Soft Rug Pull: A New Toxic Trend Behind The NFT Industry’s Closed Doors

Twitter banner for Zachxbt, the on chain sleuth who described soft rug pulls

We now have a name for one of the worst trends in the NFT space – The Soft Rug Pull. Blockchain investigator, zachxbt (@zachxbt) broke down the term in a Twitter thread uncovering how one dev is connected to a number of shady NFT projects.

Twitter banner for Zachxbt, the on chain sleuth who described soft rug pulls

“On-chain sleuth” zachxbt broke down one dev’s involvement in a number of soft rug pulls. Credit: @zachxbt via Twitter

What exactly is a “Soft Rug Pull”?

As mentioned above, Twitter detective zachxbt mentioned the term in a thread focusing on one suspicious developer. The person goes by JC/Jcheese (@jc_1917 on Twitter). What’s more, zachxbt says that he decided to investigate JC after getting a couple of DMs about their soft rug pulls.

As part of his on-chain analysis, zachxbt defines what a soft rug pull is. In short, a soft/slow rug pull is when the team behind a project disappears after the project mints. However, what sets a soft rug pull apart from a normal one is that the devs don’t completely disappear. On the contrary, the devs will reappear now and then to give the appearance that they are still working on the project, even when that isn’t actually the case.

Graph from zachxbt showing soft rug pulls by Jcheese

This diagram from zachxbt shows major transactions from JC’s public wallet. Credit: @zachxbt on Twitter

The breakdown of zachxbt’s Twitter thread on JC

JC received 100 ETH from the wallet that deployed the Mutant Cats NFT project. This is notable because the Mutant Cats project turned into a soft rug pull after bringing in 500 ETH from its mint. Luckily for Mutant Cats, the community was able to take over the project and turn its fortunes around.

The other major transaction that zachxbt looked at was a transfer of 34.66 ETH. It’s important to note that the wallet that sent this amount to JC received several payments from wallets for projects that were also soft rug pulls.

Firstly there was a 15 ETH transfer from the ZombieToadz contract deployer. Secondly, there was a 14 ETH transfer from Yuta/YYY. To clarify, Yuta/YYY was a co-founder of TreasureDAO, which is itself not a rug pull. Rather, Yuta/YYY stepped down from the team in Feb 2022 when it came out that they were involved in several failed projects from the Fall of 2021.

Lastly, JC got 6 ETH from a wallet that deployed a number of “shitcoins” and NFTs. None of those have had any transactions in weeks. In conclusion, zachxbt shares the opinion that the amount of ETH that JC received is proof that his involvement was more than that of just a contracted developer. In other words, zachxbt suspects that these ETH payments prove JC’s involvement in all of these soft rug pulls.

To be sure, these claims come along with a lot of evidence. Indeed, zachxbt included many screenshots from Etherscan.

Overall, soft rug pulls are an insidious evolution of the scams that have plagued the NFT space for months. Hopefully, as the space matures, and with the help of people like zachxbt, it will become much harder for the scammers behind these soft rug pulls to operate.

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