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Fees.wtf is a simple service that shows Ether (ETH) users their lifetime spending amount on Ethereum blockchain transactions by measuring gas. You plug in your wallet address on its website, and it tells you how much gas you spent.
The project released its WTF token in an airdrop Friday. Essentially, users were able to claim WTF tokens as well as a “Rekt” nonfungible token (NFT) for 0.01 ETH. The Rekt NFT grants lifetime access to the pro version of Fees.wtf.
According to its Discord announcement, the initial launch planned to offer 100 million WTF, and the “circulating supply will be the main attraction in the tokenomics.” However, it didn’t quite go as planned.
Following frantic trading behavior between bots in the opening hours of the airdrop, one bot ran off with a reported 58 ETH, or $180,000. According to Etherscan, 58 ETH was drained from the Wrapped ETH (wETH) and WTF liquidity pool.
Social media channels were quick to respond because many airdrop participants lamented losing thousands of dollars in ETH. The WTF team chimed in two hours after the airdrop to calm their ranks:
“Immediately on launch there was only a tiny bit of liquidity and there were ape bots that were chucking in 100s of ETH into a pool with an ETH or two of liquidity. They also had high slippage and ended up being sandwiched by the other bots which essentially drained all their ETH.”
Basically, within five minutes of the token launch, poor liquidity pool management from the WTF developers left the liquidity pool exposed. As there was low liquidity, bots were able to manipulate the price of WTF to then sell for wETH.
The bots battled it out until one winner took home the pot. In effect, the bot stole from users who provided liquidity to the pool, trying to claim their WTF tokens and Rekt NFT. The victor managed to send an “ultra-fast transaction at 3,000 Gwei,” making a 6x return on their initial investment.
The WTF team sent out another Discord update two hours after the airdrop, stating, “The core contracts are all fine, this was a war on Uniswap.” The team added, “We hope no one was affected by it.” However, as has become a common occurrence in airdrops of late, many users lost a lot of money.
The price graph of the token since launch paints a thousand words. The initial spike shows the bot activity swiftly followed by a 10x loss in value.
The official WTF Discord group is brimming with users sharing stories of losing money. Some are “shaking” with rage, while death threats and lawsuit claims are rife.
One Etherscan transaction points to one user losing 42 ETH, or $135,000, for 0.000044170848308398 WTF, effectively $0.01.
As daylight dawns on the project, some Twitter users have called out the project as a Ponzi scheme. The referral element to the project is spurious. Referrers of the WTF project claim 50% on fees “to make wtf go viral,” while the WTF team earns 4% from each transfer. In total, the WTF team claimed almost half a million United States dollars in token transfer fees in a little over eight hours.
Twitter user Lefteris Karapetsas didn’t mince his words:
WTF “team” made an app any dev can do in 1 hour
Slapped a token + ponzinomics on it
Anons aped without thinking and lost ETH in gas and claim fees
Team has so far made 116 ETH + 6,168,806 WTF. Roughly around $855,665 and this is getting bigger by the second
— Lefteris Karapetsas | Hiring for @rotkiapp (@LefterisJP) January 14, 2022
The WTF project states merely that the supply of tokens is “deflationary” and that 40 million WTF tokens will go to its treasury. There is not a great deal of detail regarding the token distribution. Twitter user Meows.ETH concluded their Twitter thread with a zen approach to the controversial project launch:
“If you were fortunate enough to claim a big amount of $WTF and cash it out for a profit, be happy. Unless you’re attempting to bot the initial liquidity, don’t FOMO into buying a newly launched altcoin with high slippage.”
Ethereum is a protocol undergoing significant changes. Client teams are upgrading the protocol to scale to meet global demand while improving security and decentralization. Beyond protocol development, a critical shift in Ethereum has been the movement away from ‘Eth1’ and ‘Eth2’ terminology. As of late 2021, core developers stopped using the terminology, preferring ‘execution layer’ and ‘consensus layer’, respectively. Today, as highlighted in our Q1 roadmap, ethereum.org makes the same shift.
Let’s explore why.
Ethereum always had, as part of its roadmap, plans to scale the network in a decentralized way and to transition to proof-of-stake. Early on, researchers worked on these efforts separately, but around 2018 they were combined into a single roadmap under the “Ethereum 2.0” umbrella.
As part of that roadmap, the existing proof-of-work chain (Eth1) would eventually be deprecated via the difficulty bomb. Users & applications would migrate to a new, proof-of-stake Ethereum chain, known as Eth2.
The article The Roadmap to Serenity by ConsenSys explains how things stood as of early 2019.
As work began on the Beacon Chain, it became clear that the phased Ethereum 2.0 roadmap would take several years to deliver fully. This led to a revival of research initiatives on the proof-of-work chain such as Stateless Ethereum, a paradigm that would remove the untouched state from the network to bound its growth rate.
The increased focus on making the proof-of-work chain long-term sustainable paired with the realization that the Beacon Chain would be ready much earlier than other components of the Ethereum 2.0 roadmap led to an “Early Merge” proposal. This proposal would launch the existing EVM chain as “Shard 0” of the Ethereum 2.0 system. Not only would this expedite the move to proof-of-stake, but it would also make for a much smoother transition for applications, as the move to proof-of-stake could happen without any migration on their end.
Shortly after this proposal, Danny Ryan explored how we could accomplish this by leveraging the existing Eth1 clients in his Eth1+Eth2 client relationship post. This would massively reduce the development work required to deliver a post-merge system and leverage existing clients, which had been battle-tested for years on Mainnet. Around the same time, research on rollups as a viable and secure way to scale Ethereum proved promising. Instead of waiting on a complex, uncertain scaling solution years away, we could shift the focus towards scaling via rollups instead of sharded execution.
Want to dive deeper? Check out Danny Ryan’s “Eth1 + Eth2 = Ethereum” ETHGlobal presentation.
One major problem with the Eth2 branding is that it creates a broken mental model for new users of Ethereum. They intuitively think that Eth1 comes first and Eth2 comes after. Or that Eth1 ceases to exist once Eth2 exists. Neither of these is true. By removing Eth2 terminology, we save all future users from navigating this confusing mental model.
As the roadmap for Ethereum has evolved, Ethereum 2.0 has become an inaccurate representation of Ethereum’s roadmap. Being careful and accurate in our word choice allows content on Ethereum to be understood by the broadest audience possible.
Unfortunately, malicious actors have attempted to use the Eth2 misnomer to scam users by telling them to swap their ETH for ‘ETH2’ tokens or that they must somehow migrate their ETH before the Eth2 upgrade.
We hope this updated terminology will bring clarity to eliminate this scam vector and help make the ecosystem safer.
Some staking operators have also represented ETH staked on the Beacon Chain with the ‘ETH2’ ticker. This creates potential confusion, given that users of these services are not actually receiving an ‘ETH2’ token. No ‘ETH2’ token exists; it simply represents their share in that specific providers’ stake.
It doesn’t! It’s important to understand that this renaming represents a change in naming only. The features on Ethereum’s current roadmap (i.e. the merge, sharding) and future features will still happen on the same timeline. More on the Ethereum upgrades.
The rebrand was a massive task with many content changes. There are likely instances we missed and improvements still to be made. Notice something that needs fixing? Raise an issue or open a PR on the ethereum.org GitHub.
If you’re capable of translating content, we could use your help! We’ve updated this content in English, but our 40+ additional languages are now outdated and still reference Eth2 terminology. Please consider getting involved.
We’ve updated our content buckets to include an Ethereum upgrades bucket. This will empower our hundreds of active contributors to the Translation Program to directly target these changes to publish the new accurate information across languages more quickly.
Interested in helping to translate ethereum.org? Check out our translation program.
To many, ethereum.org is seen as a credible source of information maintained by our community. Understandably, many didn’t want to shift away from Eth2 terminology until ethereum.org did. We hope that our changes will encourage others to move away from the outdated Eth2 terminology. By doing so, you will be helping to create consistency and clarity across the ecosystem, allowing for more accurate mental models and making Ethereum more accessible.
In a dramatic twist, one of this week’s Multichain hackers has returned 322 Ether (ETH) ($974,000 at the time of writing) to the cross-chain router protocol and one of the affected users.
However, the hacker kept 62 ETH ($187,000) as a “bug bounty,” while a total of 528 ETH (worth $1.6M) remains outstanding after the exploits.
Earlier this week, news emerged of a security vulnerability with Multichain relating to Wrapped Ether (wETH), Peri Finance (PERI), Mars Token (OMT), Wrapped Binance Coin (wBNB), Polygon (MATIC) and Avalanche (AVAX), and $1.43 million was stolen. Multichain announced on Monday the critical vulnerability had been “reported and fixed.”
However, publicity about the vulnerability reportedly encouraged a number of different attackers to swoop in, and more than $3 million in funds were stolen. The critical vulnerability in the six tokens still exists, but Multichain has drained around $44.5 million of funds from multiple chain bridges to protect them.
Yeah, bridge contract need pause function. https://t.co/lPjLsE5EtR
— Zhaojun (@zhaojun_sh) January 20, 2022
One of the hackers, calling himself a “white hat,” has been in communication with both Multichain and a user who lost $960,000 in the past day or so to negotiate the return of 80% of the money in exchange for a hefty finder’s fee.
According to a Thursday tweet from ZenGo wallet co-founder Tal Be’ery, the hacker claimed they had been “saving the rest” of the Multichain users who were being targeted by bots in an act of defensive hacking.
The funds were returned across four transactions. On Thursday, the hacker returned 269 ETH ($813,000) in two transactions directly to the user from whom he stole it and kept a bug bounty of 50 ETH ($150,000).
The relieved user responded to the hacker:
“Well received, thank you for your honesty.”
Overnight, the hacker also returned 50 ETH ($150,000) in two transactions to the official Multichain address and kept a bug bounty of 12 ETH ($36,000).
Multichain (formerly Anyswap) aims to be the “ultimate router for Web3.” The platform supports 30 chains at the moment, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Avalanche, Litecoin, Terra and Fantom.
In a tweet on Thursday, Multichain co-founder and CEO Zhaojun conceded that Multichain bridge contracts need a pause function to deal with similar incidents in future..
Cointelegraph has contacted the project for comment.
Former Boston ICU nurse Allie Rae made international news in August last year after she was fired for running an extremely naughty OnlyFans account on the side. The story appeared everywhere from the NY Post to CNN and The Daily Beast — and she even made an appearance on Dr. Phil.
The resulting publicity saw fans subscribing in droves, and the 37-year-old mother of three now makes more than $200,000 a month.
But the same sort of moralizing and censorship that ended her nursing career also threatens her newfound wealth from OnlyFans. Just six days after her story was made public, OnlyFans announced it would ban “sexually explicit” content, under pressure from its banking partners.
“When the news broke about the payment processing and OnlyFans, I began looking at other platforms to switch to, and quickly realized they too could fall into the same trap down the road,” Rae says on the line from her new home in crypto-friendly Florida.
“It was at that time that I figured out crypto was the answer.”
She’s assembled a team of 20 developers and is putting the finishing touches on a new OnlyFans-meets-Instagram-style crypto-powered social platform called WetSpace. It’s due to launch in beta in February, accepting payments in a range of stablecoins across different chains to mitigate issues with gas fees. NFT support will come in the project’s second stage mid-year.
Porn has long been seen as one of the best chances crypto has for adoption: Users can remain anonymous, and performers don’t have to deal with payment processors charging them high fees or unilaterally cutting off services under opaque morality clauses.
Despite this, as Magazine discovered in the past, crypto payments have failed to take off. Pornhub tried and failed with Verge, then moved to using Pumapay’s service, which was crippled by high gas fees on Ethereum and is in the process of relaunching on Binance Smart Chain. SpankChain attempted a more modest platform targeting crypto users but has had limited success so far, though it’s still in the game and is developing “SpankPay V2” based on user feedback. CumRocket is developing an NFT marketplace but reports limited availability of its CUMMIES token on exchanges.
Rae believes a major problem is trying to launch projects with related adult tokens. “I had been watching the fall of other ‘adult shitcoins’ and how their model was destined to fail serving two masters — creators and holders. That is when WetSpace came about.”
Rae points out that adult coins add an extra step to the process, and most are very volatile, which isn’t attractive to users or models.
“So I thought, ‘Well, we don’t need a coin, like, why go through all the drama of this coin? Of course, you’d get a lot of money up front, and it would definitely help fund your project. But luckily, I didn’t need to be concerned about the financial side of it because I had the money to put into it.”
The mother of three teenage sons, Rae is an unlikely pornstar-turned-crypto-entrepreneur. She joined the Navy at 17 and married her husband, Steven, the following year (he sometimes stars in her videos). She then worked for five years in marketing, management and real estate before getting her dream job in nursing. “I was obsessed,” she says. “I was a straight-A nursing student. It was truly my passion and still is, it really is.”
Rae received a Masters in Nursing Education and specialized in neonatal intensive care, nursing sick babies back to health. “Even though it was such a tragic time for so many families, there were also so many great moments,” she says. “I was a wonderful NICU nurse. Very, very good at my job.”
But bored at home during the pandemic, she started up an Instagram account, posting about hockey and craft beer. This attracted a devoted male following, some of whom suggested she start an OnlyFans. When she read news reports that the actress Bella Thorne had made $1 million on the platform in a single day, she decided to take their advice.
“I posted a few pictures, and I really actually had kind of fun with it. It was quite liberating, you know, at my age. And before you knew it, I had so many subscribers, and we were actually making good money on there.”
By the end of her first month, she’d made $6,900 — more than the $6,500 she was paid as a nurse.
Unfortunately for Rae, not everyone is a fan of OnlyFans, and a group of six of what she calls her “mean girl” colleagues, led by a pastor’s wife, stumbled across her Instagram and then screenshotted her OnlyFans content for management.
News spread like wildfire through the hospital, and that was “ultimately what, I think, drove management to have to act.”
“Their overall consensus was that it was now such a distraction on the unit, with everybody knowing, that if I was going to continue to do that, I couldn’t work there,” she adds.
“I wasn’t mentally ready to leave. I’ll tell you it was very difficult. There’s a lot of tears shed in that. But I think given how toxic the environment was and how judged I felt there — I wasn’t looked at the same — it was probably the right thing to do.”
Firing an ICU nurse in the middle of a pandemic due to her porny OnlyFans account is an editor’s wet dream (not Magazine, of course — we’re strictly interested in the future of finance), and the story went viral. She went from making $35,000 a month from her side hustle to $200,000 a month thanks to the publicity. Steven gave up his airline job to help full time with the business.
“Our success was just unbelievable, and so it became hard to not make it a priority,” she says.
“It’s crazy to go from being a suburban hockey mom/nurse to now I’m like this advocate for the sex industry. I mean, it’s very, very different.”
Part of that advocacy is trying to figure out a way for creators and operators to escape the stranglehold that traditional payment processors have on it. In recent years, the war on adult sites by payment processors has ramped up, supported by the emotive campaigns of anti-porn crusaders.
A case in point is the famed New York Times piece in December 2020 called The Children of Pornhub. Columnist Nicholas Kristof sensationally claimed the “site is infested with rape videos. It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags.” He argued the site facilitated sex trafficking and cited a petition with 2.1 million signatures calling for it to be closed.
Often mistakenly referred to as an investigation, the NYT billed the piece as “opinion,” meaning its usual standards of fact-checking don’t apply. Mashable summed up the piece as being based on the “dubious and distorted findings and arguments of one anti-sex work conservative group.” It caused a massive backlash, and Mastercard and Visa quickly announced they would no longer provide services to Pornhub, threatening the viability of the site.
The deplatforming of sex sites by payment companies has ramped up considerably in recent years following the passing of the controversial Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (FOSTA-SESTA) in 2018.
Rae’s first encounter with the issue came when OnlyFans caused outrage in August last year by announcing it would ban “sexually explicit” content, threatening the livelihoods of 2 million creators making a collective $2.3 billion a year. OnlyFans founder and CEO Tim Stokely blamed BNY Mellon, Metro Bank and JPMorgan Chase for refusing to process payments, though the ban was quickly reversed after “banking partners’ assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators.”
“A lot of people at that time were reaching out to me: ‘What do you think about this? Oh, my gosh, where are you going? You’re making so much money. Now where are you going to put your content?’” she recalls.
Rae explains that she’d considered other platforms but realized competitors “are at the mercy of the banks as well.”
“That’s when my brain really got to turn on to: What is the solution to this?” she says. “At that time, I didn’t fully understand the nature of what was going on. But I did a lot of research, and I started to really dive into the dark part of what’s going on in terms of the big financial institutions.”
“Porn is always looked at as taboo. There’s a stigma out there. But the amount of control that these banking industries have over every platform that runs primarily on fiat is scary.”
She argues that OnlyFans gives creators a safer way to work in the sex industry than in a strip club or on the streets. And while she believes in taking firm action against sex trafficking and child pornography, she says those aims are only selectively pursued by payment processors.
A 2020 survey from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children revealed Facebook had 20.3 million reported incidents of child sexual abuse materials, Google had 546,704 incidents, Twitter had 65,062, Snapchat 144,095 and TikTok 22,692.
Way down the bottom of the list was Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek, with 13,000.
“Facebook literally is the leader in child sex trafficking, and they’re definitely not shutting them down,” she says. “How much of it is in regards to them just truly wanting to get rid of the people in this industry (porn) and ban this type of content — is it really about child trafficking?”
“The banks are the issue across the board. And the only natural solution to that is, well, how do we get rid of the banks? Well, luckily, there’s decentralization, and there’s crypto.”
Rae had dabbled in crypto previously, making a bundle off of Dogecoin when Elon Musk’s tweets drove it to the moon and playing around with creating her own NFTs when CumRocket launched its NSFW NFT marketplace in mid-2021.
She says the anonymity of crypto is perfect for users who want to sign up but can’t afford to have an OnlyFans entry on their bank statements.
“I get DMs all the time saying ‘God, I wish I could join OnlyFans. But you know, I just can’t have my accountant seeing all the charges.’” There’s a huge market that a lot of creators aren’t able to tap into.
The WetSpace interface will look a lot like Instagram, with a feed, a discovery feature for creators and, later on, a marketplace enabling models to sell NFTs with added bonuses like free subscriptions, premium snaps or video chats. WetSpace will charge creators 15% (OnlyFans charges 20%), and they can select which cryptocurrencies to accept. They receive the money instantly and don’t have to worry about chargebacks.
Rae says it’s about 90% complete right now, with new features being added all the time.
“We have a Discord that’s really poppin. Lots of creators saying, ‘Hey, are we gonna have this? Can we do this?’ And I’m like, ‘Yes, we’re gonna have so many great things.’ I think it’s going to be a fun place to be for the user and the creator. And I’m excited, and I hope it revolutionizes this entire industry.”
While there’s no doubting her ambitions, so far crypto payments in porn haven’t really worked out. In early 2020, SpankChain performer and ambassador Allie Eve Knox explained why to Magazine:
“These are old dudes that are just trying to get off and then now they have to go through this whole thing of creating a wallet, saving a seed phrase, getting crypto, moving it into a wallet. […] It’s not just ‘I’m gonna go buy porn in 15 minutes and relieve myself’ process.”
Rae, however, believes times have changed and that the tech is more widespread and user-friendly than ever before. She concedes the biggest hurdle will be helping noobs get started, but there will be step-by-step explainers and guides on how to buy crypto through a connected Coinbase, MetaMask or Trust wallet.
“I want very, very clear clicks: like ‘sign up for your wallet here’ step-by-step because I do understand it is a learning curve. We are putting a lot of time and money into the educational side of this. Because it truly is really easy once you get going.”
“Crypto is in your face everywhere now. A couple of years ago, people would laugh at you if you talked about Bitcoin. People were like, ‘Oh, God, one of those Bitcoin people!’ And look at it now. It’s an actual currency. I think a lot of people who didn’t believe in it before are definitely starting to be like, ‘Okay, what is this all about?’ And they’re wanting to know more.”
“There’s no doubt in my mind: It will be a very, very big part of pornography, or any type of subscription base for adult content,” she says. “I don’t think it’s going away.”
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