Little Shapes was a ‘social experiment’ to expose NFT botnets: founder

CoinTelegraph reported:

Atto, the pseudonymous founder behind Little Shapes NFT has revealed that the project was actually a “social experiment” designed to shed light on large-scale NFT bot network scams on Twitter.

Since late December, Little Shapes had been attracting a fair amount of attention from the media and crypto community. This is due to several semi-viral tweets detailing incidents in the founder’s life that seemed too good to be true.

Examples of such included him waking up from a five-month coma, finding out he had assets locked on FTX, telling his wife and then finding out she was cheating on him with other people in the NFT industry.

In a Feb. 2 Twitter thread however, the Little Shapes NFT account stated to its 30,800 followers: “thanks for participating everyone – Little Shapes was a social experiment by @BALLZNFT” and shared a link to a 158-page document.

“The exposé was real though. Here’s how a ring of influencers and founders drained $200 million+ out of the ecosystem over 274 projects,” Little Shapes NFT wrote, adding that:

“Over the past year, NFT Twitter has been manipulated and controlled mostly by a singular Twitter botnet. It showed up mostly in February 2022, and then was used in conjunction with a network of influencers and alpha groups to sell out projects.”

The document itself is titled “The insider NFT bot network that’s been controlling the market behind the scenes.”

It alleges that since February 2022, a large number of low-level NFT projects have deployed bot networks to artificially build hype and legitimacy, all in a bid to rug-pull investors.

Speaking with BuzzFeed News on Feb. 2, Atto who is also the founder of BALLZNFT, described Little Shapes as “performance art” and stressed that “people don’t pay attention unless you give them a reason to.”

“I needed a story that sells to make sure no one would ignore a story that hurts,” he said.

The document points to bot networks such as “Dmister” that sell social media engagement as a key avenue for such NFTs projects, as it only charges around $100 per 1,000 likes, retweets and replies.

The BALLZNFT team even used Dmister to promote Little Shapes NFT to provide an example of how it works.

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Little Shapes bot engagement post: The insider NFT bot network that’s been controlling the market behind the scenes

Once these projects have successfully built up enough hype to rope in actual investors, they “get rug-pulled or fucked over, usually in the course of a few months, and the people behind the project make $3 or $4 million,” Atto told Buzz Feed, adding that:

“What I found frustrating is we’re in a space ranked completely by social capital and fake Twitter engagement where nothing’s real.”

Little Shapes was previously depicted as an upcoming avatar-style project with 4,444 NFTs that utilized a specific software “engine” to enable owners to interact and change the form of their token’s associated artwort in real-time.

Related: Nifty News: Bitcoin NFTs cause spicy fees, Mastercard exec tokenizes resignation letter and more

BALLZNFT however, appears to be genuine given that the NFT project had its first mint on Feb. 3 with its token artwork depicting references to the whole Little Shapes debacle.

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