Did Starcatchers NFT’s Artist Exploit Metadata for Profit? One Twitter User Thinks So

It’s been a rough day for the team behind Starcatchers NFT. Earlier today, Twitter user MetaMehdee (@mehdeegbr) posted a thread showing that the Starcatchers co-founder and main artist bought several rare NFTs before the Starcatchers NFTs were revealed. The artist, Beutrec (@Beutrec), then went on to sell these NFTs for major profit.

Twitter user MetaMehdee uncovered some transactions that point to Starcatchers metadata being exploited pre-reveal. Credit: Starcatchers

How did MetaMehdee uncover these suspicious trades?

In essence, a couple of pre-reveal sales that were well above the floor price are what first caught MetaMehdee’s attention. At that point, MetaMehdee began tracking those sales to see what would happen.

As it turns out, the Twitter sleuth’s suspicions seemed to be valid. These purchases all turned out to be rare NFTs that sold for large profits immediately following the Starcatchers NFTs reveal. In fact, one of the purchases was of The Starcatchers mascot, which the Starcatchers team actually purchased for 30 ETH.

Then, MetaMehdee was able to track all of the profits from the sales to one wallet address via Etherscan. The wallet belonged to none other than Starcatchers co-founder and primary artist, Beutrec. In other words, it appears as though Beutrec used the collection metadata to snipe rare Starcatchers NFTs before they were revealed, sold them post reveal, and almost 50 ETH in return. Or as MetaMehdee puts it, “around 50eth in net profit stolen from the “community” and sent to @beutrec”.

Etherscan data revealed that the profit from all these pre-reveal snipes went to Starcatchers NFT’s artist. Credit: @mehdeegbr on Twitter

Starcatchers NFT co-founder feels “backstabbed and betrayed”

Another key point is that MetaMehdee suggested in their initial thread that they believed that Starcatchers’ main co-founder, Maurice (@ethmaurice) was in on Beutrec’s scam. However, Maurice has come out strongly to state that this is not the case.

Maurice took to Twitter to address the situation with a thread of their own. They start the thread by saying that they feel “backstabbed and betrayed” by Beutrec’s actions, then went on to explain things from their point of view.

Evidently, while the four Starcatchers founders did have access to the metadata, Maurice never suspected that someone on the team would exploit this for personal gain. As stated in their thread,

“When this transaction occurred, I didn’t check the metadata because only the founders had access to it. At the time, I had no reason to believe any malintent. This was a total oversight on my part and for that I’m incredibly sorry for having allowed this.”

The Starcatchers co-founder maintains that Beutrec acted alone and that they feel “betrayed” by these actions. Even thanking MetaMehdee for their investigation. Credit: @ethmaurice on Twitter

Lessons from the Starcatchers incident for future NFT projects

MetaMehdee eventually responded to Maurice’s thread, seemingly taking the explanation at face value. Even so, MetaMehdee does ask Maurice why the Starcatchers NFT team didn’t randomize the reveal, which would have prevented this kind of situation. Finally, MetaMehdee concluded the reply, saying, “anyway I hope all issues mentioned in my thread can be addressed and you guys can move on.”

To be sure, Starcatchers is far from the first NFT project to deal with these kinds of accusations. Hopefully, upcoming projects take note of this situation. Certainly, randomizing reveals as MetaMehdee suggests would prevent these kinds of scams, as well as instill trust in an NFT project’s community.

NFTevening reached out to Starcatchers NFT co-founder Maurice for comment. As of the time of publication they had not responded. We will update this article with their comment, if any.


Source:nftevening.com

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