The cryptocurrency marketplace has been a difficult one for the general public to wrap its head around, and many people are still largely skeptical of the legitimacy of these decentralized currencies.
Among the frenzy of people trying to get involved in the seemingly booming market for crypto has been the highly popular online influencer Logan Paul, but as has been the case with him before, his foray has resulted in controversy.
While he is attached to numerous crypto projects, Logan Paul’s Cryptozoo project has made a lot of noise in the past month for all of the wrong reasons.
What is Cryptozoo?
Cryptozoo, which officially released in 2021, was intended to be an NFT-based play-to-earn game. People could purchase a cryptocurrency used in the game and buy eggs with them. After buying eggs, they could choose to hatch those eggs creating an image of an animal, and different animals could be used to breed hybrid animals.
The animals could then be resold for more currency. This process could be performed repeatedly, allowing players a chance to earn money and potentially cash out to earn real-life money.
Reception and controversy
When Paul and his team released images of the animals that would be in Cryptozoo, the project drew criticism from many online because the “animals” in the game appeared to just be basic stock images of average animals. These animals could be bred together to create mildly bizarre-looking creatures, like a bumblebee with the face of a pug for instance.
To make matters a little bit worse, last month more than a year after the game was supposed to release, online muckraking journalist Coffeezilla released a three-part docuseries on YouTube with extensive reporting and research that suggested the crypto project was largely a scam.
Paul released a response video earlier this week attempting to discredit Coffeezilla’s reporting, but in doing so, he further opened himself up for criticism from numerous other content creators who believe his attempts to exonerate himself only further depicted the project as a scam overall.
Following the backlash, Paul removed the response video from YouTube and admitted that his reaction was misguided and “rash.” He then called Coffeezilla to apologize for his threats to sue the investigative reporter, and about a week later, he posted a two-minute video on Twitter detailing his intentions to make things right for his investors.
Along with apologizing to Coffeezilla profusely and thanking him for his investigation the brought to light wrongdoing by members of his team, Paul pledged more than $1 million to repay investors that wanted to get out of Cryptozoo.
Is Cryptozoo a scam?
As Coffeezilla’s videos show, there were numerous people that invested in the Cryptozoo project and have effectively lost their money doing so.
The videos also include reporting that suggests members of the project could have been bad actors including Eddie Ibanez and Jake Greenbaum. Conversations that Coffeezilla obtained between people involved in the project included mention of a “rug pull” by some of the initial larger investors. However, his reporting stopped short of claiming that Paul himself or his manager were involved in such action.
A “rug pull” is an increasingly prominent phenomenon in the unregulated world of crypto investments. The tactic, which is considered to be a type of scam, is when initial investors in a crypto coin market attract as many investors as possible before selling all of their shares as it rises. This leads to the crypto project’s value plummeting, and the remaining investors lose all of the value in their investment.
A quick look at the Cryptozoo token’s market value shows that the currency fell precipitously shortly after launching, making it difficult to tell if it was purely a “rug pull” or could have just been a failed project.
Either way you look at it, some of the people that Paul involved himself with were known bad actors, which he admitted himself in his response video, and numerous people have lost value on investments in the coin.
Paul has announced that he is putting forth efforts to give back to community members and fans affected by the actions of people on his team, and he said in his video to Twitter that there is an internal investigation taking place. He added that the team will take legal action where possible and any resulting money will be given to his community.