Mad Lads Tricks Schemers into Splurging $250K on Fake NFTs

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The Mad Lads NFT project tricks scammers by selling $250K fake NFTs, to give genuine collectors a better chance to acquire the assets.

Quick Takes: 

  • The CEO behind Mad Lads tricked schemers into purchasing fake NFTs to reserve more of its assets for genuine collectors.
  • Some legitimate users were caught in the counterfeit mint. However, all buyers of the dummy mint received a full refund hours later.
  • Mad Lads also experienced a DDOS attack during its public mint. This caused postponements and other issues across the network.

How Mad Lads Outsmarts Bots 

The Mad Lads project has been living up to its name. The team behind the Solana-based collectibles has been tricking schemers into spending around $250K worth of SOL on a fake mint.

Desirable NFT mints face attacks from users utilizing bots frequently to acquire many assets at once for financial gain — to capitalize on the hype.

Consequently, Mad Lads designed the fake collectibles to deceive botters into wasting their SOL on a bogus mint in return for nothing (this technique is commonly known as being a “honey pot”).

The CEO of the project, Armani Ferrante, felt the dummy mint was necessary to preserve the future of his NFT project. Unfortunately, however, this honey pot incentive led to some genuine users being entangled in the counterfeit mint and purchasing worthless NFTs.

Nevertheless, the refunds were granted just hours after the mint finished. Once refunding everyone involved, Mad Lads took to Twitter to share the news to prevent further havoc:

Ferrante was then finally able to push the legit mint back for 24 hours, excluding those trying to mass purchase NFTs from the drop.

Other Minting Issues 

As soon as the delayed public mint began, a DDOS attack started almost instantly. This caused more delays for the Mad Lads mint. After that, the network remained functional, but other problems arose over RPC providers experiencing issues and CoinGecko‘s pricing API going offline.

Ferrante believes these issues were a “domino effect” of the Mad Lads mint receiving billions of requests.

The CEO of the project took to Twitter to rant and keep fans in the loop about the issues:

To counter the many problems, Ferrante revealed two consecutive updates to the minting app: an authentic update that directs users to the actual NFT mint process, and one which was only visible in the public interface — only discoverable by reverse-engineering the code.

Despite the above challenges, the Mad Lads NFT project finally managed to execute a triumphant launch by employing innovative tactics to conserve the digital assets for its target market only.

As a result, the project successfully engaged its intended audience, triumphing over unwanted bot interference.

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