BALD Developer Sends $12M Back to Ethereum After Spectacular Mess Up

The viral token reached an $80 million market capitalization earlier this month before falling 90%.

AccessTimeIconAug 14, 2023 at 9:54 a.m. UTC
Updated Aug 14, 2023 at 5:02 p.m. UTC
  • The developer transferred 2,100 ether to crypto exchange Kraken.
  • The meme coin plunged 90% in August, but not before some traders netted monumental gains from the token.

The mysterious developer behind bald (BALD), one of the most viral tokens in recent months, transferred some $12 million in ether (ETH) back to the Ethereum network on Sunday.

The transfer happened weeks after bald ran up to an $80 million capitalization before some actions caused prices to plunge 90%.

Data cited by analytics firm Lookonchain shows the bald token deployer bridged 7,000 ether ($12.9M) from the Base network back to Ethereum on Sunday. Bridging refers to the transfer of tokens between different blockchains.

The deployer then deposited 2,100 ether, worth $3.87 million at current prices to the crypto exchange Kraken.

This transfer marked the first time more money was sent out of the Base network than bridged in, a Dune Analytics query shows.

Bald’s mysterious rise in early August came when Base, a blockchain built by crypto exchange Coinbase, wasn’t even officially open to the public. A viral post of a trader turning $500 to hundreds of thousands sent Bald zoomed 4,000,000% within days, attracting over $66 million in ether to the ecosystem as traders hoped to squeeze out returns from an otherwise flat broader market.

Bald seemed to have it all: Seemingly endless liquidity, a growing community, an influx of new traders and, among some circles, scant hopes of it becoming the next Shiba Inu (SHIB). However, this euphoria lasted little beyond a few days. Bald prices fell as much as 90% after peaking after the token's deployer removed millions of dollars worth of liquidity – causing sentiment to quickly sour as traders rushed for the exits amid the uncertainty.

The deployer had previously added up to $35 million worth of ether to a liquidity pool on Leetswap, an exchange built on Base network, which created the illusion of it being a well-funded project.

They also possibly made millions of dollars in fees from supplying ether against bald tokens, as well as from selling ether for bald when prices rose.

As such, the developer seemed little fazed after the price drop. "The tokens controlled by the deployer address, including liquidity tokens, are owned by the deployer who reserves the right to do whatever with them," they said in a tweet.

"If you still decide to trade this token you will probably lose all your money (if you somehow haven’t already). This is a memecoin. There is no roadmap. The fundamental value of this token is $0. There is no BALD team," they added at the time.

Some sleuths have even linked Bald to Sam Bankman-Fried-owned Alameda Research based on the wallet activity and links to Alameda projects. However, the wealthy deployer’s identity remains a mystery as of Monday.

UPDATE (Aug. 14, 11:00 UTC): Adds bullet points.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.

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