Is NFT a ‘Ponzi scheme’ set up by a few KOLs?

Is NFT a 'Ponzi scheme' created by KOLs?

Author: wale.swoosh

Translation: Luffy, Foresight News

Have you ever heard of this conspiracy theory: NFT is a game manipulated by a group of KOLs?

You may have heard the terms “KOL conspiracy group” or “WAGMI conspiracy group” at some point. It is often used to allude to the mysterious forces that control the fate of NFTs. But does it really exist?

Let’s take a look at two examples:

Art Gobblers

Art Gobblers is one of the most controversial NFTs in 2022 and is often considered the best example of how the NFT conspiracy group operates.

A free minted NFT traded on the secondary market for over 15 ETH. The problem is, it has been accused of false transactions and promotion.

Art Gobblers is the first NFT project that truly made a name for itself in terms of trading volume on the Blur market. It boosted Blur’s daily trading volume from less than $2 million to $17 million. It is worth mentioning that both Art Gobblers and Blur have the presence of LianGuairadigm among their investors.

Blur also has some well-known KOL supporters, some of whom have made substantial profits from Art Gobblers’ minting.

In addition, some marketing materials were popular even before the minting of Art Gobblers, and they were precisely spread by KOLs who are considered part of the “conspiracy group”.

The accusation states: “Art Gobblers is a trap woven by the WAGMI conspiracy group, aimed at selling to its fans.”

Opepen edition

Recently, the discussion about the “WAGMI conspiracy group” has mainly revolved around Opepen edition.

After Threadguy changed his PFP to Opepen and earned over $100,000 through TGopen edition, many KOLs also changed their PFP to Opepen.

Some other Web3 companies in the market have also joined the trend. The floor price of Opepen edition rose by about 0.3 ETH in the following hours.

Accusations claim: “This is a coordinated pump and dump, with the WAGMI conspiracy group profiting from it.”

Does the conspiracy group really exist?

The above two examples provide some indirect evidence, but can they really prove the existence of the WAGMI conspiracy group? We still need to carefully discern.

The Art Gobblers minting is indeed strange, but few profitable KOLs are talking about this project on Twitter. “Conspiracy groups” require a large group of influential KOLs colluding with each other.

As for Open edition, it did dominate the crypto Twitter and was everywhere. However, the key question is the intention.

A conspiracy group implies a clear common intention (usually financial goals). For example, pumping Open to sell their own positions.

Usually, these explanations are much more ordinary than some people would like you to believe.

When something becomes popular on NFT Twitter and KOLs join in, they are usually seeking engagement, not participating in a manipulative conspiracy.

However, this does not mean that conspiracies do not occur. As a KOL, you have a responsibility. “What if fans buy into a project just because I tweeted about it?” This balance is not always easy.

Let me give you a personal example:

Remember FatZukis? It was a meme that went viral on NFT Twitter earlier this month.

I also made a lighthearted comment about it in a tweet:

Even though I never owned FatZuki, never received any payments, and never mentioned the FatZuki account, is it my fault if someone buys FatZuki and loses money because of my tweet?

I don’t think so, but I also understand the perspectives of others. There are indeed KOLs who promote obvious junk NFTs every day and profit from them.

I didn’t name names, but they do exist. To be fair, some of them at least label their advertisements with “#AD,” which is a good start.

Yes, having a large number of fans and influence in the NFT space is advantageous.

On one hand, KOLs can easily obtain whitelist quotas; on the other hand, KOLs are more likely to attract attention to small projects in order to collaborate with other companies.

However, this is no different from the real world.

Therefore, we can draw the following conclusions:

  • KOLs have obvious advantages compared to ordinary people.
  • Unethical KOLs do exist.
  • KOL activities can trigger a chain reaction.

However, this is not enough to prove the existence of the “WAGMI conspiracy group,” and NFTs will not be “manipulated” because of this.