The digital world has been experiencing an unprecedented boom in the last few years. One of these innovations is NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens, which allow users to own part ownership equity within virtual goods such as pixelated images.
These images can be worth up to thousands of dollars, but demand increases by the second as more people realize their worth. Influencers like KSI, Faze Banks, Gary Vee, and the guys from Canadian prank empire NELK Boys are posting about and promoting projects they were lucky enough to “mint” in hopes of flipping them for big money. And we’re talking serious bucks – like 1 million dollars. For example, Emmy nominated photographer John Knopf recently sold his coveted Bored Ape NFT for $1.4 million.
However, with every emerging tech revolution and investment comes scams and con artists hoping to leverage on the naivety of new and unsuspecting customers. Scam projects are called “rug pull” and comedian and recording artist Nicole Arbour may have just caught one of these scams before it festered. She has since informed her over five million followers, including blue tick followers (like Joe Rogan, Paris Hilton, and the cast of Netflix hit show Sabrina) not to purchase.
Nicole, who over the years has cemented her status as one of the go-to influencer marketers with several digital marketing campaigns to her name, took to her Instagram live stream to warn her fans about the NFT project Bitcoin Wine.
The project requires buyers to purchase the NFT for a price tag of $1,000, for which they would receive a bottle of Bitcoin Wine, the digital NFT, and access to the whitelist for the upcoming NFT release—described as a golden opportunity for buyers and investors.
However, Nicole suspected foul play when she realized that the project had no release date for their projects and couldn’t clarify when asked what the projects were, meaning fans could spend $1,000 and end up with a bottle of wine and digital picture—but no access to the whitelist they were promising. Furthermore, the Bitcoin Wine NFT website will ship out the wine bottles only when 2,500 NFTs are sold. This means, if they ended up selling 2,499 NFTs, every buyer is out of luck.
Considering her options and integrity, Arbor chose to walk away from a contract with over $800,000 in profits. She had since offered the deposit back. “You’d be paying $1,000, and you wouldn’t get anything, possibly,” Arbour said in the live. “I’m not going to scam my audience.” She shared.
In the same week that Logan Paul lost $3.5 million on fake Pokemon cards and Kim K was being sued for promoting a pump-and-dump EthereumMax scheme, we can all take solace in knowing there are still people like Nicole Arbour out here who seek not only to make their content entertaining but also engaging with integrity.
“I want to encourage everyone to do research before purchasing any NFTs or crypto,” Arbour said on her Instagram. “There are a lot of great opportunities out there, but you have to know what to look for. Influencers are being offered crazy money to promote projects without knowing if it’s a solid purchase.”
To ensure an end to rug pulls and NFT scams, Nicole Arbour will be releasing courses to get her fans and followers started on NFTs and Cryptocurrency later this month.