cryptocurrency and NFTs, is perhaps an even greater weakness.

It’s entirely up to would-be investors to decide whether these mediums are ponzi schemes but it’s plain to even a casual observer that plenty of NFT scams occur (and aren’t punished) despite blockchains’ supposed transparency, to say nothing of how crypto anonymity fuels evil.

It’s more & more evident that anonymous isn’t the Web3 future

Investors will become increasingly weary of fully-anon creators after all that’s happened, & rightfully so.

— threadguy.eth 💫 (@DiscoverXnft)

To be sure, everyone’s privacy ought to be an inalienable right. Whether you’re a crypto savant or barely know how to Google, we all deserve to be left to our own devices, both online and IRL.

The issue is less with the individual users and more so these unscrupulous influencers and shady behind-the-scene types who operate with ulterior motives in mind.

NFT influencers like Beanie typically enjoy the same anonymity as other users — they sure aren’t as visible as the Elon Musk, who loudly manipulates crypto as he sees fit.

But maybe it’d be for the best that more guys with this much to gain — or lose — from crypto and NFTs stepped out of the shadows.

Or, at least, if you’re going to follow anyone eager to share their investment wisdom with the world, perhaps get to know them a bit better before taking their advice.

This content was originally published here.

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