An MMA fighter was tricked into Shilling NFT by popular Youtuber

BluShark Media
5 min readFeb 4, 2023

TL:DR

  • CoffeeZilla tricked a popular MMA fighter into doing NFTs for $1000 and exposed the issue with influencers
  • little false shapes
  • The NFT space is still vulnerable to fake projects and scams.

CoffeeZilla exposes cryptocurrency scammers

CoffeeZilla, a well-known YouTuber and cryptocurrency researcher, has revealed another disturbing case of fraud in the NFT market. American mixed martial artist Dillon Danis was caught promoting a fake NFT project to his fans, without disclosing that he was paid $1,000 for the ad.

The NFT market experienced a surge in popularity in 2021 and 2022 with the support of many high-profile celebrities. However, this increased attention has also brought to light cases where some celebrities have unknowingly promoted unvetted projects to their fans. Unfortunately, this trend continues into 2023 as markets recover.

The ruse

Coffeezilla has claimed that it tricked Bellator MMA fighter Dillon Danis into promoting a fake NFT project. According to Coffeezilla, he and his team paid Danis $1,000 to post the link, but Danis didn’t reveal it as an advertisement. In Danis’s now-deleted tweet, he wrote: “Check this out! SourzNFT candies are Moonbound.” that Coffeezilla says spells the word “scam”. The link that the Coffeezilla team gave Danis gave the illusion of allowing users to mint, but instead took them to a page showing Danis’ previous crypto projects and the money he was paid to promote them.

Coffeezilla, who has made a name for himself as YouTube’s top investigator regarding various crypto influencer scams, previously revealed what he found about Logan Paul’s CryptoZoo project, prompting Paul to apologize. Coffeezilla says that the NFT project Danis was promoting was fake and that if users tried to “coin” it, they would be taken to a website that displayed all of Danis’s past scams. As of writing, Danis has yet to comment on the situation.

The CoffeeZilla ruse involved Danis tweeting a digital image with the URL of a website that, according to the YouTuber, “literally spells SCAM.” Further investigation showed that the website was only created on February 1, 2023, a crucial red flag in determining the credibility of a new project. The website’s FAQ section also mentions that no investor would be able to get their hands on “Sourz” NFTs, which was a critical detail that Danis overlooked.

In June 2021, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) noted another similar incident involving Kim Kardashian. The SEC claimed that Kardashian violated the anti-promotion provision of the Securities Act by promoting the EthereumMax (EMAX) crypto token without disclosing the $250,000 he received for the promotion.

However, CoffeeZilla took swift action and notified users that they fell for the fake NFT project. When users click the “Mint Sourz” button, they are redirected to a website that warns them about the potential scam. The incident serves as a powerful reminder for influencers and investors to thoroughly investigate projects before promoting or investing in them.

Small NFT Shapes

Another project, Little Shapes NFT, was launched in November 2021 with the intention of shedding light on large-scale NFT botnet scams on Twitter. The project, founded by the pseudonym Atto, was marketed as an upcoming avatar-style project with 4,444 NFTs that would allow owners to interact with and change the artwork in real time. “I needed a story that would sell to make sure no one would ignore a story that hurts,” Atto explained when talking about his motivation behind launching the NFT project.

Little Shapes NFT, the social experiment that aimed to shed light on NFT botnet scams on Twitter, has come to an end. The Little Shapes founder, who goes by the pseudonym Atto, revealed that the project was performance art designed to draw attention to the widespread manipulation of the NFT market. In a 158-page document, the Little Shapes team detailed how a network of influencers and alpha groups used Twitter botnets to drain more than $200 million from the NFT ecosystem over the past year.

The Little Shapes NFT team discovered that low-level NFT projects would create artificial hype and legitimacy via Twitter botnets. These projects would then attract real investors, who would ultimately be manipulated and the people behind the projects would make millions. One of the main avenues for NFT projects to use botnets is Dmister, a company that sells social media shares for around $100 per 1,000 likes, retweets, and replies.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Atto discussed his frustration with the NFT space, which he believes is ranked entirely by social capital, and Twitter’s false engagement where nothing is real. The Little Shapes NFT team even used Dmister to promote Little Shapes NFT as an example of how botnets can manipulate the NFT market.

Previously, Little Shapes was featured as an upcoming avatar-style project with 4,444 NFTs that used a software engine to allow owners to interact with and change the shape of the artwork associated with their token in real time. The Little Shapes NFT project may have come to an end, but the information and insights it has provided will continue to influence the NFT community for years to come.

Ok, now what?

Going forward, it is important that the NFT community be more vigilant and do their due diligence before investing in any NFT project. This will help prevent botnets and other fraudulent activities from damaging the ecosystem and will allow the NFT market to continue to grow and mature in a sustainable manner.

With the information and insights provided by CoffeeZilla and Little Shapes NFT, the NFT community can now take action to ensure a safer and more transparent marketplace. It is clear that the NFT space is still in its early stages and much work remains to be done to weed out fraudulent activities and promote a healthier ecosystem. However, the NFT community can take comfort in the knowledge that projects like Little Shapes NFT are working to protect the industry and promote a more transparent and secure future for NFTs.

The NFT market is still in its early stages, and it is essential that investors and influencers be cautious and do their own research before promoting or investing in a project. The work of people like CoffeeZilla is crucial in exposing fraud and scams in the world of cryptocurrency and helps keep the industry safe for everyone.

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