This weekend, I had set aside time to write another Bitcoin NFT Review on the Stacks ecosystem about MinoTauri. Mid-week I saw some rumblings about a possible rug pull on my Twitter feed. By the end of the week, it was clear I should instead compose a post-mortem on the rug pull itself. Today I’ll take a look at the fallout from the MinoTauri rug pull and talk about the silver linings.
What are MinoTauri NFT’s?
MinoTauri NFT’s are a depiction of the Ancient Greek mythological figure, the Minotaur. This fictional creature with a bull’s head and a man’s body was eventually defeated by the Greek hero, Theseus. The Minotaur is not be confused with another mythical character, the Brahma Bull.
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You can check out my previous reviews of Bitcoin NFT’s built on Stacks, right here:
- Part 1 – Bitcoin Birds
- Part 2 – The Explorer Guild
- Part 3 – Funky Donuts
- Part 4 – Marbling
- Part 5 – Phases of Satoshi
- Part 6 – Tiger Force
- Part 7 – Space Whales
- Part 8 – Stacculents
- Part 9 – Hback Whales Club
- Part 10 – Stacks Parrots
- Part 11 – Bitcoin Monkeys
- Part 12 – Satoshibles
- Part 13 – Crash Punks
- Part 14 – Megapont Ape Club
- Part 15 – Project Indigo
While gathering up notes for my usual review, I saw my good Twitter friend @TheAnonCF post this on Thursday:
Followed by this:
News quickly spread of what is a relatively rare occurrence in the Stacks NFT space. The only NFT I have come across in my research so far that engaged in a possible breach of trust was Space Whales. I haven’t come across anything remotely serious in the other projects that I have documented so far.
How did MinoTauri get rug pulled?
We can look at their roadmap for the answer here. The team had objectives like many other collections in the Stacks NFT space, such as bridges to the Ethereum and Solana chains and space in the Metaverse through Sandbox. However, this objective is at the root of the rug pull:
“MinoTauri will be the first collection to allow its holders to leverage their NFT’s… They will be able to receive from 30%-80% of the value of their NFT in Stacks depending on the volatility of the market... After repaying the amount borrowed in Stacks, you will be able to unlock your NFT and it will be transferred back into your wallet.“
I understand why everyone would be excited to try this out. I did not personally own or stake any MinoTauri. But the carnage I’ve witnessed from the Luna and Wonderland debacles likely would have kept me sidelined until I saw a track record of success.
“The pricing of NFT’s will consist of a mathematical model… In the event that your NFT should go down in value, the mechanism will liquidate your position.”
An undisclosed “mathematical model” that determines pricing and can cause your NFT to get liquidated was the most egregious red flag.
Additionally, the project leader, @BacusBTC was an unknown, undoxxed entity. He took off with the staked NFT’s, shut down the Discord along with his Twitter last week and disappeared.
“Not your keys, not your coins” has never been more true. A hardware wallet is essential. Keeping your crypto tokens on an exchange exposes your assets to potential loss and theft. Ledger makes accessing your NFT’s and your crypto safe and easy.
What was the overall reaction from the Stacks community?
On Twitter, it seemed to be disappointment mixed with the sober understanding that these things do happen in the cryptoverse.
Almost as soom as the rug became common knowledge, the MinoTauri community came together for a “Minotauri Rug Party.”
What can we learn moving forward?
Bad actors exist everywhere. I don’t care what profession you have in mind, teachers, judges, hot dog vendors, police officers or circus clowns, a small percentage of them will have bad intentions, guaranteed. The Stacks ecosystem, although filled with many awesome people, cannot defy the laws of human nature. Myself and everyone reading will likely get rugged at some point. The risk is unavoidable. It is a part of the game we’re all playing.
Is there a silver lining here?
Anyone in the Stacks space has the opportunity to learn from this. Many of us may spare ourselves from a potential rug pull of much greater magnitude thanks to the lessons we take away from MinoTauri today.
We’re all still very early in the NFT space as a whole. A learning experience like this sucks, but we’re basically in the larval stage (hope that’s right, I’m not known for my biological acumen) and the advantage of adjusting from here, with so much more growth ahead of us can’t be overstated.
Also, let’s not forget, MinoTauri is a visually distinctive collection. Lead artist Benoit Ricard put in some impressive work. I may or may not have grabbed a few Minos myself. For the culture, of course.
The Minos that weren’t stolen are still available on the exchanges. While I’m not sure about the logistics of doing so, an interested party taking over the project may allow MinoTauri the chance to eventually emerge victorious from the Labyrinth.
-The Crypto Trend Analyst
P.S. I received an assist from my good friend @TheAnonCF who helped me gather some of the intel for this blog, is quite knowledgeable about all things Stacks and is well worth the follow.