NFT Project Friendsies Suddenly ‘Pauses’ Operations, Sparking Rumors of a Possible Rug Pull

NFT Project Friendsies Suddenly ‘Pauses’ Operations, Sparking Rumors of a Possible Rug Pull

On February 21st, Friendsies, a non-fungible token (NFT) collection that recently raised approximately $5 million, announced in an unexpected way that it would be taking a “pause” on its roadmap, sparking rumors in the community of a possible rug pull.

According to the Friendsies team, “the volatility and challenges of the market” complicated the project’s progress, so they decided to set it aside while the space continued to mature. They added that the team would be “waiting and watching for the right time and opportunities” to reappear and fulfill their complete vision, thanking everyone who believed in and supported the project from the beginning.

However, the decision made by the developers was not well received by the community, as many indicated that they were facing the possibility of a rug pull from one of the most promising NFT projects in the ecosystem. This might have been catalyzed by the fact that the project’s accounts disappeared – at least temporarily.

Community Responds to the Possibility of a Rug Pull

Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III launched The Friendsies collection in April 2022 through a Dutch auction that started at 3.33 ETH ($5,510). Ultimately, the project was able to accumulate a total of $5.3 million from the minting of 10,000 NFTs, according to Twitter user ZachXBT, who indicated that it is unknown “how the funds could’ve possibly been spent.”

According to ZachXBT, the developers indicated in their roadmap that “1.25% of all royalties (~47 ETH) were supposed to be distributed back to holders,” but this never happened, and they made sure to leave no traces of it by deleting the roadmap from Discord.

For their part, NFT investor Tmagled argued that a year after being attacked for speaking poorly of the project, the rug pull he so strongly advised against was finally materializing.

Former NFT Exec of Mastercard Comes to the Rescue

Satvik Sethi, CEO of Joincircle, a social app focused on Web3 and former NFT product chief for Mastercard, spoke out on Twitter to make a public offer to Friendsies, proposing to take over the project to move it forward with a new team.

Sethi has yet to receive a response from the Friendsies developers, but many members of the NFT community have offered their support to continue the project.

It is worth mentioning that a rug pull (or the rumors of it) can be highly detrimental to investors. If such an event happens, they may lose their money extremely quickly, and it is hard to set legal responsibilities on a decentralized project. On the other hand, if rumors spread out and gain enough strength, the lack of trust might play against any possible plans that a team has to move forward. Both scenarios have happened before.

The Friendsies team later posted a tweet assuring its fanbase that they had no intentions to rug-pull investors, probably as a response to the massive influx of hate they were receiving:

There is a lot of uncertainty in the community at this moment. Will Friendsies become the first NFT rug pull of 2023, will it move on after the “misunderstanding,” or will they accept Sethi’s offer to save the project? Right now, the only ones with the answer are the developers, and they have remained silent.


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