$46 Million of Ether is Locked in a Pair of Ponzi Dapps
The ethereum network has another pair of smash hit dapps. The decentralized applications have proven to be a viral success over the past week, amassing more transactions than IDEX and accruing seven-day trading volume of 180,000 ETH. There’s just one problem: both dapps are ponzi schemes in which virtually everyone who plays will lose.
Ethereum’s Latest Killer App Will Rek a Lot of People
The clue is in the URL. Fomo3D, which resides at exitscam.me, is an exit scam. The game is the product of Team JUST, a group of developers that gets its name from a Brendan Fraser/The Barber meta-meme whose origins are too niche to explain here. Play Fomo3D and there’s an overwhelming chance you’ll get ‘Justed’. That is, wind up with an ethereum balance that is the equivalent of this haircut:
Despite the near certainty of getting rekt, gamblers have been throwing their ether into Fomo3D and PoWH3D (Proof of Weak Hands) with wild abandon. The games, like most of the overt ponzi schemes to have dominated the ethereum network, found traction on 4chan’s /biz/ messageboard before going viral. “143,903 Transactions. 134,660.14 Eth. We shattered blockchain records, with each of the pieces of our ecosystem genuinely beating the highest dapp traffic games like this have seen on the blockchain in 24 hours. Individually,” boasted Team JUST. “Neat.”
The Games That Play on Human Greed
Fomo3D is an ironic jab at the cryptocurrency ICO space,” explain the game’s developers, “putting every player in the terrifying and tempting position to Exit Scam everything and run away with massive life-changing amounts of real Ethereum. You should take it…The game runs entirely on human greed, to the profit of everyone playing.” Players must purchase a key with ether. If the 24-hour timer goes down to zero without another player purchasing a key to reset it, the last key-owner will win the pot. At present, that jackpot stands at close to $10 million.
With each subsequent key owner granted a chance, no matter how fleeting, of winning a life-changing amount of cryptocurrency, the temptation for speculators to keep acquiring keys has proven overwhelming. It is conceivable that the game might never go to zero, and become a permanent vortex that sucks up ether, reducing the total circulating supply until the end of time. It is also conceivable that the rising value of the jackpot could ultimately tempt a mining pool into rejecting transactions to the Fomo3D contract address in order to push through its own and claim the prize.
Furthermore, with millions of dollars locked up in its contract, Fomo3D has the world’s largest bug bounty on its head. Smart contract experts have already been scrutinizing Team JUST’s code for possible attack vectors, and have made some interesting findings. While gamblers, smart contract auditors, and mining pools make eyes at Fomo3D, despite all the red flags the game gives off, /biz/ forum users are busy launching their next ponzi game: Fomo Five.
Fear the FOMO
Fomo Five’s developers explain: “This is a REVERSE fomo contract—the timer counts down, and each key purchased lowers the timer by one second. Eventually it will become profitable for a megawhale to simply sweep the entire pot and everyone who got in early enough will get a massive payout.”
“IF they fork ETH to stop this game you’re gonna be so mad” runs Fomo Five’s slogan. Fomo3D and its ilk are stress testing the ethereum network and creating scenarios that its founders never envisaged. Someone, somewhere is going to make a lot of ether out of one of these games. The vast majority of gamblers, save for a handful of early adopters however, will lose everything they wager. When it comes to playing the crypto market, it seems, FOMO trumps reason every time.
How do you think Fomo3D will end – or is the game destined to continue forevermore? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Fomo3D and Dappradar.
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