Airdrops have apparently become the next big thing in DeFi as means of “fair” distribution of tokens of fresh projects.
The first one to really catch the attention of the masses was Uniswap with their UNI governance token. Everyone who used the platform received a minimum of 400 UNI tokens. At the time, many people sold their share to cash in some “free money.”
Another project to do so was MEME Protocol that airdropped around 350 MEME tokens, currently worth about $350,000 to the first few members to join their Telegram group. As CryptoPotato reported, that stack was worth around $700,000 at the peak price of the token.
Today, a bunch of screenshots of conversations between some of the most popular ETH influencers and proponents in what was apparently supposed to be a closed Telegram group shows their plans to create a worthless token with the sole intention of pumping its price. “An experiment,” as they called it.
FEW – Bringing Crypto Back to the Wild Wild West
Crypto Twitter is exploding today with screenshots of conversations between some of the most prominent ETH proponents, such as Anthony Sassano, DeFi Dude, and many others.
The goal was simple – create a group of 50 “smart people,” airdrop a bunch of tokens to them and watch them shill it away. A few screenshots, allegedly from the conversation between some of the members reveal what was going on:
Leaked Conversation. Source: Twitter
“First we get the members, then we airdrop, then – we figure out what the fu*k we’re doing.” – DeFi Dude said. Not shady at all.
Anthony Sassano was caught saying that they “need people to dump on.” Another screenshot reveals DeFi Dude answering to a message saying, “… and we pump it, legally.” Sure, there’s not much context to this, but is this the expected behavior of people who’re supposedly helping this community move forward?
The group discussed how they intended to do something like MEME because they (or at least some of them) missed it. As CryptoPotato reported, Anthony Sassano was part of the MEME Protocol airdrop as well.
Many of the people involved in the initial FEW 50 explained their actions after the fact. Anthony Sassano said that all of it was a “joke” and urged people not to buy the token as “it’s worthless.”
Further in the thread, he explained that people attacking him “is just shitty… people who know me know this is just my sense of humor and was a joke. But it’s going to circulate and be taken out of context regardless.”
Other members of the first FEW 50 largely expressed the same idea – that it was nothing but a joke.
And here’s what a lot of people have a problem with. Speaking on the matter was Udi Wertheimer, who said:
these GOD-TIER eth influencers were screaming for 2 months about how rich they became farming potatoes
how come they had to burn their reputations issuing some crappy nothingcoin NOW after making trillions of dollars?
or were they LARPing all along? hmm https://t.co/WfPBUpRWJF
— Udi Wertheimer (@udiWertheimer) September 22, 2020
The problem is that most of those people have a serious following and a lot of regular users consider their authority and reputation. Whether they wanted to be in this position of power is entirely irrelevant. Once you get to a point where your voice is heard and listened to, it’s nothing but common sense to be responsible.
Now, Sassano argues that this is the “first” joke that he made, and it will get him “cancel” without actual merits… that people are calling him out without context.
How much context do we really need, though? For me, personally, it looks like a bunch of people with serious influence over the Twitter masses attempted to create something they knew could net a lot of cash, got caught, and are now desperately trying to save their reputation.
If it truly was a joke, why not make it public from the get-go? Why wait for people to leak those screenshots before giving any explanation?
The token didn’t really reach the market, but some people created a fake and listed it on Uniswap – that’s likely irrelevant.
But what if those FEW 50 people went through with everything they planned? What if they created a token? What if they started talking about it on Twitter? What if its price really did explode (as they clearly intended based on their conversation)? What if their airdropped tokens were suddenly worth six figures? What if no one leaked those screenshots?
These are questions that we can’t really get an objective answer to, and each one of us has to make their own conclusions.
Sassano has since said that he burned his tokens to prove that he’s not “going to dump” on anyone.
Since this screenshot is going to circulate like crazy I want to get one thing straight – it was me making a joke when this group was just a few people.
— Anthony Sassano | sassal.eth ⛽ 🏴 (@sassal0x) September 22, 2020
He’s also said that “I was planning to donate any money that I got from it to Gitcoin (believe that or not).”
The most logical question about this is how you’d get any money if you didn’t “dump” on someone?
It’s entirely possible that all of this was a joke. It’s entirely possible that no one of those involved in this actually planned to scam people out of their money. But that’s not what matters.
What matters is the fact that reputable people with serious standing in the community shouldn’t even consider being involved in some shady, behind-the-curtain plays like this one, regardless of whether they think it’s a joke or not.
Transparency is one of the main and inherent postulates of the technology that we’re all supposedly “in it” for. And this goes against it directly.
Worst of all – these kinds of “jokes” set crypto back. It shatters the beliefs of anyone who thinks that we’re out of the Wild Wild West years of the industry when people were single-handedly moving markets. We’re right there in the center of it, it’s just a new narrative.
No one can take away the contribution of most of these people to the field. It’s just that you can’t afford to make jokes of the kind. Or, at least, you shouldn’t.
This article is entirely the opinion of the author.