Slerf memecoin meltdown only adds to mania

People have gotten really into memecoin trading on Solana recently. Like really into it. Someone decided they'd hop on the bandwagon with "Slerf", a sloth-themed memecoin they said would launch with a 50% presale.

Thanks to the aforementioned frenzy, the project managed to raise $10 million in the presale. However, things went sideways when the developer accidentally burned the $10 million by sending them to an address where they would be permanently inaccessible. "oh fuck", the developer wrote ominously on Twitter, before explaining their mistake.

Some speculated that the screwup may have been a marketing ploy, in which case it was very successful, because the token went on to post more than $2.7 billion in trading volume over a 24-hour period — more than the entire ETH trading volume in that period. The monumental error by the developers seemed to have no damper on the overall frenzy around memecoins, or even produced the opposite effect.

Surely this trend won't end badly.

Someone accidentally burns $1.36 million Tether

Someone accidentally threw away $1.36 million when they accidentally sent Tethers to the Tether contract address — making them permanently inaccessible in a process known as "burning". This is a rather common phenomenon in crypto, where it's easy to accidentally copy/paste the wrong address.

Most experienced crypto users have adopted the habit of sending small test transactions before transferring large amounts of tokens, to first check that they're using the correct address. Oddly, this person did so in this case, but then went right ahead and transferred the remaining tokens to the erroneous address.

The person may have lucked out that they were using a centralized stablecoin like Tether, whose operators hold a substantial amount of control over freezing, destroying, and creating new Tethers — and could feasibly replace the burned tokens.

Raft exploited for $3.3 million, then hacker screws up

An attacker exploited the Raft defi project after finding a vulnerability that allowed them to mint 6.7 million of Raft's R stablecoin without any backing.

The attacker then went to convert the R into ETH, which they would then be able to launder and cash out. However, an error in the attacker's code caused 1,570 ETH ($3.25 million) to be sent to the burn address, rendering it permanently inaccessible to everyone including the hacker. Only 7 ETH remained. However, because they had to spend ETH to fund the attack, the hack ultimately resulted in a loss of 4 ETH (~$8,000) for the perpetrator. Oops.

As a result of the hack, the R stablecoin lost its dollar peg, plummeting down to around $0.70. Raft acknowledged the attack and announced that they had paused minting.

Gitcoin loses $500,000 in transfer SNAFU

After agreeing to allocate $500,000 to "MMM" (merchandise, memes, and marketing — no, really), Gitcoin screwed up sending the money so badly that it's gone forever. Whoever was in charge of making the transfer accidentally pasted the Gitcoin contract address into the recipient field, rendering the tokens permanently inaccessible. Such mistakes can be devastating, and yet are very common in the crypto world, where transfers are irreversible.

Collector accidentally burns their $123,000 CryptoPunk

A pixel art person with light brown skin and a brown mohawk, wearing sunglassesCryptoPunk #685 (attribution)
The new owner of a CryptoPunk, one of the most popular early NFT projects, accidentally burned the NFT they had only just purchased. After spending 77 ETH ($123,434) on the NFT, the owner tried to wrap it so they could borrow against it.

However, some confusing instructions resulted in the owner sending the punk to the burn address, effectively destroying the NFT. "I was trying to wrap it and don't know what I was doing... Thought I was following the directions exactly..." they later wrote. They also later shared that they had borrowed money in order to purchase the CryptoPunk.

Juno accidentally transfers $36 million in seized funds to inaccessible wallet address

A protracted discussion and two different votes ended with the Juno project deciding to confiscate all but 50,000 of the 3 million $JUNO accumulated by one individual. When the discussions began, the 2.95 million $JUNO to be confiscated were worth a combined $121 million. However, the $JUNO price has dropped from the then all-time-high of around $40 to under $13, putting the value of the tokens to be confiscated closer to $38 million.

Juno intended to transfer the seized tokens from the individual whale's wallet to a community-controlled wallet. However, the person making the transfer accidentally copied and pasted the wrong value, resulting in the funds being sent to a wallet address that no one can access — effectively burning the tokens.

Daniel Hwang, who helps run one of the Juno validators, said to CoinDesk, "We fucked up big time". He also offered an unusual opinion: "Validators should have due diligenced for ourselves to actually check the code we're executing and running".

Shortly after the botched transaction, the Juno community began voting on a proposal to hard fork a second time to fix their mistake.

German museum accidentally burns two valuable Cryptopunks NFTs in copy-paste error

A pixel art human wearing a purple baseball cap and smoking a cigaretteCryptopunk #2838 (attribution)
An employee of the ZKM Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe accidentally sent two of their four Cryptopunk NFTs back to its smart contract address. This is referred to as "burning" the NFTs, because the address is inaccessible and the NFTs are permanently impossible to trade as a result. The employee had copied the Cryptopunks contract address while browsing Etherscan, and didn't realize that was what he was pasting while making the transfer — wallet addresses are long hex strings like 0xb47e3cd​837ddf8e4c​57f05d70a​b865de6e​193bbb and are prone to errors like this since they are not easily distinguished at a glance. The two NFTs were originally acquired for the museum for approximately $100 each in 2017, and are individually valued at around $187,000 as of January 2022.

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