Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: An NFT project sells a ton of tokens, making a shit ton of cash in the process for a thing that probably will exist in the future. Then the project and folks involved disappear with the money, leaving those who bought into it screwed. Well, it’s reportedly happened again, this time with Blockverse, an NFT project connected (unofficially) to Minecraft.
As reported by PCGamer, Blockverse launched last week and is claimed to be an “on-chain Ethereum NFT that enables a unique P2E on Minecraft” which basically boils down to a private Minecraft server that is only open to folks with a Blockverse NFT. Even though selling access to servers is a thing that has been done for years without NFTs, there was still a lot of “hype” around the project. And on January 23, Blockverse launched and sold around 10,000 NFTs—selling out in less than 10 minutes while earning an estimated $1.2 million. However, a few days after allegedly making all that money the creators behind the project deleted Blockverse’s website, game server, and official Discord.
As you might expect, this led to a lot of people calling the whole thing a scam and demanding answers. After a few days of silence from the creators, and as those in the community tracked down information about the project leads, Blockverse headed to Twitter and provided an update on the situation, with the devs sharing an explanation and apology.
“Hey, all. We feel that we owe everyone an apology, and more importantly an explanation. Blockverse was supposed to be a great project, as before our launch we invested an enormous amount of time and resources working on it. Everything was fully legitimate: our contract was verified, the game infrastructure was fully set up, and our launch went well, albeit with some small bumps along the road.
After the launch, we went straight to work continuing development on Phase 2, a future expansion of Blockverse. In the midst of our continued development, we failed to realize and contain all the FUD that was going on through a multitude of issues, including but not limited to: gas fees being high, MC server not being able to hold everyone at once, and the lack of utility of $DIAMONDS. Eventually, things started spiraling out of control.”
The Blockverse team then explained that as anger grew in the community and people began asking more questions—stuff about when problems with the server would be fixed, why fees were so high, etc—the team panicked. As reported “harassment, threats, and doxxing” continued, it was decided the best course of action was to delete it all and just disappear into the night, with over a million dollars.
“Unfortunately, there has not been a chance to open back up yet because it seems the situation has only worsened,” explained Blockchain’s team in its long, rambling statement. “While we have delivered everything already promised, we understand why people may be displeased with everything that has happened and we feel the obligation to keep our fully functional game online.”
Yeah, I would feel an obligation to keep my game online if I just sold over $1 million worth of content to customers of said game.
According to Blockverse’s team, the supposed plan was that “once everyone had time to calm down” they would return. Which many in the community doubted, hence why PC Gamer reports that so many of them started a separate Discord server and began trying to track down the folks behind the project in an attempt to figure out a solution.
One person from that separate server spoke to PC Gamer, explaining the folks who bought into Blockverse have “a bit of a paper trail” on the devs behind the project, including a Coinbase address and more.
“They thought they got away,” said the user. “And now they know we have that trail they left.”
“We are disappointed that the community jumped to false accusations so quickly,” said the Blockverse team. “But we still believe in our project, and in order for everyone else to regain that faith, we are in talks with professionals in the space about how we may proceed. Our intention is to work with other trusted developers and community members, granting them access to our website, servers, and all of the backend infrastructure so that there is no risk in people’s minds of the project going offline. We’re aware of how much damage we’ve caused already, but we hope that this gesture towards the community can help us get back on track.”
Sounds like some people behind Blockverse realized the legal trouble they might be facing and are trying to now clean their hands of the whole thing by handing the keys over to the community. However, it reported that while the creators are open to handing over the project to the community, they want to keep all the money. That basically sums this all up.