A prominent household name in Web3, Elena, is on the receiving end of “an incredible amount of hate” regarding her Atomic Ordinals project. This follows the discovery that Elena utilized stolen NFT art for the project. Here’s the whole story.
- Prominent Web3 figure Elena faces significant backlash over her Atomic Ordinals project due to the use of stolen NFT art. Allegations of art theft have caused controversy regarding the project, which was intended to feature exclusive on-chain abstract art on rare Bitcoin Sats.
- Evidence emerged suggesting Elena imitated another artist’s project, and further proof was provided showing the similarities between Elena’s art and the original artworks. This revelation damaged Elena’s credibility and sparked a scandal within the initial controversy.
- Elena’s response to the controversy included postponing the project launch, addressing concerns about the art, and claiming she never had ill intent. However, her contradictory statements and failure to take responsibility further fueled community outrage. This led to negative reactions and consequences, such as her departure from Azuki. The incident highlights the need for caution and due diligence in the Web3 space.
What is Atomic Ordinals by Elena?
Atom Ordinals is an NFT collection on the BRC-20 network by notable Web3 influencer, Elena. The collection aimed to represent Elena’s diverse interests through its exclusive on-chain abstract art inscribing rare Bitcoin Sats. The supply was small, limited to just 250 pieces. Each piece supposedly held historical significance and carried a vision for a “healthy crypto world.”
At the center of the collection is the Heart of Genesis, inscribed on a Sat mined by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Before the recent controversy, the Heart of Genesis auction pieces sold for 0.7875 BTC, that’s around $23,700.
However, due to recent news shedding light on the use of Stolen NFT Art, both Elena and the project are currently the talk of the Web3 town. The main collection was due to mint on Magic Eden with a mint price of 0.05 BTC ($1,500) on June 21st, 2023. However, Elena has postponed the drop. To make things worse, Magic Eden has removed Atomic Ordinals from its launchpad.
Unoriginal Origins: Did Atomic Ordinals Use Stolen NFT Art?
Prior to revealing this scandal, Atomic Ordinals already had issues surrounding it. A fellow female Web3 enthusiast and artist named Mulan had called Elena out for imitating her project, Abstraordinals. As you can see in the image, the evidence is compelling.
In response, Elena claimed that she created the art herself. In a Tweet, she stated “pixel by pixel done by me,” with a screen recording of her on Adobe Illustrator. However, people soon found discrepancies and flooded the comments section, further adding fuel to the fire.
Later, it was proven that Elena stole and purchased art for her project. In a thread, the proof was provided by DachshundWizard and Mulan, as images of Elena’s art and the original artworks were placed side by side. This is where things went from bad to worse for Elena.
The Plot Thickens: a Scandal Within a Scandal
As new details on the scandal unfolded throughout the day, several Elena supporters started to back her up. One supporter, Jen, claimed the evidence came from an unreliable source.
The Tweet reads:
“To everyone blowing up @ElenaaETH about this latest controversy, this is the guy dach that “reported on her” he’s sent me as well as several other women pictures of his genitals in Discord.”
While it has not been confirmed whether this is true or not, it’s certainly an interesting thought. Jen later commented “Perverts tend not to be the most credible sources,” making it difficult to know who to believe. Therefore, the best way to judge the situation is to look at Elena’s response.
How Did Elena Respond to the Controversy?
In her official Tweet, Elena informed the community that she will be postponing the drop. This is because she had received an “incredible amount of hate, including numerous death threats” in her DMs.
Additionally, she also addressed the concerns regarding the art, and stated that she will “be working to fix the file quality and any images that might be seen as copied as they were only retraces.” She then explained that she never had any ill intent and wanted people to respect her “privacy and space.”
Then, during the AMA addressing the FUD, someone asked Elena if she attempted to make it a pixel-perfect match to the art pieces. Contradicting herself, she stated, “I really like the way it looked, so yeah.” This suggests that she was aware of the similarities, and instead of just taking inspiration, she straight up copied the artwork.
Moreover, in her regularly scheduled “GM to absolutely everyone” morning Tweet, she explained that she will continue to work on her art. She also encouraged people to mint her art collection to support her for her “endless contributions” to Web3. As you can imagine, the community had something to say about this.
How Did the NFT Community Respond to the Stolen Art?
In brief, not well. Previously, Elena was a Researcher in Residence for Azuki. Amid this scandal, the announcement was made that Elena would not continue as a part of the team.
If this isn’t bad enough, there are countless amounts of threads and comments slamming Elena. The consensus comment on the fact that she cashed in on her reputation by stealing and selling unoriginal art for a hefty price.
What’s more, the community expresses dissatisfaction with Elena’s handling of the situation. Rather than owning it, she continues to deny accusations and explains that she will continue to work on her art. All of these have received comments such as “it’s not your art,” and much worse.
This incident further exemplifies how anyone can succumb to influence when the reward is significant. Elena, previously hailed as the sweetheart of Web3, now risks enduring a forever tarnished reputation. In an industry where identities remain largely anonymous, it’s difficult to know who to trust.
If you needed a reminder to do your due diligence and exercise caution, here it is. Web3 has gained renown for its scams, hacks, and shady business practices, necessitating our proactive approach to stay one step ahead. There’s no doubt that more information will come to light shortly, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.