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Dwight Howard’s NFT Collection Falls Flat, Accused Of Alleged ‘Rug Pull’ By On-Chain Investigator

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While NBA legend Dwight Howard boasts a successful 20-year career on the court, his foray into the world of cryptocurrencies has been less glamorous. His attempt to launch an NFT collection “Ballers by Dwight Howard,” faced accusations of being an alleged “rugpull” scheme from renowned blockchain investigator ZachXBT.

Benzinga has contacted Howard for comment on this story.

How Could the Rug Be Pulled? Howard is a well-known professional basketball player, recognized for his career in the NBA, while ZachXBT is an online investigator known for uncovering scams and fraudulent activities within the cryptocurrency and NFT spaces. His investigations often involve tracking on-chain data to expose scams.

Howard’s collection offered 3,000 profile picture NFTs on the Avalanche network, priced at 2 AVAX (CRYPTO: AVAX), around $60 at the time.

Despite Howard’s announcement with minimal fanfare, the launch saw dismal results.

After a day, only 10% of the collection was sold, raising red flags.

While Howard hasn’t directly addressed the “rugpull” claims, zachXBT’s findings and community concerns paint a worrying picture.

“Thanks @DwightHoward for the quick rug pull,” ZachXBT tweeted.

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The Red Flags Of “Ballers”: Beyond the accusations, the project’s trajectory itself raised eyebrows. In an attempt to salvage the situation, Howard implemented several tactics:

Redesigning the NFTs: Facing criticism over the art quality and perceived value, Howard announced a drastic redesign.
Incentivizing buyers: He offered giveaways and personal investments in other popular NFT projects to attract collectors.
Reducing supply: The total number of NFTs was slashed from 3,000 to 1,500.

Despite these efforts, the collection only saw 15% of its original supply minted.

The floor price dipped below the mint price, signifying a struggling project.

Ava Labs, the company behind the Avalanche network, even felt compelled to distance themselves from the project due to the negative buzz.

Crypto On-Chain Scams Are Falling: Meanwhile, blockchain security firm Peckshield in its 2023 report revealed a 27.78% decrease in cryptocurrency losses due to cybercrimes, totaling about $2.61 billion, down from $3.6 billion in 2022.


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