The world of NFTs doesn’t look too wonderful if you’re an outsider. Over the past couple of years, there have been horror stories about pump-and-dump or rug-pull scams. Investors are left penniless after NFT and cryptocurrency projects go belly up because one or all of the creators yank money out of the blockchain wallet following an initial surge in value. Often those people vanish into the ether or ignore all the bad press. In the case of Logan Paul’s CryptoZoo, he’s threatening action against the person who investigated the celeb’s latest cryptocurrency venture.
In December, a YouTuber called Coffeezilla (Stephen Findeisen) published multiple videos about Paul’s project called CryptoZoo. Findeisen’s investigation covered not just Paul’s involvement but all of the key players in a project that has been put on hold since its initial launch. While it’s not uncommon for cryptos to flounder, CryptoZoo launched took investors’ money, and, according to some investors, nothing worked like it was supposed to.
CryptoZoo acts as an NFT “game,” from what I understand. You buy “eggs,” and they hatch, giving you animals that are allegedly just stock photos. Users can breed two different animal species to create “unique” animal NFTs. Based on the video I’ve seen, the program smashes two creatures together to create a hybrid, resulting in a new NFT image that looks like it is the result of fundamental Photoshop edits, in my opinion. This isn’t entirely bad, except Logan Paul advertised the “art” as “handmade.” This could be true, like saying I “handmade” the header image by poorly putting two images on one canvas.
There was a market for this sort of pay-to-earn game because investors Coffeezilla interviewed stated they lost around $15k-$50k after getting into CryptoZoo. Why? According to one person who appeared in Coffeezilla’s exposé, the game does not work, and eggs cannot be hatched. This could be because the programmer was holding the code hostage, possibly because he allegedly never got paid for his work.
Logan Paul’s response video, where he threatens legal action, accuses Findeisen of clout chasing and making “very real errors with very real repercussions.” During the seven-minute video, Paul attacks Findeisen’s reputation and previous attempts to work with law enforcement. Paul, unfortunately, does not link to articles backing up the claim that Stephen Findeisen’s previous investigations were described as “not anchored to truth and often speculative.”
However, the WWE star does go on to provide better evidence. After a few ad hominem attacks, Paul pulls up information that the allegedly unpaid programmer who took off with the CryptoZoo code is no saint. When Coffeezilla interviewed the developer, he tried to keep him anonymous for some reason. Paul, however, comes out and gives his name: Zach Kelling. Paul then shows a screenshot of Kelling’s prior felony conviction. This guilty plea was from 2002, though. Logan also places the blame on CryptoZoo’s former lead developer Eddie Ibanez, who he says conned not only him but also “fooled” multiple people, including the Mormon Church.
Logan Paul does not exactly counterpoint much of Stephen Findeisen’s investigation, so much as digging up the dark side of the people he has interviewed. One vital point Paul does bring up is that Findeisen may have recorded a phone call with his manager Jeff Levin without Jeff being aware. If the manager resides in California, a State with two-party recording consent, that means Coffeezilla would have needed to inform “Jeff” that the line was being recorded at the start of the call. It’s unclear if this happened because Findeisen did not release the entirety of the phone conversation.
It can be verified that Logan Paul and his manager Jeff Levin have never sold any of the CryptoZoo coins, meaning they haven’t performed what is commonly referred to as a rug pull. Luckily the blockchain is pretty transparent regarding transactions and wallet holdings, which works in Paul’s favor here.
This entire thing is a giant machine with several moving parts, and because of the number of crypto and NFT scams we’ve seen over the past two years, it’s impossible to know who is to blame. It’s entirely possible that every single person involved shares some blame, but with Logan Paul being the most visible person attached to it, he is weathering most of the storm. Of course, this does not absolve him of the controversy and threatening a lawsuit against the person who investigated the ordeal isn’t doing him any favors. However, he may have enough grounds to keep the suit circulating in the courts for years.[Source: Logan Paul] [Source: Coffeezilla] [Source: CryptoZoo]