Last week, life took a further turn toward live action MMORPG, as I learned ‘vampire attacks’ are now a real thing. The former WoD player in me got a little less excited when I discovered they’re not exactly what they sound like, but still. As business strategy goes, it beats most of the buzzwords they throw around on Succession.
Basically, vampire attacks are a web3 phenomenon, in which companies undercut competitors by offering crypto incentives explicitly designed to lure over their target’s users. For example, LooksRare, an NFT marketplace in the vein of OpenSea, tripled the latter’s monthly volume in January by airdropping its ICO, $LOOKS tokens, to major NFT artists, in exchange for listing on the new platform. Then, once a strong floor value had been established, LooksRare offered free tokens to all users as a reward for selling on the platform.
According to a Coinbase analysis, this strategy created a company that can double OpenSea’s daily volume, all the while attracting a mere fraction of their users. But what this really means is that most of said ‘volume’ is probably the same collectors with significant crypto capital at their command gaming the system. If they trade their own NFTs back and forth between their own wallets, they can indefinitely generate free $LOOKS tokens. Granted, the ETH spent on gas fees would cancel out the immediate gains. But they may be betting on a higher return on investment from the newer token, which would make sense, considering it sat comfortably last Friday at over 500% APR.
Its perch is looking a little less comfortable, though, as of a few days ago, when the anonymous team behind LooksRare cashed out $30m in unattributed $LOOKS, leading to a 20% drop in the token’s value and some good old rugpull panic. (The ‘bank run’ of 2022.) My day one H0Rs would’ve known better than to trust a bitch called ‘anonymous team’, but free money always beats out logic, especially on web3.
If, however, you do undervalue rational thinking, and missed the week-long $LOOKS gold rush, you’re in luck. Yet another vampire with an OpenSea bloodlust emerged on Wednesday. x2y2, an NFT marketplace, is airdropping its ICO, $X2Y2, to OpenSea users in exchange for listing on the new platform. A little redundant? Sure. But folklore is, by definition, derivative. Meet one bogeyman and you’ve seen them all.
And, indeed, the x2y2 airdrop is currently on pause, after recipients observed a clause in the contract leaving their NFTs vulnerable to theft. The team ‘provided proof’ of ‘revoking its ability to drain user wallets’, which sounds to me like Nosferatu pinky swearing he kicked the old bloodsucking habit for good, but it hasn’t kept amateur investors from pouring money into the new token in the hopes of another 500% pump.
The risk tolerant among you might be willing to wade into the red sea to ride the inevitable wave tomorrow when the airdrop unfreezes. But to paraphrase another paranormal enthusiast, reader beware… we warned you not to play with pointy sticks.