NFTs also known as Non-Fungible Tokens are without a doubt the new digital gold rush. Celebrities, Influencers, and average people looking to hit a jackpot are purchasing pixelated images as fast as they are launched.
Influencers like KSI, Faze Banks, Gary Vee, and the guys from Canadian prank empire NELK Boys are regularly posting about and promoting projects they were lucky enough to “mint,” in hopes of flipping them for big money. And we’re talking big money. Emmy nominated photographer John Knopf recently sold his coveted Bored Ape for $1.4 million dollars.
With any emerging tech or fad comes scams and con artists hoping to prey on the naïveté of new customers. Projects are promising NFT buyers big perks like the chance to win a Lamborgini, with no way to deliver unless the entire project sells out. In the biz, they’re known as “rug pulls.” Comedian and recording artist Nicole Arbour may have just caught one of these frauds before encouraging her 5million+ fans and roster of blue tick followers (including Joe Rogan, Paris Hilton, and the cast of Netflix hit Sabrina) to purchase.
In a very colorful livestream on Nicole’s Instagram @ibnicolearbour she details how NFT project Bitcoin Wine NFT asked her to help promote the project. She has been tied to viral and award winning marketing campaigns for over a decade so she was the perfect fit. …Or so she thought.
The project; purchase the NFT for a price tag of $1,000. For that purchase, buyers would receive a bottle of Bitcoin Wine, the digital NFT, and access to the whitelist for upcoming NFT drops. Think early access to purchase these highly sought after lucrative projects that people are selling for 10-100X returns within a month. The Bitcoin Wine NFT, was essentially an NFT golden ticket that would print holders money.
The problem? They didn’t have a single NFT projects’ release date confirmed, and couldn’t tell Arbour what the projects were. That means fans could spend $1,000 and just end up with a bottle of wine and digital picture— but no access to the whitelist they were promising. The official website for Bitcoin Wine NFT even states that only when 2,500 NFTs are sold ($250,000USD is made) will they ship out the wine bottles. This means if they sell only 2,499 NFTs, everyone who purchased is out of luck.
Arbour walked away. Based on the contract posted by Bitcoin Wine she left over $800,000USD in profits to protect her audience and even offered the deposit back.
“You’d be paying $1,000 and you wouldn’t get anything, possibly.” Arbour said in the live. “I’m not going to scam my audience.”
In the same week that Logan Paul lost $3.5 million dollars on fake Pokemon cards and Kim K is being sued for promoting a pump and dump for EthereumMax, the integrity shown by Nicole Arbour to protect her audience was a breath of fresh air.
“I want to encourage everyone to do research before purchasing any NFTs or crypto,” Arbour said on her Instagram. “There are a lot of great opportunities out there, but you have to know what to look for. Influencers are being offered crazy money to promote projects without knowing if it’s a solid purchase.”
In response 0 the need to educate audiences, Arbour will be releasing courses on NFTs and Cryptocurrency later this month.
Opinions expressed by CEO Weekly contributors are their own.