Ethereum L2 meme coin BALD, under Coinbase incubation, rug-pulls $68 million from investors at “presale stage”

  • BALD, an Ethereum Layer-2 meme coin has turned out to be a rug pull causing $68 million in losses.
  • The fraud caught unsuspecting investors by surprise while they enjoyed massive gains made overnight.
  • Project founder has since vanished, committing to refund investors after multiplying profits from the loot.

Ethereum Layer-2 meme coin BALD has turned out to be a rug pull, leaving victims with massive losses. The heartbreaking news comes while unsuspecting investors were still enjoying triple digit gains as recently reported.

Also Read: BALD meme coin on Coinbase Layer 2 Base chain yields massive gains for traders overnight

Ethereum L2 BALD rug-pulls on still-nesting blockchain BASE

BALD, a viral meme coin running under Coinbase’s BASE blockchain and built atop the OP Stack software has rug pulled approximately $68 million from investors as they continued to celebrate triple-digit gains made in just over 24 hours.

BALD/ETH 15-min chart

As BASE is still incubating under Coinbase, traders could only send funds through a one-way bridge to the blockchain. This means that one could convert their Ether (ETH) to cbETH when they sent it to the Base contract, allowing them to buy/sell/swap money on the BASE layer. Nevertheless, it is impossible to bridge it back as there are no bridges to facilitate a “return trip” just yet.

Still, they sent their ETH in the millions, with obvious expectations for lucrative returns cognizant of the fact that the blockchain was still nascent and yet to make an official premiere.

For the layperson, a bridge is a blockchain-based tool through that a user can transfer tokens from one network to another. Noteworthy, the bait was enticing considering the historical surge of projects in their early stages, just like PEPE did and many others like it.

Overview BALD Project Timeline

BALD ran on the BASE chain, which had been developed and availed to developers earlier in July, giving them an avenue to develop their own applications and blockchain-based products in readiness for a scheduled launch later in the year. The BALD developer leveraged this offering to sell his project.

The project was launched on July 29 on LeetSwap decentralized exchange (DEX), rolling out with a blast to record upwards of 4,000,000% gains as investors locked large volumes of assets in BASE, a blockchain that is yet to go live.

The project presented as one of the most lucrative, so much so that one investor made upwards of $800,000 in profits within 18 hours after investing only $9,800.

Another trader raked in $1.4 million after seeding in only $500. These millionaire-making events came as the BALD market capitalization sprinted to $85 million within hours. With these success stories trending on crypto X, capital inflow to the program multiplied a hundredfold, catapulting the trading volume to upwards of $100 million in under 24 hours.

As unsuspecting investors bridged their funds on the Base chain, some knowing there was only a unilateral bridge; fortunes were made as traders capitalized on the hype. Overflows from BALD boded well for other tokens running on BASE blockchain, with the likes of brian (BRIAN), toshi (TOSHI), and basedbot (BOT), among others, jumping a thousand fold with early entrants multiplying their seed money in monumental proportions.

The ensuing demand pressure saw BALD record an all-time high of around $0.1000 as indicated in the chart above, giving it mainstream attraction. As of July 31, BALD market liquidity was still increasing, with the token developer progressively adding more ETH to a liquidity pool that was steadily trading BALD against Ethereum. Data shows that on at one point on July 31, the BALD/ETH trading pair held more than $32 million in liquidity with upwards of $100 million in volume.

According to the Lookonchain blockchain aggregator, the liquidity influx came in the form of four transactions, likely by accomplices, moving a total of 0.534 ETH, or just over $1,000, to buy 50 million BALD within 4 minutes of the token’s issuance. The addresses proceeded to sell 37 million BALD for 554 ETH, which translates to approximately $1.04 million.

All these culminated to an unfortunate incident, when the developer pulled the rug from underneath the investors by removing nearly 70% of the liquidity.

BALD project developer leaves goodbye message

The project developer has since left a goodbye message to their victims, explaining why he executed the rug pull. In his own words:

The developer has deleted their account.

What investors ought to have investigated

In the heat of the surge, investors failed to cross-examine the project’s fundamentals including tokenomics, roadmap, utility, and developing community. As it turned out, BALD was devoid of proper fundamentals, making it a classical pyramid scheme where only “early investors and influencers made the most gains,” as Coindesk puts it. The rest suffered catastrophic losses on the back of exit liquidity.

The incident has provided a loophole for other bad actors, comprising developers who launched their own imitations that could not be sold in the open market.

Imitations that cannot be sold to the open market

It remains to be seen whether investors will be able to cash in their gains given the unidirectional bridge.

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