Blast Ecosystem Sees First Apparent Scam as 'RiskOnBlast' Rug Pulls $1.3M Ether

Blast, in an X post, termed the project’s potential as “undeniable,” which may have created a sense of security among investors. Blast separately said it's aiming for a mainnet launch on Feb. 29.

AccessTimeIconFeb 26, 2024 at 6:09 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 10:06 p.m. UTC
  • Blast ecosystem experienced the first rug pull event as RiskOnBlast, a gambling and exchange platform, disappeared with over 420 ether raised from retail traders.
  • RiskOnBlast’s anonymous team sent nearly $500,000 to ChangeNow, $360,000 to MEXC, and $187,000 to Bybit after raising over $1 million from investors.
  • Blast tweeted that it's aiming for mainnet launch on Feb. 29.

The well-funded and hyped Blast ecosystem apparently saw its first rug pull event over the weekend as a project went missing after raising over 420 ether (ETH), worth $1.3 million at current prices, from retail traders.

The unpropitious revelation came as Blast prepares for a main network launch scheduled for later this week.

A rug pull is a type of exit scam that involves a team raising money from investors and the public by selling a token only to quietly shut down shortly afterward. Blast is an Ethereum layer-2 project that has attracted over $1 billion in capital in the past few months, ahead of going live.

RiskOnBlast, purported to be a gambling and exchange platform, raised over $1 million from investors in a seed round last week and was one of the participants in Blast’s Big Bang competition, where it stood to receive funding if it won.

But all of its social media accounts were scraped on Sunday. The team itself was anonymous. Onchain researcher @somaxbt said the apparent stolen funds came from over 750 wallets. Nearly $500,000 worth was later sent to the swapping service ChangeNow, $360,000 to crypto exchange MEXC, and $187,000 to Bybit.

Blast had previously posted about the project on its official X handle, terming its potential as “undeniable.” While Blast is not directly involved in what projects on its blockchain do, the social endorsement could be taken by investors as a sign of legitimacy.

One investor claimed to have lost over $12,500, while market observers criticized the lack of due diligence and irresponsible capital bets on projects that are seemingly spun up overnight. For some, the euphoria marked a sign of the bull market – where valuations can often go crazy and money is freely sloshed around.

Meanwhile, Blast said in an X post on Saturday that it had chosen 47 projects as winners of its developer competition from a list of 3,000 applications. These teams will receive a certain amount of unspecified funding in the coming months to help build out an ecosystem on the new blockchain.

On Monday, Blast tweeted that it's "time to blast off," followed by a graphic that read, "Mainnet launch Feb. 29."

With reporting assistance from Bradley Keoun.

UPDATE (19:20 UTC): Adds details from Blast tweet regarding Feb. 29 mainnet launch.

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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