We’re less than one week into the new year and 2022 has already delivered some major NFT drama. The episode comes as a result of a viral Twitter thread from NFT influencer, @9x9x9eth. The tweets detailed their dealings with ColeThereum and the other founders of the Pudgy Penguins NFT collection.
Significantly, the tweets allege that the Pudgy Penguins founders are looking to sell the project after emptying all of the funds from the project for themselves.
Twitter Thread Exposes Pudgy Penguins Founders’ Attempted Project Sale
In the thread heard around the NFT world, NFT influencer @9x9x9eth (hereon referenced as 999) addressed rumors that they would be taking over the Pudgy Penguins project. To sum up, 999 hoped to provide transparency and prevent anyone from buying into Pudgy Penguins because of those rumors.
Firstly, 999 explained that they had reached out to the Pudgy Penguins founders a couple of months ago. This first approach was 999’s attempt to buy shares in the company.
The founders then replied with an offer of 20% equity for 4,000 ETH (about $13.5 million at the time of writing). Following that, 999 rejected the offer but continued to buy Pudgy Penguins NFTs and otherwise support the project.
Then, a day before tweeting the thread, the Pudgy Penguins team reached out to 999. However, their offer this time around was 888 ETH for 100% of the company.
Despite the huge price reduction, 999 had no interest in buying the project at any price. This was due to what 999 learned from the founders throughout their conversation.
To clarify, as 999 explains it, the team has pocketed all the funds from Pudgy Penguins sales. In other words, all project revenue until now has gone straight to the founders’ accounts. In comparison, most big NFT projects have a project wallet that they use to cover their expenses.
NFT Twitter Sides With 999 Against Penguins Founders
999 went as far as tweeting screenshots from the conversation with the Pudgy Penguins founders to back up the claims. Although it seemed like, by and large, the only people casting doubts on the claims were the founders themselves.
What’s more, the messenger, in this case, had a lot of credibility in the matter. That is to say that 999 could hardly be accused of simply spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt), as many people who question NFT projects often are.
This is because of 999’s significant stake in the success of Pudgy Penguins. To that end, 999 included this statement early in the Tweet thread.
“First, I own 242 pudgy penguins, mostly bought around the 2ETH price mark, and 1 banana penguin at 100 ETH. So around 600 ETH invested in pudgy penguins. Never sold a single one.”
In light of this, 999 would have no logical reason to spread misinformation that would likely harm their investment in Pudgy Penguins.
NFT Twitter Takes Pudgy Penguins Founders To Task, Especially ColeThereum
The news that the founders of a relatively established project would simply take the funds and run came as a shock to some. It was particularly upsetting to some Pudgy Penguins holders, many of whom took to their Discord to talk about the future of the project.
With that said, there were a great many people on Twitter that the news didn’t surprise. For one thing, this is not the first time that someone working with the Pudgy Penguins founders has called them out. As a matter of fact, it’s not even the first time someone has questioned the founders placing project funds in their accounts.
Instead, many people on Twitter took the opportunity to voice their dislike and distrust of NFT influencer, ColeThereum. To explain, Cole is a founder, and the de facto “face”, of Pudgy Penguins.
To be sure, many in the NFT space have sounded the alarm over ColeThereum for some time. As a result of his past actions, he has earned quite the negative reputation. To illustrate, people have connected him to several projects that have been deemed rug pulls, most notably one of his own – an ill-received project called “My F***ing Pickle”.
Despite that, Cole has a huge, 100K+ Twitter following. This has granted him a lot of influence and, as his critics would say, the ability to profit at the expense of those that follow him and take his advice.
Will ColeThereum Ever Be Able To Come Back To NFTs?
Without a doubt, Cole is getting by far the most anger out of the four Pudgy Penguins founders.
For example, members of the Pudgy Penguins Discord are expressing frustration that Cole could potentially walk away from the situation without having to return any funds.
This is far from the first time Cole has been dragged on NFT Twitter. Even so, this may end up being the final straw for those that supported him.
Between his history and the new allegations, it seems that people are now looking to cancel the NFT influencer once and for all. Furthermore, the Discord vote on whether he should leave Pudgy Penguins has gone overwhelmingly against him.
And if some in the space get their way, Cole’s issues could end up being much bigger than “cancellation.”
ColeThereum Gets Doxed By Another NFT Influencer
Micro-influencer “Stikman” (@StikTheDip) is one of the many people that have drawn attention to ColeThereum’s behavior in the past.
The history between the two runs deep, with Stikman having first called attention to Cole’s “fraudulent activities” months ago. In response, Stikman says that Cole orchestrated his removal from the team of the highly successful NFT project, World of Women.
Shortly after 999’s thread went viral, Stikman posted a thread of his own. In short, he re-stated all of the alleged scams that he says ColeThereum had a hand in. Finally, Stikman ended the thread with a promise to report Cole to the “higher authorities in his state”.
Whether or not Stikman follows through is anyone’s guess. But even if he doesn’t, he has already taken some significant actions.
Indeed, Stikman revealed Cole’s full name and a prior business in the first two tweets of the thread. By all means, the NFT community takes doxing – revealing the identity or personal information of someone on the internet – very seriously.
Pudgy Penguins Faces Uncertain Future
At this point, a few different NFT influencers have made offers to buy the project from the Pudgy Penguins founders. This trend started with none other than, Beanie. Though whether these offers are real or for publicity is unclear.
Of course, 999 didn’t start all of this without having a potential solution themselves. They posted [sic],
“The best solution: Created a DAO, founder return all ETH raised, community vote how much hours they put into this and pay them for the work they deserve to get paid for the part they did and all expenses they spend. Then elect contributors to keep building the brand/community.”
All things considered, the next steps for Pudgy Penguins will determine whether the project returns to its former glory, or sinks into oblivion.
NFT Evening has reached out to the Pudgy Penguins founders for comment. We will update this article should they choose to respond.